If you have never experienced the feeling of saving someone’s life, then you should definitely try and buy a shelter dog as your first venture into this field. Besides saving an animal’s life, there are so many more reasons to opt for this option when you’re looking where to adopt your next dog.
Things have changed over the last few decades with more and more pet owners adopting their furry friends from rescue centers and pet shelters instead of pet stores or breeders, but we still have a long way to go. One of the biggest misconceptions future (or even current) dog owners believe in is that “second hand dogs” will be second-rate pets. This could not be farther from the truth, and here’s why.
18 Very Good Reasons to Buy a Shelter Dog
1. You’ll save money
You will pay significantly less when you buy a shelter dog versus buying designer dogs from pet stores or breeders.
In addition to saving money on pets themselves when you buy from shelters, you also save cash on vaccines, examinations, and training, because majority of animal shelters have already done that for you. Also, keep in mind that everything you pay will go directly to support the organization (most of them are non-profit), which ultimately is for the good cause of saving more animals.
2. You’ll get a healthy dog
Animal shelter staff are usually very responsible and experienced, so you will adopt a dog that’s healthy and well taken care of.
New arrivals in dog shelters always receive the necessary examination and go through vaccination and behavioral screening process. These institutions also invite veterinarians on a regular basis to examine every dog in the shelter. Contrary to popular belief, most animals there are actually happy and healthy dogs because the people who work in rescue centers take this issue very seriously. But who says we can’t provide an even better life for these dogs?
3. You’ll minimize homelessness
There’s a massive overpopulation of homeless dogs out there, and we are in the position to help change these statistics.
Unfortunately, a number of dogs being born every year is far greater than that of dogs being adopted, bought or saved. When you buy a shelter dog, you weaken the overpopulation among homeless pets and help more animals find some kind of home, be it your own loving place or at the very least, a free space in a shelter.
4. You’ll save a life
1.2 million dogs are euthanized each year, and you have the power to reduce the number.
The reason for so many dog deaths is because of dog shelters trying to make space for new “residents” by getting rid of pets who aren’t being adopted for longer periods of time. Every potential dog owner is in a position to make a small but significant change if they buy a shelter dog from a local rescue center. Not only will you be saving the life of the dog you’re adopting, but also the life of a new pet that will be replacing your animal’s place in the shelter.
5. You’ll prevent dog cruelty
Pet breeding facilities are keeping their dogs in cages throughout all of their lives, regularly impregnating females to sell the puppies.
These commercial pet breeders, otherwise known as puppy mills, are “factories that produce puppies” for sale in all those pet stores where an uninitiated future pet owners go to buy their furry companions. Puppy mills have their dogs live in poor environments, caged most of the time, and make use of them solely for the purpose of making profit with complete disregard to animal’s needs.
6. You’ll support the community
Buying a shelter dog is like giving money to charity – your actions support a greater purpose.
American dog shelters, as well as most other pet shelters around the world, are 100% not-for-profit organizations and are always in need of money to save more animals. On the bright side, there is a growing number of (mostly) young enthusiasts and volunteers who are looking for opportunities to help all the animals for low or even no pay in return. Your cash will help to provide those volunteers with said opportunities.
7. You’ll get a pre-trained dog
Most dogs in pet shelters are already somewhat trained by their previous owners or shelter staff.
This is yet another great and practical reason to buy a shelter dog, because it will save you time and money. A sheltered dog will usually be already housebroken and know all the basic obedience training commands like “come,” “down,” “stay,” “sit”, and so forth. Quite often, there are shelter dogs that have been professionally trained to a greater extent, which is yet another potential perk.
8. You’ll be able to gloat about it
Doing a positive thing for a good cause of adopting a sheltered dog is always a competent reason to brag a little.
It’s becoming more and more popular to be doing things for the good cause and then bragging about it on Facebook. Whatever works for you; as long as you’re one of those people who changes the life of at least a single animal, you have all the rights in the world to be proud of yourself and brag about it on social media. We will your post!
