7 Reasons to Adopt a Pet: National Pet Adoption Week


March 6 to 12 is National Pet Adoption Week. Here are seven reasons to adopt a pet:

LOYALTY FOR LIFE: There’s some truth to the adage that shelter dogs and cats often appear to know they are being rescued and offer extraordinary gratitude for life.

READY MADE PET: The overwhelming majority of animals at shelters are older. There’s no longer a need to deal with housetraining dogs or training kitties or puppies not to chew on electric cords or shoes. Generally, middle-aged or older dogs and cats – while they may be curious and may take a minute to settle into their new surroundings – are savvy to general house rules.

SENIORS FOR SENIORS: Years ago there was a national program to encourage seniors to adopt senior pets, a terrific idea. Seniors understand what it’s like to lose a step or not quite hear a question. Moreover, senior pets typically don’t require the exercise that younger pets need. Often all that’s required is a loving lap to lay on. In return, the attachment from the animal can be surprisingly intense, sometimes offering companionship when people need it most.

THEY’RE NOT GUILTY: Most animals in shelters have done nothing wrong. The most significant issues to explain relinquishment are related to housing. That’s people who cannot find a place to live with a pet or they large dog or pit bull-looking dog. Of course, some owners move and for whatever the reason don’t take the pet with or pass away without a family member to take over. Studies demonstrate that even some dog/cat behavior problems don’t resurface with a new family. It’s more than helpful to choose the right pet for the right family. For example, a young Labrador Retriever might be surprisingly active for a senior couple who give up the dog, who might be perfect for another family with young and active children.

ALL THEY NEED IS LOVE: Dogs, in particular, are amazingly resilient, more so than people. It’s true that dogs (and cats) could have PTSD as a result of previous mistreatment, such as growing up in a puppy mill; these new family members require special patience. Eventually, most do blossom and the trust earned leads to an intense level of loyalty and love.

SPECIAL NEEDS: Some animals are perfectly wonderful except for a special need. For example a cat with three legs or a deaf dog. Adopters willing to understand and adjust to these special needs quickly realize love matters. Yes, there could be a financial cost – such as dealing with a chronic medical issue – such as with seizures and medication for epilepsy or insulin for diabetes. Still, these animals have as much love or typically more to offer than any other.

SAVE A LIFE: While the exact data varies some, this, on average, 1.5 million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States, about 60 percent if those are cats. If you adopt from any shelters, even a so-called No Kill facility, you may be saving a life. By adopting, a shelter can now fill that same space. Absolutely, the overwhelming majority to dogs and cats who find themselves in shelters have done nothing wrong. Dogs and cats adopted are vaccinated with core vaccines and spay/neutered; the cost to adopt is a bargain. Since your health will also benefit, who knows, the pet could save your life too (it does actually happen).