OPINION: Consider shelter adoptions this coming holiday season

Litter of puppies in animal shelter. Australian Shepherds

Angelica Luna, Correspondent 

It is getting close to the time of year in which puppies and kittens are being sought after as presents for loved ones. Many people are going to start looking for fur-babies on Facebook groups, in pet stores, and on breeders’ websites.

Other places to look for new family additions, such as shelters and rescue centers, should be taken into consideration because these organizations open new doors for the searching family and the animals themselves. 

There are many local shelters that work to search for, rescue, and rehabilitate animals in order to be adopted by loving families. Although many people’s first instinct is to window shop at pet stores, there are thousands of lives to be saved when looking into the options local shelters provide. 

According to a blog from the National Human Society, over 2.7 million animals in United States shelters are euthanized every year. There are many other animals waiting to be rescued, but due to overpopulation, there isn’t much shelters can do to help.

This website covers a great deal of information that helps people understand the benefits of adopting from shelters rather than breeders and pet shops. 

One thing future pet-parents need to consider is that they are not only saving the animal they choose from a shelter, they are also opening the opportunity for another animal to be rescued. The animals they choose are given a new family, and other animals in need of help are given the chance to be healthy and happy. 

Some say the emotional reward from a rescue will provide as much satisfaction as the money saved from adopting from a shelter, and knowing another spot has opened for an animal in need.

Dr. Diane Pomerance, the author of a variety of pet rescue books such as Animal Companions: In Our Hearts, and a regular volunteer with the SPCA Texas and Visiting Therapy Dogs of GTDOG, states, “[…] to provide a loving home and care for animals that have suffered (in so many cases) is a privilege. Their gratitude is reward enough, but these dogs also give us unconditional love, loyalty, friendship and companionship.”

According to the blog, shelter adoptions are much cheaper than breeder or pet store prices. The unconditional love from these rescues is the same love from animals that cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars more. 

Another thing to consider is the damage caused by certain adoption facilities such as puppy mills. Puppy mills are breeding facilities in order to gain profit, without taking the welfare of these animals into consideration. By adopting animals from shelters, you fight against careless places like puppy mills.

If you or someone you know is looking for a new family addition, look into The Shelter Pet Project, The Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center, as well as local animal shelters to find the perfect rescue animal to give a better life.

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