9. You’ll get a trial period
If you’re unhappy, all animal shelters will be glad to take back the dog after the trial period because they love those animals.
Sometimes, things just don’t work out between the owner and the pet for whatever reason, and no one’s to blame here. When you buy a shelter dog, you ask to get a trial period to see if the two of you can live happily ever after. The trial period also allows you discover if there are any health or behavioral problems, and if there are, you can always come back for help to shelter staff – that’s why they are there.
10. You’ll be cool
Our modern society is turning “things for the greater purpose” to be cool and relevant.
If you want to be part of the cooler group, buy a shelter dog. In recent years, certain celebrities and otherwise influential people have been working hard to promote actions for the good cause. Most recently, Dolly Parton adopted a lost dog who was named after her. Don’t be lame, join the cool people group!
11. You’ll show a good example
Every time you’re asked, “Where did you get your canine?”, you can proudly answer, “From a shelter!”
Despite of what everyone says, our society is moving toward a better future with promoting stronger animal rights. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, not only do you become a part of that “civilized society“, but you also help to make an impact on how your kids, friends, family, and other people around you (like your Twitter followers) will see similar issues in the future.
12. You’ll receive a lot of support
Pet shelters actively support their ex-residents as well as their new owners with all the help they can provide.
When you buy a shelter dog, most places will offer you support in the form of advice for that specific dog and/or breed, various materials on how to train them, and their behavior patterns, grooming, and nutrition needs. Certain places even have daily support hotlines where you can call any time during the day to ask your questions. In other words, you will be fully equipped to start a life with your new friend on the right foot.
13. You’ll be eco-friendly
Being green and eco-friendly has never been easier and so empowering!
As all the environmentally conscious people will tell you, adopting a sheltered dog is yet another form of recycling (and probably the most righteous one of all). In addition to helping poor animals, going green is the only way we can save our planet from overpopulation and overwork.
14. You’ll be different
How many dog owners do you know who adopted a pet, and how many of them bought it from a breeder or pet store?
It’s always better to be a nerd than one of the herd – be different and think different. Buying animals from stores is still the most popular option, and common people are all over the place. Take advantage of this to become a unique, proud, and extraordinary dog owner.
15. You’ll have great choices
You’ll be surprised how much choice you have when you decide to adopt a dog from the shelter.
According to ASPCA, there are almost 14,000 pet shelters across America. All of these shelters accept close to 4 million dogs every year. Chances are, there is more than one animal shelter in your location, and they will have a wide range of dogs for you to choose from. Whatever age, size, color, shape, or breed you wish to buy, it’s likely they will have that option (or some close to it).
16. You’ll avoid guessing games
Take out all the guesswork out of determining what your future puppy will look like and what temperament will s/he have.
If you buy a mature or pre-loved dog, you won’t need to worry about the size, color, or any other factors of the pet. You know exactly what you’re buying and who you’re going to be living with. Furthermore, majority of rescue organizations and shelters assess their new arrivals’ temperament, patterns of behavior, any kinds of problems the dog might have, how s/he gets along with other pets, whether s/he has had obedience training, and so forth. They do your work for you.
17. You’ll develop new relationships
Buying a shelter dog means taking it from the hands of other owners – staff of that place.
These people will provide you all the information you need and they will be more than happy to know how their rescue dog is doing in his/her new home. As a responsible and compassionate dog owner, you are always welcome in any pet shelter whether you need advice, help, or you just want to hang out with like-minded people. A lot of owners report that joining the community of caring for sheltered dogs is very rewarding.
18. You’ll get back a 1,000 times over
All that your dog wants is your love, and you’ll receive a 1,000 times more of it from them.
In this day and age, loyalty and unconditional love has a greatest meaning it ever had.
Remember that there are always disadvantages to every choice you make, and same is true for buying a dog from rescue centers. You need to weigh your options and do sufficient research before committing to this, but advantages of adopting from a shelter versus buying the dog from puppy mill or pet store will always far outweigh the disadvantages.
So here’s to happy and healthy adopted shelter dogs!
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Featured photo courtesy of Jennifer Pickens