Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October Celebration to Reduce Pet Overpopulation

Rescuing a homeless dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs are generally good for families with children. Some studies have shown that children who grow up with pets tend to be more emotionally stable. Having a dog can actually help children increase attention span, learn the rewards of nurturance, trust, kindness, and attachment, while reducing stress and anxiety.

Studies of the elderly have found that older people with dogs tend to take less medication, recuperate more quickly from illness, have the lower risk of depression or feelings of isolation, and live longer.

Reasons Dogs End Up inShelters

The fact that a shelter dog is homeless usually reflects more about the former owner than the dog. Most shelter dogs are not there because of their problems but because of their owner’s problems. Shelter dogs are not the rejects of the pet world as some may believe. Most shelter dogs are in need of a forever home due usually to someone’s lack of commitment or planning.

Behavior problems are a small percentage of reasons people take dogs to shelters. Other reasons include:

  • Moving
  • Unwanted puppies
  • Can’t afford preventatives or grooming
  • No time due to new job or new baby
  • Divorce
  • Allergies

Advantages of Adopting a Shelter Dog

There are many advantages to adopting a shelter dog. Adopting a dog from a kill shelter saves its life. Kill shelters must put dogs to sleep who do not get adopted quickly, in order to make room for more. Adopting a dog from a no-kill shelter is still saving a life because it frees up space for another dog from the kill shelter or for a dog who would have been euthanized had there not been room at the no-kill shelter.

Adopting a shelter dog supports rescue work while boycotting puppy mills that, often times, raise unhealthy dogs in deplorable conditions, adding thousands of animals to pet overpopulation in the interest of profit.

Adoption fees, which usually include a health check, vaccinations, deworming, and spay or neuter, are generally lower than selling prices.

One-fourth to one-third of shelter dogs are purebred and their adoption fees are lower than the price that a purebred would be.

Shelters have a large selection and variety of dogs. If you browse through the young, middle aged, old, large, medium, small, black, brown, white, longhaired, shorthaired, playful, and quiet and still don’t find anything suitable, just check back in a few days. Shelters are always getting new animals in and will usually contact a potential adopter if they see a good match.

Shelter workers handle the dogs every day and get to know them well. They can talk with potential adopters and help to match the right dog to the right family.

Shelter dogs are smart. They may be older, more settled, already housetrained or easier to train. Many have gone on to become assistance dogs or drug dogs like Popsicle and movie star dogs like Benji, Some even learn sports and become show dogs.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Do I have time to take care of a dog?

Can I afford the cost of proper care for a dog?

Can I commit to the care of another living being for the next 10 or 15 years?

Celebrating

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month may be a good time to bring a special canine friend home for the holidays. However, for families who already have one or more dogs, there are other ways to celebrate in October. Consider volunteering a few hours at a local shelter or hold a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a local shelter.