5 Benefits of Adopting a Shelter Dog
By Lena Hart, Marketing & Event Planning Manager Suncoast Humane Society
October is recognized as Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month across the nation. Many humane societies and other animal shelters and rescue groups have found good reasons to celebrate. Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month has been celebrated since 1981, and for 40 years, it has served as a much-needed spotlight on the great dogs waiting to find their forever homes. This special month-long recognition creates awareness of the benefits of adopting a dog from a shelter. Are you familiar with those benefits?
- Shelter dogs are eager to follow your guidance. To them, you are the real MVP. You have just rescued them from a strange place, and they are ready to share their unconditional love, show off the tricks they might already know, or follow your lead and learn new ones. You don’t need a cape — just have some toys and treats ready.
- You can find just about any breed at a shelter: big, small, furry, three-legged, blue-eyed, one-eyed… animal shelters have got them all, and unfortunately, the daily intakes keep the selection growing. By adopting a shelter dog you can, however, lower the number of dogs currently in kennels awaiting their second chance at life. As a bonus, adopting from a shelter helps to stop the churning out of puppies for profit from puppy mills, where dogs are bred, raised and kept in horrific conditions. Suncoast Humane Society keeps track of their adoptable animals in real time, so if you’re curious about who’s in need of a home right now, just visit humane.org.
- Shelter dogs are up-to-date on vaccinations, microchipped and spayed or neutered. Being a responsible dog owner means keeping your new best friend in good spirits and good health. Many shelters and rescue groups help new dog owners get a jump start on preventive health care. Dogs in shelters are also mentally stimulated and cared for through obedience training and socialization, and other enrichment programs that help to lower their stress levels, such as aromatherapy, Reiki and being read to.
- A shelter pup may already have experience living in a home, and may already be house-trained, crate-trained and experienced in riding in a car. Speaking of experience, adopting an older dog means you’ve just skipped over the puppy stage and may not need to hide all your shoes!
- Adopting a shelter dog can help you make new friends, become a part of a community, and maybe even score a date! There’s something special about being a shelter dog’s hero. You get to learn the dog’s story, or you may have to piece one together if the shelter you’ve adopted from has little or no information on the pup’s background. Think of it as a conversation starter that may open doors of opportunities you didn’t even know existed.
While the list of benefits goes on, the bottom line is that for all shelter animals currently waiting for their forever families and homes, every day is Adopt-A-Shelter-Animal Day. While they may be fed, treated for medical issues, and walked/petted/loved daily by the shelter’s staff and volunteers, a real home with a family to call their own is what they really want and need. Stop by Suncoast Humane Society’s Animal Adoption Center to meet the wonderful, full-of-life fur babies who are eager and ready to be life-long companions, snuggle buddies, and exercise partners. Are you ready to make a difference?