:Jaquelin Yang, for TAPACT
It’s exciting to see that #adoptdontshop is more popular than ever on social media, but for those still on the fence, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of adopting from your local shelter or non-profit.
You are saving a life
The ASPCA states, “Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).” As shockingly large as this number is, this is actually a decrease compared to the 2.6 million pets euthanized in 2011. The ASPCA has attributed this decline not only to more stray pets being successfully reunited with their owners, but also to an increase in adoptions!
Every single adoption matters because to the dog or cat that you adopt, you are their entire world. For some pets who have not known a home in a long time, or even at all, the simple act of choosing to adopt from a shelter changes their life.
You can find almost ANY breed in a rescue
Sadly, dogs and cats are abandoned for all kinds of reasons, and being a purebred doesn’t save them from the shelters. As a result, even if you’ve had your heart set on a particular breed, be patient and keep searching! Chances are, you’ll find your dream pet sooner than you think.
Some organizations even specialize in rescuing pups from other countries, where purebreds are not quite as high in demand. Many purebreds in shelters come from families who abandoned them once they’ve outgrown their puppy years. Other pups are discarded by heartless breeders who no longer see them as profitable.
At the same time, even if you don’t find the exact breed you had in mind, consider meeting some other dogs in person. Breed personalities and attributes are often more like guides rather than hard-set rules. Open yourself up to other possibilities, and you might just find yourself surprised by how well you connect with a different pet!
Yes, it IS possible to get a puppy
The Animal Pad gets puppies and kittens all the time! Stray cats and dogs are often not spayed, so TAP and other shelters often receive pregnant animals. Consider signing up to foster a puppy! Foster families get priority on puppy adoptions.
From our Fostering FAQ: Puppies are not officially adoptable until they have received two rounds of the DHPP vaccine. When puppies are born in our care, they are able to get their first DHPP vaccine around the 6-8 week mark, and that is when we move forward with the foster-to-adopt (FTA) option while they wait out the remainder of their vaccinations. FTA means that you, as the adopter, would take the puppy home as a “foster” until they receive their second round of vaccines, after which the adoption can be finalized. It’s important to note that this is not a trial period for the puppy, as all young puppies can be trained and molded into any type of dog you would like (cat, kid or dog friendly) based on what you expose them to over time! This is only considered fostering for vetting purposes so that you, as the intended adopter, will be able to have them in their home for bonding and training as early as possible.
Speaking of fosters…
When animals come through the shelter, they are usually placed with a loving foster family. The foster family provides a safe and comfortable place for these pets as they search for their forever homes. As a result of all the time they spend together, foster families are often able to give a very good idea of what this dog would be like in a home!
Some people are hesitant to adopt because they’re worried that the pet they get will be dangerous or harmful. The foster families’ experiences prove that rumor to be completely false! Foster families are able to tell you about the dog’s personality, their habits and routines, as well as what kind of environment they need to thrive. All of this information helps you determine whether you and the pet would be a good fit.
Adoption includes SO MUCH without costing a lot
Buying pets from Craigslist or other unauthorized sites is a gamble on your pet’s life. Those illegal sellers often lack crucial paperwork because their priority is getting paid, not finding a safe home for the animals.
From our Adoption FAQ: When you adopt a pet with TAP, services include a wellness check, the DHPP vaccines series, Bordetella vaccine, Rabies vaccine, microchip, and spay or neuter. TAP also covers treatment of any pre-existing conditions necessary to get them to a healthy, adoptable state. The services covered by the adoption fee must be completed at our partnered vets in the local San Diego area. After the adoption is completed, any additional medical care is at the responsibility of the adopter.
Most importantly, TAP is here to support you in your adoption process. We won’t vanish once the fee is paid. We love seeing adoption updates and hearing about TAP alumni thriving in their new homes! We hope this post has clarified some of the questions out there about adoption, and we hope that when you’re ready to add a new pet to your family, you’ll consider #adoptdontshop!