There are millions of dogs in shelters waiting to find forever homes. When you start your search to find the perfect pooch, don't forget to look through the numerous shelters and rescues that house some amazing animals that are just waiting for their second chance at a happy tale.
Consider these 7 reasons to adopt a dog from your local shelter:
1. You can feel good about your adoption - There are about 3.9 million dogs who enter animal shelters across the United States every year, according to the ASPCA. That means there are more than enough healthy, beautiful dogs eager to find a new home just waiting in a shelter environment.
With such a large overpopulation issue, you can feel better about your adoption knowing that rather than adding to the population, you adopted one of the million perfect pooches already out there.
2. They are forever grateful - There is something about a shelter dog that really makes you believe they understand more than we give them credit for. From the moment you walk away from the shelter with your new companion, you can see the excitement in those puppy-dog eyes.
Any adoptive pet parent will tell you they can feel gratitude from their loving dog. You may not ever know the full story of your dog's past, but after a rough journey to your home, your pooch is always a little bit happier to see you come home at the end of the day and a little more eager to snuggle up with you.
3. Shelter dogs are in good health - One of the most common misconceptions about shelter animals is that there is something wrong with them. Whether it is behavioral, health-related or merely cosmetic, people assume there must be a reason why a pet wound up in the shelter.
The reality is that the reason rarely has anything to do with the dog itself. The most common reasons dogs end up in a shelter are due to a move, divorce or loss of employment.
When a shelter takes a dog in, it typically gives the dog an examination and administers vaccinations. They ensure that the proper medical attention is given if needed. Temperament tests are also becoming more common so they can be successfully matched with the ideal environment.
4. Saves you money - At a breeder or pet store you can expect to shell out hundreds of dollars for your new pooch. If you adopt through a shelter or rescue, that cost is significantly decreased and the vaccinations and vet care are already included.
The money you do spend goes right toward your dog and possibly even to help other dogs that come to the shelter or rescue after him.
5. There are plenty of breed choices - One of the best things about shelter dogs is that you may fall in love with a breed you never considered or never even heard of. Some people still have their heart set on a specific breed and that is more than okay, but if you look through search engines you may be able to find that particular breed in a nearby shelter.
All of the dogs that end up in shelters come from somewhere. You may be surprised to see the variety of mixes and pure breeds that wind up in the same place.
6. Spaying and neutering will be taken care of or arranged - Many shelters have a policy that they will fix their pets before they go home with you. This helps prevent unexpected pregnancies and controls the population.
Whether the shelter has the process completed before the adoption or arranges to have the procedure performed after the adoption, ensuring that it will be taken care of is a weight off your shoulders.
7. You'll have a special bond - You know that certain level of gratitude many adoptive parents talk about? It builds a bond that is impossible to break. After spending days, months or years together, you will become an inseparable pair. No matter what your dog's back story is, you two have found each other and the future is a little bit brighter with your dog loyally by your side and you by his.
If you are planning to adopt from a shelter, don't feel rushed. Take your time to make a careful decision. Get to know your prospective new dog and ensure that he will fit in with the rest of the family. Once you have made all the arrangements, get ready to bring a whole new level of love into your home.