The American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has declared October National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. According to the ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals are sent to U.S. animal shelters each year. Dogs account for 3.1 million of that number.
When you adopt from a shelter, the dogs are up to date on their shots, have been spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and are healthy. You also get to choose the dog you would like to adopt. So, if you prefer not to get a puppy, you can choose a senior or more settled dog.
Breeders and pet stores try to profit from dog sales, so buying from a pet store or backyard breeder can be more expensive.
Commercially bred dogs are predominately raised in inhumane conditions where their health isn’t a top priority. They are usually kept in chicken wire cages without walks, treatment, comfort or love, and are often sold with life-threatening illnesses. When you buy a dog that gets sick, you are responsible for the vet bills.
The No-Kill Shelter, PAWS, partners with veterinarians who offer discounts on dogs adopted from their shelter, and if something happens, you can return the dog so they can find them a new long-term home. You don’t get any of these options when purchasing from a breeder or pet store.
Discourages Puppy Mill Breeding
Adoption not only saves you money but also discourages unethical puppy breeding. In 2022 a team from the Humane Society of the United States rescued 4,000 beagles from a puppy mill. It was a mass facility that had received multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act from inadequate medical care to insufficient food for the animals.
Many of the dogs were bound for animal testing labs across the country. The Animal Rescue team transported the beagles to shelters and rescue partners across the country, and by September 1st all the dogs were on their way to new homes.
Avoid Genetic Issues Linked to Purebreds
Many purebred dogs have long-standing genetic issues based on their breed. When they are constantly bred to reproduce, this genetic disposition continues to grow. When you adopt a mutt, you will have less health issues to deal with thanks to their mixed genes.
Before You Adopt
If you are considering adopting a dog, research the 3-3-3 Rule before bringing your new furry companion home. This is a set of guidelines for the first three days, three weeks and three months after adopting a new dog. The goal is to help the dog adjust to their new environment and build a strong foundation and happy life with their new family.
Consider Adopting from a No-Kill Shelter
With millions of homeless dogs euthanized each year in the United States, adopting a dog from an animal shelter is a good idea, but adopting from a No-Kill Shelter is an even better idea. No-Kill Shelters manage their population to ensure they save all healthy and treatable dogs.
When you adopt from a No-Kill Shelter, two lives are saved: the pet you’ve adopted and the pet you’ve made space for to come into the program at the shelter.
Click on the links below to find out more about the top 10 No-Kill Shelters in the United States that make a positive impact for dogs every day.
PAWS – Chicago
Austin Pets Alive! – Texas
Multnomah County Animal Services – Oregon
Members of the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance – Colorado
Richmond SPCA – Virginia
Tompkins County SPCA – New York
Nevada Humane Society – Nevada
Dane County Humane Society – Wisconsin
Arizona Animal Welfare League – Arizona
Best Friends Animal Society – Utah
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