There are many reasons why every year approximately 3.3 million dogs end up in animal shelters.
Some dogs come from puppy mills. Some are strays. Others have been abused, neglected and abandoned. Some owners surrender their dogs because the responsibility of owning proves to be too much. And sometimes a dog owner becomes ill, and is unable to care for the dog.
Whatever the reasons, there are millions of dogs living in shelters who need forever homes. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, each year about 1.6 million lucky dogs are adopted. Sadly, approximately 670,000 dogs will not be adopted. These dogs will most likely be euthanized.
Are you thinking of getting a dog? If so, consider adopting a shelter dog, as it has several distinct advantages!
1. Saving a life
When you adopt a dog, you’re literally saving its life, ensuring it won’t be euthanized. What’s more, when you take your new dog home, there will be one more space available at the shelter for another dog who needs a second chance.
2. Improve your life
According to WebMD, research shows that having a pet can improve your health. Dog owners take more heart-healthy walks. Giving and receiving affection from a dog can reduce stress. People who have pets tend to be happier and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. Dogs can also help you make new friends. For example, when out on a stroll or chilling at the park, dogs are like social magnets since many people love meeting new dogs.
3. Save money
Purebred dogs tend to cost a lot—from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. But shelter dogs are available from zero to about $250.00. What’s more, most shelter dogs are already spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
4. Already housebroken
Because many shelter dogs are adults, they’ve usually already been housebroken.
5. Know what to expect
The people who work and volunteer at a shelter will have had a chance to gauge a dog’s personality, meaning you’ll have a good idea of a dog’s disposition before adopting it. What’s more, studies show that a dog’s personality remains fairly consist.
6. Skip the puppy stage
Puppies are adorable. But in most cases, they haven’t been housebroken or had obedience training yet. Poop and pee accidents aside, when a puppy chews your $300 shoes, they lose some of their adorableness. (Of course, they gain it back quickly!)
So, you want to adopt?
If you’re looking to adopt a dog, there’s no shortage of shelters to visit. Your local Humane Society is a great place to start, but there are likely many other shelters in your area to check out as well. You can even narrow your search online before visiting a dog in person via Adopt-a-Pet.com.