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Why you should consider adopting a rescue pet

After being abandoned twice, Owen finally found a loving home.
Jo Ann Wentzel

The majority of mankind is pet lovers. Many of us want a pet for companionship but, more of us consider our pet to be a natural extension of our family. As a nation of pet lovers, we have a serious problem when it comes to the amount of unwanted animals. Between the years of 1970 and 2010 the amount of pets living in homes increased from 67 million to 164 million.

According to statistics we are doing better in changing this fact, but still have a very long way to go. Many pets, when they are not adopted are euthanized. It is a simple fact that there is not enough space or funds to house every animal long term that comes to that shelter. During the period of 1970 to 2010 the animals euthanized went from 12-20 million to 3-4 million. That shows progress, but pet lovers would say any euthanized animal is one too many. What these statistics amount to is that about 2.7 million pets are not adopted. These are healthy, beautiful animals that just really need another chance with a good owner.

When we examine the pets that are in happy homes, only 30% have come from shelters. Most are not rescue animals. So why do most people go outside that system to find pets? One reason is probably that prospective owners think all these animals have bad traits and that is why they are in the shelter. Sometimes this is true. The owners have failed to provide the training any pet needs to fit in their home. People think the animal may be vicious and that is why they ended up in a shelter. Most animals are only vicious in response to something done to them such as teasing, abusing, neglecting and mistreatment. In the right home, with the right people, even these pets can be retaught how to be part of a loving family.

People often accept free pets from others and face the very same risks. Because there is no money involved, they feel they have nothing to lose. The truth is every pet needs a time to adjust to what is expected of them. If you can give a pet enough time to adjust along with being gentle and loving, the pet usually comes around. They are likely to be scared of everything at first. This is doubly the case when there last home was abusive.

These animals are truly your best friends when they are given what they need and the new owners are patient. When they do come around, you will have a faithful companion who thinks you are the best thing that ever happened to them.

The shelters need to charge for their pets so they can keep running the place. Many think their fees are excessive, but they need the money and wish to attract only those people who can financially take care of the animal. Often, they have already spent money on the pet’s health needs. They do background checks which at first seems strange till you think about how many pets arrive at the shelters in poor condition. Pets might grow up in bad homes with deplorable conditions, which can make them afraid and stressed.

Not all animals up for adoption come from bad situations. Sometimes the owners have passed away. Pets are given up when soldiers deploy or folks are forced to seek other living conditions and are not allowed pets. Sometimes the one and only pet does not fit in with a new baby or other pets even. There are many reasons.

The loyalty rescued pets display is overwhelming. They love you because you saved them from terrible fates. As soon as they feel comfortable with you, they will train easily. They are not dumb, just unfortunate.

People that are label conscious when it comes to clothing may also want a pedigreed dog or cat. They cost more, but often breeding counts to these folks. The truth is mixed blooded mutts can be as great a pet as those from breeders. There is nothing wrong with purchasing from a breeder if bloodline means so much and you are planning to show the pet. But sometimes breeders can be unethical and are really more of a puppy mill than a breeder. Look out for these, especially if the pedigree animal is cheap. Breeders do not offer bargains as they want the animals with good bloodlines to be groomed for showing and breeding as that helps the breeders’ bottom line.

Consider finding your next pet at a shelter. Realize you are helping to relieve the over population of animals by one. Of course you will stem the problem by neutering or spaying your pet. Take care of it and train it to be the pet you want in your home. Save a life. Adopt from a shelter.

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