National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: Why You Should Visit the Local Animal Shelter
By: Jeff Noce, i4C Innovations President
On any given day, there are thousands of healthy animals waiting for homes. To call attention to this and to help promote adoption, April 30th has been declared National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
When I was growing up, animal shelters were sometimes referred to as “the pound.” They were often run-down and extremely under-funded, and few people opted to adopt. Consequently, around 1970, euthanasias hit an all-time high with an estimated 20 million pets destroyed.
Since then, the numbers have declined dramatically due to the incredible efforts of animal advocates, veterinarians and everyday citizens. The majority of shelters today are clean, bright, welcoming places staffed by caring people who work hard to place pets in loving environments.
If you’re thinking about adding a new pet to your family, here are some compelling reasons to consider visiting your local shelter:
Veterinary Screenings and Care
When you adopt from a shelter, the probability is high that you will receive a healthy animal that has been fully examined and vetted, is up-to-date on shots and has been spayed or neutered (depending on age).
Most shelters perform behavioral assessments on the animals that come into their facilities. They look for and note things like friendliness, shyness, activity level, food aggression, etc. These screenings can help you decide if the pet is right for your home.
Pre-Adoption Meet and Greets
Before bringing home your new pet, it’s important that all members of your family, including other pets, have a chance to meet him or her. Shelters often have a room or yard that allows you to get to know each other better and determine whether it’s a good match for all of you.
Walk into any shelter, and you’ll likely find pets of all different ages, sizes, breeds and temperaments. Whether you’re looking for a puppy, a lap cat or an active adult dog to take running, chances are the shelter will be able to match you with the perfect pet for your lifestyle.
If, like me, you’re fond of a particular breed or breeds, locating a responsible, reputable breeder is a good choice, but not the only one. By some estimates, 25 percent of all dogs in shelters are purebred. In addition, there are thousands of breed-specific rescues all over the country for both dogs and cats.
Depending on the size and resources of the shelter, they may provide you with educational materials and ongoing support after the adoption. This support may come in the form of help for behavioral issues, training, puppy socialization, nutrition and more.
Despite making great strides since 1970, approximately 2.7 million pets are still euthanized in shelters each year. By adopting your next family member from a shelter, you will not only save his or her life, you will free up space for another animal.
If you have any questions that I can help you with regarding pet behavior and care, I’d like to hear from you. Please email me at email@example.com.