The “Adopt, Don’t Shop” movement is all about saving lives and advocating for animal rights and welfare. If you’re considering getting a new pup for your family, we recommend adopting instead of shopping in a pet store or online. Choosing to support your local shelters and rescues not only helps your community, but it’s also a major benefit to you! Here are seven reasons why you should adopt a rescue dog from your local shelter.
1. You’re Saving Lives
Each year, approximately 670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized because there is a constant flow of new dogs coming in without enough people adopting them. When you adopt a dog, you don’t just save them from being euthanized; you also open up space for another dog to come into the shelter. It’s an amazing cycle!
2. Get to Know the Dog’s Personality & Quirks
The staff at your rescue shelter makes a point of learning everything about the dogs that they have. That way, they can pair them with the right family! You can ask them about their specific personality or how they interact with different things such as new people, dogs, and cats. Because there are so many dogs to choose from, this gives you the option of finding the right dog for your lifestyle. Some adoption centers even have a dog match program to help you find the perfect dog for you.
3. Choose Your Pick of the Litter
Rescue dogs don’t just include mixed breeds and mutts – there’s even purebred pups! ASPCA has a local shelter database where you can search by breed, sex, size, age, and more and actually see pictures of the dogs that are up for adoption in your area. So, if you want a certain kind of dog, you don’t even have to visit the shelter; you can just look online. The options are endless and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
4. Pay Less & Receive Benefits
Dogs bought from a breeder or pet shop can cost you – big time. They can range from $500 reaching all the way up to $3000 (adoption fees are about 10% of that). And, for that larger price, you usually still have to pay for shots, microchips, and spaying or neutering. When it comes to adopting, most dogs are fully vaccinated and already spayed or neutered. Animal shelters are also very happy that you are adopting and will often throw in some extras such as a bag of food or collars.
5. Fight Back Against Puppy Mills
Puppy mills are businesses that breed dogs intensively and in inhumane conditions, often without proper nutrition or veterinary care. These animals spend their time in cages with barely enough space to move around and females are constantly being bred with almost no recovery time between litters. Almost 99% of puppies in stores and online come from puppy mills and buying from them only fuels and need and supports the cruel industry.
6. Dogs are Often Fully or Partially Trained
If you don’t have the patience or time to obedience or potty train a puppy, then a shelter could be your solution. With such a large variety of dogs to choose from, rescues and shelters can pair you with a pup that’s already house trained and knows basic commands. Make sure to also check out the different services that the shelter provides. They may know a good dog trainer if you’re looking to expand on your dog’s skillset!
7. Make a Friend for Life
Rescue dogs know that you have saved them. Often coming from tragedy or abuse, these dogs are thankful to have someone to care for them and love them unconditionally. You’ll change their whole outlook on life and your new best friend will be forever grateful that you adopted them
Can’t Commit to a Permanent Adoption? Try Fostering!
If permanent adoption isn’t an option for you or your family at this time, becoming a foster parent offers a great opportunity to give a dog a loving, temporary home! Your local shelter or rescue will work with you to find the best dog for your family’s situation. This is also great for pet lovers that are worried about the costs of owning a pet, as the shelter often provides all of the food, toys, and medical attention necessary. Saying goodbye when your foster pet is adopted is hard, but you can take comfort in knowing you helped save a life and unite a dog with their forever family!
As if that weren’t enough, you can save money by adopting over shopping. Breeders and pet stores come with considerably higher costs — both up front and over the life of your pet — especially when compared to animal shelters and rescue organizations. Here you can see the financial benefits of adopting a pet.