John Griffin is the director of shelter services at the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem, PA. They are committed to the humane and compassionate treatment of animals and are distinguished as America’s First Animal Shelter.
How to be an ambassador for dog (and cat) adoptions
If your friend, neighbor, a relative got an animal breeder, they may just not have known better, right. So, one is let’s not make enemies out of people we can make into our own; you know people on our side, one.
Two is what a lot of people say is, I wanted to adopt X, I didn’t see it at the shelter. We needed to do better at showing people that everything kind of comes through a shelter and if, even if it is not at the shelter there may be a rescue group for that animal.
Make sure that our messages clear, concise and we are providing people with the right information to be our best advocates. If I am a jerk, people are going to be a jerk to other people, that’s the way it goes but if I am open and understanding you get a much different response.
Top reasons to adopt an animal from a shelter:
1. You save a life.
Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet. By adopting an animal, you can reduce the number of pets euthanized each year. You also open a space at a shelter for a dog who might really need it.
2. You help break the cycle of pet overpopulation.
There are simply not enough homes for all the animals. Adopting can help weaken the overpopulation cycle because the dog is already born and ready to be loved.
By adopting an animal, you also open up room for another animal to come in. Keeping more animals off the streets.
3. You help stop cruelty in mass breeding facilities.
If you buy a dog from a pet store, online seller or flea market, you’re almost certainly getting a dog from a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The moms of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.
These puppy mills continue to stay in business through deceptive tactics — their customers are unsuspecting consumers who shop in pet stores, over the Internet or through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. By adopting a pet, you can be certain you aren’t giving them a dime.
4. Your home will thank you.
Most of the pets at the shelters are mature dogs. Which means that you are less likely to get a dog who is going to destroy everything in your house, chew on thigs and worst of all, potty in the house. Even the young puppies are more likely to be trained if the shelter has staff who are able to do so.
5. You get a lifetime resource with shelter employees and volunteers.
Shelters have resources that are just not provided to you when you buy a dog. Most pet stores don’t provide any support if you have questions or problems with your new pet. Resources that included discounted training, discounted veterinary care and most of all a community of people who want to see that dog succeed and are invested in providing a good home for that animal.
6. You have a choice of some amazing animals.
Animal shelters are filled with animals who are happy, healthy and well behaved. Just because an animal is at a shelter does not mean they are a bad animal. In fact, most animals are surrendered to shelters because the human is no longer able to care for that animal.
7. You are getting a healthier pet.
Based on the well-established principle of “hybrid vigor,” a mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed. Many purebred dogs are prone to developing health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.
8. You support a worthwhile charity and community institution.
By adopting an animal who are helping your local community. Shelters improve the community by mandating that adopted animals be spayed or neutered. This requirement diminishes chances that more unwanted animals will enter the world.
Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the cost of your adoption goes directly towards helping those shelters better care for the animals they take in!
9. You pay less.
Adoption fees are usually much lower than buying a purebred dog at a store. Buying a pet can easily cost $500 to $1,000 or more. Adoption costs range from $50 to $200.
Also, most adoptable animals come spayed/neutered and already have their vaccines and microchip.
10. You encourage others to adopt animals from shelters.
When your friends ask where you got your amazing pet, you can tell them “at the shelter.” Your adoption may encourage others to do the same.