8 Reasons to Consider Dog Adoption

Dog adoption offers many benefits to families seeking to add a canine companion to the domestic mix.

1. Cost To Obtain: Many purebred dog and cats can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A dog or cat obtained from a local SPCA incurs only the cost of adoption fees, usually less than $200. If your heart is set on a purebred, you can find one at a shelter: up to twenty-five percent of dogs in shelters are purebreds.
2. Spay and Neuter Savings: Many dogs and cats living in shelters have already been spayed or neutered. If the pet you've chosen has not been altered, the pet adoption fee may include a free or reduced cost spay or neuter.
3. Training Discounts: Some shelters offer discounted training programs as well. Many dogs end up in shelters simply because their owners did not take the time to understand and train their dogs. Attend a training program that teaches basic commands and leash walking.
4. Reduce Pet Overpopulation: Between six and eight millions dogs and cats enter into shelters each year. Of that number, between three and four million dogs and cats are euthanized.
5. Impact Puppy Mills: Puppy mills, mass breeding facilities that churn out hundreds of thousands of purebred puppies each year, are notoriously inhumane operations. Breeder dogs are kept in small cages (often for life) and repeatedly bred until they die. The puppies that result are often prone to health and behavior problems. Puppy mills make money for their operators. The only way to discourage this practice is to stop buying puppy mill puppies. Adopt a dog instead, and help close these facilities.
6. Wide Choice of Animals: The selection of cats and dogs available for adoption is wide. You will find big dogs and small dogs, old and young. While cats and dogs are the most common shelter residents, you may also find ferrets, guinea pigs and iguanas, too.
7. Avoid The Puppy Stage: Most dogs available in rescue shelters are past the puppy stage which means they are past the teething stage. Many are housebroken. These are two big advantages for your furniture and rugs.
8. Hybrid Vigor: While it is possible to find purebred dogs in shelters, most dogs will be mixed breeds. Hybrid vigor (also known as heteroisis) is a theory that mixed breed dogs are genetically stronger and free from many of the in-bred health problems of purebred. This is true in many cases, but it does not mean your new dog will be immune to illness. Proper veterinary care and attention is a requirement of responsible pet ownership whether you pet came from a shelter or a top breeder.

Tips: When you adopt a pet, understand the responsibilities. If you do not have the time or money to devote to caring for and training a pet, please do not adopt. Consider volunteering at a shelter, walking and interacting with the animals.