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Shelter dogs – a great adoption!

When you are looking for a new canine companion to share your home and heart, rescuing a shelter dog is great decision. No matter what type of dog you are looking for, you are almost guaranteed to find it in today’s over-crowded animal shelters. The sad fact is that people not only surrender mixed breed dogs to the humane societies across the US, but there are also plenty of pure-bred dogs (and puppies!) that are looking for homes as well.

When you choose to adopt from a shelter rather than buying a dog from a pet store or breeder, you are making a positive impact on the daunting state of our over-populated pet problem. A very sad fact is that only 25 percent of dogs that enter an animal shelter are adopted. Because people choose to buy their animals from other sources, nearly 75 percent of dogs that are surrendered to shelters are euthanized. That is a staggeringly high number and one that every animal lover in this country should be concerned with.

Pets are surrendered to shelters for many reasons. In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), researchers went in to twelve different animals shelters in the US for one year to find out why. These are the top 10 reasons they were given by people for relinquishing their dogs:

  • Moving (7%)
  • Landlord not allowing pets (6%)
  • Too many animals in the household (4%)
  • Cost of pet maintenance (5%)
  • Owner having personal problems (4%)
  • Inadequate facilities (4%)
  • No homes available for litter mates (3%)
  • Having no time for pet (4%)
  • Pet illness (4%)
  • Biting (3%)

When you look at the reasons for why a dog is given away, there is a very small percentage that has anything to do with the dog. The highest percentage of reasons given on why that animal is now looking for a home has to do with the person who surrendered them. For that small percentage of dogs that are surrendered for biting or illness, the shelter staff addresses those issues before they place the dog up for adoption. You can be assured that dogs that are up for adoption have been vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and temperament tested.

Another positive to adopting from a shelter is that these shelters are usually staffed with people who are true animal lovers. They will get to know each dog individually and be able to pass that information on to you. They will be able to tell you if they prefer to play with kids or would rather be in more quiet, less chaotic home. They will be able to tell you if they are energetic and need lots of exercise or would just rather lounge with you on the sofa while you read a book. These are things a pet store owner nor a breeder can likely tell you.

The most important reason for adopting a dog from the humane society is that you are saving a life. It makes no sense to purchase a dog when there are so many wonderful dogs waiting patiently for homes at the shelter. You may be thinking, “How can my one adoption make that much of a difference? How can that one act change the world?” The answer is simple: If we all choose to adopt rather than shop, it will make a difference. And, for that one dog you take home? You will change their world. Guaranteed.


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