October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and there are many reasons to consider adoption! Adopting a dog, or any animal, from a shelter can be a very rewarding experience. Shelters are full of deserving and loving animals of all species, sizes, breeds, temperaments, and ages. In many cases, adopting an animal means saving a life.
Unfortunately, there are many myths that surround shelter pets. Some of these myths may lead prospective pet owners to believe that adoption is unwise. One of the most common concerns is the mistaken belief that most shelter pets are somehow damaged, suffering either medical problems or behavioral issues. While this may be true in some cases, the majority of pets find their way into shelters for far different reasons. Some of the top reasons for relinquishment of both dogs and cats are:
- Landlord not allowing pet
- Too many animals in household
- Cost of pet maintenance
- Owner having personal problems
- No homes available for litter mates
Another myth is the prevailing belief that purebred animals are not available in shelters. This also not true. Almost all dog and cat breeds have at least one rescue organization devoted to finding adoptive homes for that particular breed, or mixes of that breed.
Before you bring any pet home, be sure you are able to care for the pet. Pets require a commitment, both physically and financially. They require veterinary care, plenty of playtime and attention, pet food and supplies, flea and tick protection, and much more. If you are unable or unwilling to make that commitment, you should consider a pet with more suitable care requirements. For example, if walking a dog regularly is something you are not able to do, you may wish to consider adopting a cat instead, assuming you are able and willing to tend to its needs.
If a young animal, such as a kitten or puppy, is too rambunctious for your taste, give some thought to adopting an adult dog or cat. A senior pet may even be an option for you. Senior pets are often more difficult for shelters to place, but a senior dog or cat can still provide years of loyal companionship. Allowing a senior to live out his days in a comfortable and loving environment is an incredibly satisfying experience for some pet owners.
Other less adoptable pets include dogs of specific breeds, such as pit bulls, as well as both dogs and cats that are black in color. Animals with infirmities can also be hard to place. Infirmities may include being blind, deaf, or missing a limb. All of these pets can make good companions with the right care.
If a dog or cat is not to your liking, some shelters also have rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, and a host of other species available for adoption.