Ten Reasons to Adopt a Pet
In case "Because it's the right thing to do" isn't enough
Pet lovers know: Adoption is the snuggliest option. Photo by iStockphoto
Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are ten reasons to adopt your new best friend.
1. Because you'll save a life
A shelter pet is more than one in a million—she's one in 2.7 million. That's the number of adoptable dogs and cats who are still euthanized each year in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people adopt.
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save your animal and open up shelter space for another animal who might need it.
2. Because you'll get a great animal.
Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets ended up there because of a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the animal did anything wrong.
3. Because you'll get a great bargain.
When you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations and sometimes microchipping is usually included in the adoption price, which means you've scored a major deal—a fuzzy deal who will thank you with kisses or purrs for years to come.
Adopted pets turn your selfies into solid gold. Photo by Grace Markarian/The HSUS
4. Because of the bragging rights.
No one needs to see another selfie—unless it’s a selfie of you with the adorable cat you just adopted, like the hero you are! Adopt a pet, post the pictures and let the love (likes) roll in.
5. Because it's one way to fight puppy mills.
You're too smart to get a dog from a pet store or online seller—you might as well buy direct from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are "factory style" breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The moms of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they're no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.
Most puppies in pet stores and sold online come from puppy mills. The dogs are sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores, over the Internet and through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. By adopting a pet, you can be certain you aren't giving them a dime.
6. Because your decor will thank you.
Many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already housetrained, which means you’re not only saving a pet’s life, you may be saving your rug.
7. Because all pets are good for your health, but an adopted pet is good for your self-esteem.
Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups. And when you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need.
8. Because you’re environmentally responsible.
You recycle your paper and plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfills, and you know that recycled materials make all sorts of things. A “recycled” pet can make something even better: She can make you happy.
9. Because The Shelter Pet Project will make it super-easy.
We like easy. Go to the Shelter Pet Project to find pets near you, of every size, color, temperament and breed. You want an orange cat who likes ear-scratches on alternate Tuesdays? You can probably find one.
10. Because you'll change a homeless animal's whole world.
And get a new best friend in the bargain. Seriously, what could be better than that?
The American Humane Society, July 9, 2015