In a perfect world, people would spay or neuter their pets. But not everyone does. I’m not getting on my soap box about that today, though. Maybe some other time. Instead, today I want to talk about adoption. Many people believe that shelter animals are damaged goods – that they either came from homes with severe neglect and are unsocialized or wild, or that they were behavior problems and that’s why they’re in the shelter. That’s simply not true.
Yes, there are animals that came from bad environments. However, many shelters will foster animals to experienced homes before making them available for adoption to help socialize them and bring out the pet’s real personality. There are other animals that have been given up through no fault of their own – financial reasons, allergies, change in family situations, etc. These pets are already housebroken, have been brought up in loving homes, and are just looking to be part of a family again! Some of them are even purebred!
My best friend’s cat passed away. She was really upset for a long time but then she decided she wanted another. She went back to the animal shelter where they had been so nice to her when they put her first cat down. They had another cat that had been in the shelter for so long, they gave her away for free! They said they had almost given up trying to find a home for her and maybe would have had to put that beautiful girl down, how terrible is that? My friend took her home and the cat, now named Tigger because she likes to pounce on things, are living happily ever after.
My little brother adopted a dog recently. He already has two but when he brought them to the vet, she mentioned that they were having a lot of trouble trying to rehome this one black lab whose owner was deploying for a year and then moving overseas and couldn’t bring the dog. My brother’s always wanted one, so he brought his other two dogs in to see what they thought of Shep. Everyone got along great, so now he has a three dog pack. They all get along so well that it’s hard to tell that Shep is new.
When I volunteered at a shelter, we heard stories like this every day. People would take home a pet and then either come in, email us, or send a note to let us know how well the new addition to their family was doing. It was the second biggest highlight of my day – after watching a pet go home with a new family of course.
Let me tell you, adopting a pet can be a great experience. I would know, that’s where I met Sydney. We are another one of those adoption success stories. She was just the saddest, sweetest looking little ball of fluff when I saw her and I knew she and I were meant to be a family forever.
There are humane societies, animal shelters, and websites that list pets available for adoption. Take a look. You might just find your new best friend!