An estimated 6 to 8 million abandoned dogs and cats live in shelters and rescue homes, hoping to be adopted by a loving owner. While buying a puppy from standard pet shops and private breeders has been the most popular way to find a new dog in the past, the necessity for adoption is ever increasing.
Adopting a dog is one of the best ways to positively contribute to society, and bring home an animal whose health and behaviors you can be certain of despite their unfortunate background. A great amount of care is devoted to these dogs as they recover; and animal shelters work diligently to screen adoptive pet parents’ ability to provide for a future pet, by understanding their financial position and living situation. They work hard to find the right pairing between dog and owner, to ensure that their animals are welcomed into protective and nurturing homes. The prospective owners are asked a series of questions in an application, followed by a meeting with one of the shelter staff in order to be paired with a dog. When the new dog owner has been reviewed and approved, and the right dog found, the owner will receive paperwork about the dog’s medical history and certifications. Humane Societies, rescue homes and animal shelters serve to help owners find the perfect dog to match their needs, and provide the pup a chance to be loved and appreciated in a warm and stable environment.

Here are several positive reasons why one should consider adopting a dog:

  • By adopting a dog you fight cruelty to animals. Many dogs are abandoned or abused by their owners, and forced to wander the streets in search of food and protection. By providing a safe refuge, you are able to redeem the abuses and cruelty suffered by the dog through nurturing him and offering a safe existence.
  • Adoption provides an alternative to pet shops, which source their dogs from harmful and irresponsible puppy mills. These unethical mass breeding companies show little consideration for the health of their dogs, by neglecting the quality of their nutrition and their medical needs. The pups are often left to cope in the worst living conditions, and then are shipped to pet shops where they experience little improvement in their lifestyle. Puppy mill dogs and pet shop animals often pick up illnesses like the “kennel cough” as well as other negative behaviors such as nipping, and barking, etc. Dogs from a pet shops may have a variety of bad behavioral tendencies, as well as unknown illnesses, infections, and diseases that will incur large medical bills in the future.
  • Adoption saves a dog’s life. When humane societies, rescues and animal shelters find abandoned pets, they are held in limited spaces until good homes can be found for them. In the worst cases, the shelters are forced to euthanize the dogs, due to overcrowding and an inability to provide the masses with the care they deserve. By adopting a dog, you preserve his life, and make more room in the shelter for another lonely pup to be rescued off the streets.
  • You save money. Adoption is far less expensive than buying from an elite breeder. Instead of spending hundreds or even thousands of dogs on a purebred, you can enjoy love, comradery and devotion for a modest price.
  • You get a healthy pet! The majority of rescue shelters make caring for the dog’s health a top priority. This means your dog will be given to you with a good bill of health, a recent check-up, all necessary vaccinations, having been neutered/spayed, micro-chipped, and de-wormed.
  • You get a hand-picked dog just for you! Most shelter dogs have been in the rescue homes for weeks, under the dedicated attention of the staff workers. When you come into a shelter and describe the exact personality you are looking for in a pet, they will be able to recommend the exact dog that will best suit you. All the analysis is based on days or weeks of having observed your future pup.
  • Adopting an adult dog will ensure you of a pet with an established personality. There will be no mystery about the kind of traits and tendencies your dog will have when he reaches adulthood. Your new friend has determined traits and behaviors; so if you want a dog who is gentle and docile you won’t have to gamble through their awkward puppy years to see if they mellow down.

Fostering: For those who are concerned about adopting a dog or are unsure about their level of commitment, there is also the option to house a foster dog for a period of time. This is a great opportunity to provide a loving home for an animal in need.   Having a foster dog also allows you the experience of dog ownership without any of the long term commitment. Further details about the process of fostering a dog, will vary between rescue homes and should be discussed with the staff on site.