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Save Lives and Save Money with Animal Adoption

Having a pet at home is rewarding in many levels. Aside from teaching you lessons in care and responsibility, pets have the ability to make you smile and pull on your heartstrings. It's for these reasons that numerous families are choosing to welcome pets into their households every day.

If you can relate and are thinking about adding a cute furry animal to the family, you should really consider heading to your local animal shelter first, before contacting pet stores and breeders. Aside from being much more affordable, going through shelters and pet adoption agencies will allow you to save lives and make a positive contribution to animal welfare.

Why Adoption is More Humane than Buying

According to the American Humane Association, in 2008, about 3.7 million animals were euthanized in US shelters and sadly, a huge reason for this is due to overcrowding. The AHA also estimates that "56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized," while only "25 percent of dogs and 24 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are adopted." By choosing to adopt your pet from an animal shelter, you can help reduce these numbers and literally save lives.

Integrity is another big reason to choose adoption. Shelters are in it to end animal cruelty and find homes for cats and dogs. On the other hand there are pet stores and breeders out there that are in the business for all the wrong reasons. Some animals sold in stores and by breeders actually come from "puppy mills" and "kitten mills" wherein animals are raised in inhumane environments and are bred simply for the sake of profit.

Animal Shelter Concerns

If you're worried that you won't find quality pets in shelters, don't be. A lot of shelters administer vaccines to animals that go through their doors. Some even go as far as spaying or neutering animals before they're even adopted.

What's more, in an article about cat adoption, Animal Planet stated that you may even find some background information about some animals in your shelter. Plus, "It isn't uncommon to find animals in shelters that are already vaccinated and even microchipped, saving you those expenses. This is because many people will spend top dollar on a pet, only to change their minds within a few weeks and give it to a shelter."

If you're worried about the pet not getting along with you or your family, simply spend more time with it in the shelter. This should help you determine whether or not the animal would be a good fit for your household.

Resources

To learn more about the benefits of animal adoption, check out the following resources:

Buying vs. Adopting - An informative piece by the American Humane Association

Top Five Reasons to Adopt - Reasons why should adopt and not shop, by the Humane Society of the United States

Reasons for Adopting a Cat - Animal Planet offers excellent points why adopting a cat is a good option

National Animal Interest Alliance Resources - Useful pages for promoting animal welfare

Is Your Animal Shelter Humane? - The American Dog argues that shelters need to held accountable for their euthanasia of pets

Top 10 Tips About Adopting Your New Pet - Adoption tips by LA Animal Services

Pet Adoption Basics - Resources to help you with the adoption process by FoundAnimals.org

Why Adopt? Adoption vs. Pet Store - Strong points against buying pets by North Shore Animal League America

Adoption Instead of Buying a Pet - VetStreet offers up more reasons why you should adopt instead of buy

Animal Care - Great resources for pet care by AnimalSheltering.org

Pet Statics Animal facts and data by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Animal Shelter Statistics - Data by the Seattle Animal Shelter

National Council Reserach - Informative articles and studies about pet population

Image credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis on Flickr

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