There are several reasons to adopt a pet, many of them ethical and practical.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, each year approximately one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized. If more people were to adopt a pet rather than buy, this number would significantly decrease. By adopting a pet, not only are you rescuing them but you are making room for another animal to find safety in a shelter. Most animals are euthanized simply because there is no room for them.
Because so many people buy an animal rather than adopt, mass puppy and kitten mills are making money while they force animals to undergo cruel conditions. Puppy and kitten mills keep animals in unhealthy, unethical environments. Animals that are raised in these conditions are more likely to be born with birth defects or develop disease. Not only that but after the parents are no longer profitable, they are either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.
By adopting a pet, you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of animals. Animals end up in shelters for a variety of reasons; sometimes it’s because the owner is sick or moving to a location where pets are not allowed. Other times the owner may feel like they don’t have the time or money to support the animal.
If you choose to adopt a pet, you will most likely find an animal that is already trained. Because most animals in shelters are older, you will not have to deal with the puppy or kitten phase, which means you will avoid finding your belongings destroyed when you get home. However, it is possible to find a puppy or kitten in a shelter if you’re searching for one.
Adopting a pet is inexpensive compared to buying. A shelter’s primary motivation is not profit, so the prices are reasonable. Some dog breeds can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars but it’s possible you can find the animal you are looking for much cheaper at a shelter. According to AnimalHumaneSociety.org, standard adoption fees for dogs and puppies range between $115 to $660, kittens and cats range between $32-$270 and birds, rabbits and other small animals range between $5 and $169. In addition, most adoption fees include vaccinations and neuter or spay.
When you adopt an animal you have the opportunity to interact with them before you take them home, unlike a breeder who often requires you to express your interest online and gives you a small selection to choose from.
Adopting a pet will not only benefit you but also the animal. You will find a companion with unique character and one who cherishes you. My family rescued our dog from a family in our neighborhood who didn't have time to take care of him; he spent several months of his life in a cage or outside behind a fence. Now he is a family member - I can’t leave for school or work without feeling guilty about not taking him with me.
Adopting a pet is a good idea because it’s a cost-effective and ethical way to welcome a unique furry friend into your home.