New Pet Owner

Pets in Transition: Adopting a Pet

Pets in Transition: Adopting a Pet

Are you looking for a new pet to bring into your life? Adopting a shelter pet is a sure way to find a new furry friend! Every year 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide and approximately 1.5 million are euthanized.1 By adopting a pet from a shelter you're saving a life and giving the pet a second chance at life.

Why Adopt?

  • Choose from a wide variety of breeds and ages. You can find just the right size and temperament for your home.
  • Animals in shelters and rescues are usually already vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. This is both time and cost-saving, not to mention less stress on you as post-op care may be a daunting task for some.
  • If the pet is not yet spayed or neutered, most states have programs with participating local veterinarians that offer these procedures at a much lower rate when you adopt from a shelter or a qualifying rescue.2
  • You can adopt a dog that has already received basic training such as potty training, sit, down, etc.
  • Plenty of elderly dogs are available, have been trained and just need a home for a number of years. This may be ideal for people who aren't ready for a kitten that may live for 15+ years.
  • You're helping overloaded shelters make room to help other stray and lost animals. Your adoption fee goes towards saving the next round of animals from death and sickness.

Where Do These Animals Come From?

Often times, pets enter a shelter or rescue because their owners have passed away, or have developed a health condition that requires them to reside in long-term care centers that do not allow pets. There are also situations where people cannot bring their pets into their new homes, and so they are surrendered. Sadder still, the animals may have been abused or neglected in their previous homes and have been confiscated by authorities for hopefully a better future. Whatever the scenario may be, the consequence is that a pet is now homeless and is in need of a "furever" home. When you adopt one of these pets, they are so grateful for you to bring them home. It is very rewarding when you rescue a pet because you know that you have done a good deed for an animal in need while supporting a good cause. Not to mention, you freed up another space for the shelter/rescue to help another animal!

How To Adopt A Pet:

  • Look For Adoptable Pets Online: There are a few, reputable search engines that have adoptable pets, such as Petfinder and Adopt-A-Pet. You can filter by geography, breed, age, and gender.
  • Find A Rescue: Animal rescues often work with overwhelmed shelters to place pets into foster homes to give pets a chance to be adopted. Many rescues are breed based and have large networks of volunteers who help get the dogs healthy and trained enough for adoption.
  • Go To A Shelter: Google for your nearest shelter! Most shelters are open 7 days a week, but check the adoption hours to make sure the staff is ready to show you around and the pets are ready for your visit! Dogs and cats are the most common, but you may also find birds, bunnies, horses, chickens, etc. Most shelter staff members are very knowledgeable and can help you find the right kind of pet for your home!

Adopting a shelter pet can be a rewarding experience. Not only are you expanding your circle of love at home, you are also providing a pet in need with a loving family.

Written by Ruth Yang, dog mom to an adopted 12-year-old Doberman from a local ASPCA shelter.