Adopt, Don't Shop: Reasons to Get Your Next Furry Friend from the Shelter

Someone who wants to start a search for a new pet has a lot of choices. There are many good reasons to adopt a dog or cat from an animal shelter. The adoption fee paid for a dog or cat is used to buy food, medicine, and other things that keep a shelter in operation. Plus, adopting a shelter dog or cat makes room for another animal in need of a kind owner. Consider some questions and answers that can help you learn more about pet adoption.

Q: Why do cats, dogs and other animals end up at an animal shelter?

A: There are countless reasons why animals end up in an animal shelter. Some dogs and cats run away from their homes and are never claimed by their owners. Others are turned in by people who are moving to another area and can't take their pet with them. Some puppies and kittens are in shelters because their owners can't afford to keep them.

Q: Is it expensive to adopt an animal?

A: Adopting from a shelter is less expensive than purchasing a dog or cat from a store or a breeder.

Q: Can I adopt a purebred dog or cat from an animal shelter?

A: Yes. Many animal shelters have purebreds as well as mixed-breeds.

Q: Are shelter animals aggressive?

A: Most dogs and cats in a shelter are not aggressive. However, if a dog or cat is aggressive, it may be because the animal was abused by its former owners. If this is the case, shelter volunteers spend time with the animal until it feels more at ease. These animals are not put up for adoption until they are ready to live in a new home.

Q: What if I adopt a dog or cat that isn't a good fit for my household?

A: Most shelters understand when an adoption doesn't work out. Often, a shelter will work with people to find a more suitable dog or cat for their household.

Q: What are the benefits of adopting from an animal shelter?

A: When a person adopts a shelter animal, they are giving an animal a caring home. The person is also supporting the shelter and getting a loyal friend in the bargain!

Q: Are shelter animals healthy?

A: Most shelter animals are healthy. There is usually a shelter veterinarian who examines the animals and gives them vaccinations.

Q: How do I know which dog or cat to choose?

A: One of the best things about visiting a shelter is getting to handle the dogs and cats in order to get to know them. Some shelters allow visitors to take dogs outside to walk around with them for a few minutes.

Q: Are the animals at a shelter spayed or neutered?

A: Yes. If a dog or cat is not spayed or neutered when it arrives at the shelter, then it is fixed by a vet. One of the main goals of every animal shelter is to decrease the population of pets so that the animals that exist now can find good homes.

Q: Do the adoptable animals have all of their vaccinations?

A: The dogs and cats in shelters are given their basic vaccinations so they will be ready for visitors to take home.

Q: Why should I avoid buying a dog or cat from a pet shop?

A: Some shops get their dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens from questionable sources. These places are sometimes called puppy mills. These animals are kept in poor conditions. In addition, sometimes, customers aren't given accurate information about the pets sold in shops.

Q: Why should I avoid purchasing a dog or cat from a breeder?

A: Buying a dog or cat from a breeder is expensive. Plus, there are breeders who sell animals who are ill or who have unfortunate genetic conditions.

Q: Is it true that shelters have mostly older animals?

A: No. Most shelters have both senior animals and younger pets. Sometimes adopting an older dog or cat can be a better choice for someone who wants an animal that is already trained.

Q: Can an animal shelter provide me with background information on a dog or cat?

A: Yes. In many cases, a shelter worker can tell a visitor the age of an animal and how it arrived at the shelter along with other important facts.

Q: How can I tell if a shelter dog will get along with the dog I have at home?

A: Some animal shelters allow visitors to bring their current dog to the facility to determine whether it will get along with the one they want to take home.

Q: Do shelter animals live a long time?

A: A shelter animal that receives the right kind of care can live for many years!