Bringing a new dog as a family pet is quite easy. There are quite a few avenues to take. Open up any newspaper in the classifieds and you’ll see breeders selling puppies. Or if you’re computer savvy, you’ll be able to find some online ads. Then again, you can do it the old fashion way and visit your local pet store. However, perhaps the best way to acquire a new pet dog is to go to a local animal shelter.
It is an unfortunate fact that because of human carelessness, cruelty and abuse, a lot of unwanted and homeless dogs wind up in animal shelters. Unless the shelter is a “no kill” facility, a lot of dogs will lose out to the numbers game and be put to sleep. By adopting a shelter dog, you might be saving a dog’s life and get a grateful new companion in return. There are other benefits to adopting a dog from an animal shelter.
1. Shelters evaluate the adoption to ensure human-dog compatibility
2. Shelter’s provide a history of the dog and its temperament
3. Shelter dogs are up to date on their shots
4. By adopting a dog, it frees up resources and space to save another life
The last thing a shelter wants is to have a dog “returned” so the staff does its utmost in ensuring a good adoption. This is the reason why history, temperament and health evaluation are taken into account as well as dog-human compatibility. These services might not be provided at the local pet store or when a neighbor has a litter of new puppies for free.
There is also a misconception that there’s something wrong with shelter dogs – that there’s a behavioral issue or an obedience issue. This is why that when a former owner drops off a dog, the shelter collects as much information as possible: what the home life was like, whether it has been socialized with other dogs and children, whether it has been housebroken, whether it has had any obedience training and other important details. While it is true that the former owner would want to put himself in a good light as to why he is giving up the dog, for the most part, the information serves as a good point of reference. Gathering this information, the shelter does its best to find the right family for the dog.
Animal shelters are an important service for any community. Usually, the staff does its job on a shoestring budget with little to no public funding or support. It’s due to the tireless staff, volunteers and private donations that keep these shelters afloat. That is why when you adopt a new dog, consider adopting from an animal shelter. It’s the right thing to do for all involved.