Although the stats have decreased, it’s shocking to hear that each year 6.5 million pets enter U.S. shelters annually.  Sadly, about 1.5 million of them are euthanized each year.

Unfortunately, even with this many pets in shelters, only 44 percent of dogs are adopted from one. The rest of those purchased are from breeders and pet stores.

I believe we can change that number, one pet a time! Whether you have a pet and are looking for another, or are considering getting a furry friend for your family for the first time, there are many reasons to adopt, not shop. And they start with your heart.

  1. You will save a life. As someone who has three rescue cats as part of my household, the feeling of knowing that I saved them from a life in a cage, or worse, being put down, is indescribable. Our sweet youngest cat was set to be euthanized the next day before a wonderful no-kill shelter stepped in and got him. After which we adopted him, gratefully, or should I say, he adopted us. Truly, that feeling alone is worth every furball on the floor or 5 AM attack on my feet.
  2. You have good odds of getting a friendly animal since many were pre-owned. Shelters are full of abanded animals that were previously pets and are just looking for love after being abandoned by the family it knew.
  3. Puppy mills continue to stay in business because people support them. That cute puppy in the mall for $1000 is likely from a puppy mill. The more people support, the more these mills can earn an income, and that can mean even more abandoned pets or pets that live their lives in a cage at a shelter.
  4. Most shelters cost less when it comes to purchasing your pet, and the cost typically goes toward spaying or neutering your pet, along with the necessary vaccinations.
  5. Pets are good for our health. They teach love and offer many people purpose, fulfillment, and companionship. The extra feeling of knowing you rescued your new friend, as well as the joy they bring, is a win-win.
  6. If you’re willing to be picky and wait a bit, you can absolutely find that pet you’re looking for. Whether it be a purebred or mixed breed, long hair or short, big or small, young or old. The types of animals are endless. The Shelter Pet Project can help you find your new best friend.
  7. Your children will thank you. Simply put, when you adopt you open your heart and teach your children about creating a story, changing (saving) a life, and learning to take care of a pet.

Is this your year to adopt a new pet? Search online or head to local shelters with an open mind and heart. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give a homeless animal. I wish you lots of kisses and furry hugs this year.