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Adopt A Shelter Dog

Hello, readers! This week, I would like to discuss the importance of adopting your canine companion from a shelter. Let’s start out by talking about purebred versus mixed breed. Many people will say they do not want to adopt from a shelter because they want a ‘purebred’ dog. Shelters are not full of mixed-breeds only, there are purebred dogs there as well who have been surrendered.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 2.7 million adoptable pets who are euthanized each year due to a lack of space. There are so many dogs who come into the shelters but there is not enough room to keep all of them. If more people begin adopting animals, there will be fewer dogs in the shelters and more room to house those in need. People may also say ‘well, I am only adopting one.’ That does help significantly! The one dog you adopted now makes one space available for another dog who is being surrendered.

Another common misconception associated with a shelter dog is they have landed there due to a behavioral problem. This is not always the case. In many cases, shelter or rescue dogs are available due to the owner moving, getting a divorce or passing away. Of course, there may be a number who have a behavioral problem but the shelter often conducts a behavioral analysis and observes the dog to tell potential adopters about his or her temperament.

Adopting a shelter pet as opposed to adopting a dog from a breeder also saves you money. You may think the adoption fee is expensive but it is not much in comparison to what you would spend on veterinary bills otherwise. The adoption fee covers the cost of spay/neuter, the vaccinations and sometimes even microchipping. The amount of money spent on each adopted dog to be ready for adoption is significantly more than the adoption fee in many cases.

Adopting a shelter pet also ‘fights’ puppy mill establishments. If you buy a dog from a pet store, for example, there is a large chance you are buying a puppy mill puppy. What exactly is a puppy mill? A puppy mill is an establishment which encourages factory-style breeding for profit. The dogs in a puppy mill are often housed in deplorable conditions, lack veterinary care and are not provided a sufficient amount of food or water. The mother dogs are not socialized and are left in cages to breed until their ‘time runs up.’

I work with an organization known as Save-A-Rescue who offers a service similar to PetFinder. If you visit SaveARescue.org, all you need to do is type in your zip code and you will see a list of shelters with dogs looking for a forever home. Some dogs on these lists have been waiting for a forever home for years and you could be the one to make their dreams come true.

If you aren’t sure which breed is right for you, feel free to contact me via the form at AmberLDrake.org. You may also e-mail me at ProfAmberDrake@gmail.com. I am happy to help you pick a breed which suits your family.

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