A friend of mine recently adopted, and she gave the agency my number as a reference. The lady I spoke with said something that has stayed with me to this day. “When you adopt, you are saving two lives. You are rescuing one animal, and making room for the shelter to take in another.” That certainly tugs at my heart strings.
Change A Pet’s Life Day, celebrated today on January 24, was started in 2009 in an attempt to bring attention to the large number of homeless pets in our country and to encourage adoption. Of course, adoption is not for everyone, but if you feel the pull toward adoption, and are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to rescue a dog or cat, here are a few reasons you may want to heed your instincts.
- You are saving an animal’s life: According to Pet MD’s post, Ten Reasons You Should Adopt a Cat, in the United States, six to eight million cats and dogs are taken in by shelters each year and three to four million are euthanized. Petfinder’s website states that there are 251,482 adoptable pets from 13,554 adoption groups in the US. That’s a lot of pets without homes.
- Your act of adoption benefits the shelter: Adoption fees cover the food, transportation, and medical care your pet needs while he is waiting for his forever home. At the same time, the fees provide care for other animals in the shelter whose medical bills may be higher than any possible adoption fee. Adoption fees help the shelter and rescue organizations keep doing what they’re doing...saving lives. For a more complete list of what fees cover, see this Petfinder’s post, What is Included in an Adoption Fee.
- You are enhancing your own life: Studies show that owning a pet can lower blood pressure, improve your mood, and keep you healthy. Check out our post, Love Your Pet Day, for more health benefits of being a pet owner.
If you do decide to adopt, make sure to check into PetPartner’s Certificate Program. They partner with shelters and rescue organizations across the country by offering 30 days of pet insurance for newly adopted dogs and cats. Please visit the Shelter and Rescue tab on their website to find out more.
What if you already have a pet? Make your pet’s life even better! Here are three easy ways to enhance the life your pet is living.
- Activate his sense of touch: Rub his ears, scratch his tummy, give him a good brushing. Get down on the floor and give your pet a good massage.
- Go for quick walks, several times a day: Instead of going for one long walk, consider going out two or three times for shorter walks. Walking with your pet is beneficial to his digestive system, will help him sleep better, and strengthens the bond between you and your pet. Need motivation to get out there? Read our post, How to Exercise Your Dog When It’s Cold.
- Praise your dog: It’s easy to address your dog when he needs to be corrected, but don’t forget to point out when he’s doing a good job, too. PetMD’s article, Training Tips to Strengthen Your Bond With Your Dog, suggests you praise your dog throughout the day, for any correct behaviors he exhibits. Dogs love to be spoken to with kindness and warmth, and will want to continue behaviors you praise.
What are you waiting for? Go out and change a pet’s life today! Not only will you make a four-legged friend happy, you will lift your own spirits, too.