You will save a life. The problem is simply stated: there are more pets than there are homes. As a result, shelters across our nation must make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize animals that haven’t been adopted because they have run out of space. It is estimated that between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States. This unimaginable tragedy is the direct result of too many people giving up their pets, irresponsible breeding or failing to spay or neuter pets and too many people purchasing pets rather than adopting them from shelters or rescues. Your decision to take in a homeless animal will not only save the life of a that pet, but will also make more space for a shelter or rescue to house another animal.
You can have your choice of hundreds of pets in your community. Whether you are looking for a specific breed, one-of-a-kind mix or a unique feline friend, you can find them right outside your back door. Check out our list of partners from whom you can adopt your next pet.
A common misconception is that all rescued animals are mixes. While mixed breeds do have their benefits combining the best of two or more breeds into one, many “pure” bred dogs are available at municipal shelters, local rescues and breed specific rescue groups. Why would someone intentionally give up a “pure bred” pet? Often, people make poor choices in purchasing a pet and relinquish them to shelters for reasons that have nothing to do with the animal when they realize their mistake. Additionally, especially in today’s troubled economy, people give up their pets during divorces, evictions, job changes, when they get married or have a baby.
You will save money. When you choose to adopt a pet, the adoption fee is normally much less than what you would pay a breeder for a pet. In addition, you often times get a specific breed that would normally cost as much as several thousand dollars for a nominal adoption fee. Furthermore, most shelters and rescues in Oklahoma will see that animals they take in receive age appropriate vaccinations and be spayed or neutered before being sent home with a new owner. While you may have to pay an adoption fee, this fee is a fraction of what you might pay a breeder for a puppy that still needs to see a veterinarian.
Shelters and rescues are filled with well-mannered, happy pets. Many people assume that animals who are in a rescue or shelter situation have been abused or neglected and have behavioral issues. While it is true that some animals may have not seen the best of circumstances, many pets available for adoption have been relinquished by their owners for a myriad of reasons and these pets often have some basic manners and are housebroken. When the pet has been in a foster home situation, chances are the fostering home has spent time on socialization and manners, an even bigger bonus. Furthermore, most animals simply want to be loved and even in the worst of circumstances are willing to forget their troubled past in exchange for a loving home. Most shelters and rescues do basic temperament testing to ensure that pets with temperament issues are not adopted back out to new owners. They can generally provide you with information about whether the pet is suitable in a home with other animals or children.
Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue is the right thing to do. You will find a huge sense of personal fulfillment by rescuing a pet. The misconception that you won’t bond with your pet unless it is a puppy or kitten is a complete myth. Anyone who has ever rescued a pet will tell you that the animal knows that you gave it a second chance in a forever home and, as a result, the human-animal bond is even stronger.
However, if for some reason you must purchase your pet from a breeder, make sure you don’t support puppy mills, pet stores or irresponsible breeders such as those who sell pets on the roadside or through the classifieds. While Oklahoma has made great strides recently in regulating irresponsible and inhumane breeding, we still rank 2nd in the nation as having the most puppy mills in our state. Visit the Humane Society of the United States to learn more about what a puppy mill is and what to look for in a reputable breeder.
Be part of the solution to Oklahoma’s pet overpopulation problem. Until their are none, adopt one.