Millions of animals in the US are currently in shelters waiting for new homes. However, many people choose not to adopt because they are unsure of what to expect. With some basic knowledge about shelters, however, these common misconceptions can be cleared up. Here are the facts for some of the more prevalent concerns you may have about adopting a pet from a shelter.
MISCONCEPTION: “They won’t have the breed I’m looking for.”
FACT: An estimated 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred (humanesociety.org 2014). Also, there are many rescue groups that specialize in finding homes for specific breeds or types of pets.
MISCONCEPTION: “There must be something wrong with them.”
FACT: In reality, local animal shelters and rescue groups offer a variety of healthy, lovable pets who need a home for no other reason than because they are lost or their owners can no longer care for them. Many rescue groups screen pets for health and behavioral concerns, will make you aware of any extra needs, and provide training before you make the decision to adopt.
MISCONCEPTION: “Adopting only one animal doesn’t make much of a difference.”
FACT: When you adopt a pet, you’re not only changing the outcome of one pet’s life, but also opening a spot in that shelter for another animal to come along and get a better chance of finding a new home. And when you do adopt, you can make the choice to spay or neuter your animal to help prevent future animals from overcrowding shelters.
To help you take the next steps for determining if adopting a pet is for you, you can download this pet adoption checklist to get key questions to ask yourself before adopting, as well as a list of must-have items for cats and dog owners. If you’ve chosen to adopt, download these pet information sheets to track important information about your pet and these fun printables to make your own pet tags.
For more pet adoption resources, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/pets.