Adopt a shelter dog month: Are you ready?
By Phil Snyder, Executive Director Suncoast Humane Society
On a recent flight I was on, the flight attendant reminded everyone that we had several options for flying, and we were thanked for choosing their airline. Suncoast Humane Society also knows that you have several options when selecting the right pet for your family.
It is sad to note that only about 25 percent of our pets were adopted from an animal shelter. That is not a high percentage, but just look at the options an animal shelter has to compete with.
Many people have their sights set on a certain pure bred or designer dog and search out reputable breeders ($$$). Far too many buy from not-so-reputable breeders (bad idea), buy from a pet store (an even worse idea, supporting cruel puppy-mill breeding). And more dangerous can be “Free to Good Home” ads, newspaper ads or Craigslist. There are horror stories regarding many of these advertised pets ending up in very cruel surroundings.
Your best bet may be to adopt from a humane society, animal care and control agency, or a bona fide pet-rescue group, and the time could not be better.
October is “Adopt a Shelter Dog” month. It is the perfect time to examine some of the many reasons why adopting your next pet is a great idea:
- You will save a life. Nearly three million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States, simply because too many people give up their pets and too few people adopt from shelters. The fact is, you may save two lives, the one you adopt and the next one filling the space you have helped to provide at the shelter.
- You have an excellent chance to get a healthy, well-adjusted pet. Pets adopted from Suncoast Humane Society have been evaluated for health, temperament, and behavior. They are up-to-date on needed vaccinations, and most importantly, are spayed or neutered.
- Adopting saves you money. Adoption fees include the above-mentioned health services. If you buy a pet, you need to add these expenses to the cost of buying the pet, which can get very pricey.
- Adopting makes you feel good. Just check out our website and Facebook page, and see the people who have adopted and the smiles on their faces as they plan for years of fun devotion. Adopted pets have proven to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial to their owners. They offer unconditional love.
- You support an important community charity and encourage others to adopt. When your friends ask where you got your amazing pet, you can tell them from the Suncoast Humane Society, or one of the other animal shelters or rescue groups. Your adoption may convince others to visit and support our services and programs.
Even though “Adopt a Shelter Dog” month is a canine affair, there are also far too many cats and kittens waiting for a special home. It may also be a good month to consider adopting your new feline best friend.
Adopting a dog, cat or other pet from an animal shelter saves lives. Each month is a special month for each pet that is given that second chance at a quality life. Are you ready?