How You Can Save the Life of an Adorable, Loving Homeless Animal
Every time I see the animals on SPCA commercials with their sad eyes, my heart aches. How could anyone ever abuse or abandon those adorable little creatures! To be honest, it’s the dogs that tug my heartstrings more than the cats.
Of course, unlike me, you may be a cat person.
People abandon cats too, no matter how affectionate and cuddly they are.
I prefer not to think of the kind of people who would do such things to helpless animals. Instead, I like to think of those who adopt them and give them loving homes. You see where I’m getting at, don’t you?
If you’re planning on getting a pet as a companion, why not bring home a forlorn puppy or feline that’s homeless and deserves your love?
It’s The Right Thing To Do!
Let’s be fair. No one in Virginia will judge you if you get a dog from a pet store instead of rescuing one. But can you truly sleep well at night, knowing that there’s a loving, shy boxer named Murray that has been waiting for someone to take him in for three years in a shelter near you, and you didn’t take him!
Instead, you bought a boxer pup with a pedigree from the animal mill! While elsewhere, in Salem, there’s a group of good people that are helping place deaf dogs in loving homes…
OK, I’m not trying to guilt you in the least here. You’re not a monster if you buy from irresponsible breeders instead of rescuing your companion animal. But it does leave one more sad dog or cat that lost a chance for a good home.
Every year, around 7.6 million animals enter the 13,600 pet shelters across the country. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized, because no one wants them and the shelters really don’t have the resources to keep them forever.
When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you save a life.
Think about it…I mean, really.
Only Adopt If You’re Ready
Make sure adoption is for you before you commit. It can be a big responsibility. Rescued animals are often scared, hurt, scarred, mistrustful, and in need of a lot of love and patience.
This is not always the case, of course. I know of stories where adopters found the sweetest, most well-adjusted dogs at their local shelter. According to the ASPCA, twice the number of abandoned animals at shelters come as strays that have run away from or lost their owners. Sometimes, these poor animals are given up because their families had financial problems or because they moved.
Rescue shelters have many different types of dogs with different needs and temperaments. I suggest that you talk to an adoption specialist before you make a choice. They’ll take a look at your lifestyle and habits, and suggest pets for you. This way, the animal will have the best possible home for it and you’ll have the best possible companion.
Choose the right shelter
This is a very important step, almost as important as choosing the right cat or dog. You don’t want to adopt from a shelter that only wants to kick out an animal on you as quickly as possible. You should only go to a shelter that will take the time to offer lots of friendly advice for the matchmaking to find you the right companion.
It’s also a good idea to ask people on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, about what your local adoption center is like. Also note that local and state shelters usually make do with limited resources, so they may have very basic facilities.
Some privately owned shelters may have state-of-the-art facilities where animals are given lots of physical and medical care.
Remember, Adoption Is Not Free
You may think that adopting an animal that has been abandoned should be free, but it’s not, and for a good reason. Shelters take care of things like neutering or spaying, vaccinations etc. for you. You’ll get a detailed social history and medical report about your pet, which is fantastic to have for the new family member you’re bringing in. So shelters will ask a small amount as a donation to adopt. But adopting a pet is definitely a lot less expensive than buying one.
Call the shelter ahead of your visit. You’ll save a lot of time by inquiring about their costs, procedures and adoption policies.
Before you think about adoption, I suggest you also look up the many online resources on adopting a pet. You’ll find plenty of useful info about organizations specializing in adoptions, first steps etc.
Here’s a shout out to the most adorable, loving and beautiful cat or dog waiting in some shelter in Virginia, who is going to find a home with you soon!