I have visited many animal shelters in my day, and it’s an unsettling feeling seeing all of the innocent dogs and cats in cages without a home. Shelters do the best they can to feed and provide shelter for these homeless pets, but their help is limited by money and the amount of boarding available. It’s up to the public to step in and adopt these precious animals.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are brought into animal shelters every year. Out of those that enter shelters, about 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized by the shelters, and 3 to 4 million cats and dogs are adopted. In other words, approximately half of the homeless pets are adopted while the other half are put to sleep. If more owners reclaimed their pets or if more people adopted one or more animals, a dog’s or cat’s life would not need to be ended.
Often it is better to adopt a pet from an animal shelter rather than buying a pet from a pet store. The pets’ health is maintained in a shelter, and you reduce the risk of owning a pet with disorders or health defects caused by breeding. Shelters house stray pets as well as purebreds. The HSUS approximates that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. Plus, shelter prices are less expensive, so you don’t have to empty your piggy bank simply to buy the pet of your dreams.
Without shelters, pets would not have a warm place to eat and sleep, but their time is limited at a shelter. You can make a difference in a pet’s life by providing them with a sense of security. The love and happiness you receive in return is worth it.