5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pet Adoption
There’s one thing we all know about pet adoption: You get an adorably fuzzy new friend out of the process. But there are so many more benefits to adopting that you may not realize.
1. It’s not their fault – Most pets who end up in the shelter are there because of circumstances beyond their control. There are many circumstances where a pet could end up in a shelter that has nothing to do with their behavior. People tend to assume that shelter pets are abandoned because they bit or otherwise harmed a person. Here are a few cases where a beloved pet could be left at a shelter that have nothing to do with their behavior.
- A family move: If the family needs to move into a home or apartment that doesn’t allow pets, they have two options. First, find a loving home for your pet. Second, leave your pet at a shelter. It’s unfortunate, but it does happen.
- A death: If you have kids, you probably have an emergency plan in place for unforeseen disasters. If something happens to you, who will take care of them? Most people don’t have such a plan in place for their pets. So, if someone with pets passes away, there’s a chance those beloved family pets will end up in an animal shelter.
- Changes in circumstance: If a pet owner is admitted for a long hospital stay or loses their job and can’t afford a pet, they may drop them off at a shelter. Although it’s sad, it is the more responsible decision. If you can no longer care for your pet, the shelter is a better option than neglect. There are also some people who change their minds about having a pet. Maybe they liked the idea of having a puppy or kitten but were less enamored with a full-grown pet.
2. You could save a pet’s life – There are some no-kill shelters that will only hold as many pets as they can handle without euthanizing. Other shelters, especially those run by a town or city, will euthanize pets who aren’t likely to be adopted. This could include pets who have bitten people, but it could also include older pets or pets with health issues. When you adopt from one of those shelters, you’re ensuring that the pet you take home will not be one of those that are euthanized. You’re also making room for another pet at the shelter, which means they may have to euthanize one less animal. You may truly be saving a pet’s life.
3. Pets may stay in shelters for a while before they’re put up for adoption – When pets are rescued from dire situations, they may be in desperate need of grooming and/or medical attention. The vet and shelter staff will attend to the pet’s needs to ensure he or she is healthy enough to go home with you. This may mean that the pet is at the shelter for a few days or a few weeks before they can be adopted. When you choose a pet, the shelter staff will likely tell you the conditions under which they received the pet. It won’t be a mystery, but you should know that some shelter pets may have colorful histories. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have behavioral problems but it could. Again, the shelter staff will give you all the information they can on the pet before you adopt. Their mission is to ensure that pet goes to the best possible home, so they’re going to be forthcoming with you about everything.
4. Some pets come in pairs – Most of the time, you can adopt any pet you see on its own. But sometimes, there are pets who will only be adopted in pairs. For example, if a dog and cat spent their entire lives together, the shelter will likely require that they be adopted together. This would be true in any case where it may cause an emotional hardship for the pets to be separated. And if you think about it, it’s a good thing shelters pay attention to these details. You wouldn’t want a pet who is sad and depressed because they’ve just lost their life partner on top of losing a family and home.
5. Your adopted pet may save your life – There are many benefits to adopting a pet. Research has shown that the act of petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure, reduce cortisol and increase dopamine. Having a pet is therapeutic and just plain good for your health and wellbeing. On top of all this goodness, you can train your dog to be a service dog that provides more than just emotional support. Therapy dogs are trained to bring medicine and call for help in the case of an emergency.
If you’re on the fence about adopting a pet, it’s important for you to think this decision through thoroughly. The benefits are immense for anyone who is ready and willing to take on the responsibility of pet ownership.