Many people shudder at the thought of a rescue or shelter animal, but this is an outdated response. There is a perception of shelter and rescue animals that they are sickly, unstable and forever damaged, and while this may be how things were 15 years ago, a lot has changed. Due to the tireless efforts of the rescue community, there are now standards in place in shelters and rescue organizations that guarantee any animal up for adoption is healthy, mentally and physically.
Here are 6 reasons to adopt a pet from a rescue or shelter, and the guarantees that come with it.
1. The animal is guaranteed to have been vaccinated, tested for common diseases, and treated for any existing conditions. Most animals are perfectly healthy when they end up at a rescue or shelter, but any with medical issues are treated immediately. Some animals have special needs that require extra care, such as diabetes, vision problems or other non-contagious afflictions, but this information is up front if it applies to an animal up for adoption. Animals are examined by a veterinarian, tested for common diseases, such as heartworm and feline leukemia, and necessary vaccinations are given before adoption.
2. The animal is spayed/neutered. An animal is not eligible for adoption until it has been spayed or neutered. The reason rescues and shelters exist in the first place is too many unwanted, abandoned and accidental animals. A primary mission of any shelter or rescue is cutting down on the numbers of homeless animals, which spaying/neutering plays a huge part in. With so many animals in shelters, and the already thin-stretched resources of the rescue community, we can help by not allowing accidental (or intentional) reproduction of our pets. All shelter/rescue animals are fixed prior to adoption, which is covered with your rehoming fee. www.straycatalliance.com
3. The animal is temper tested. This is the equivalent to a trip to a psychologist. The animal is evaluated based on it’s temperament and behavior, to determine emotional and mental stability. If the animal passes this evaluation, it is made available for adoption, if not, animal behaviorists are brought in to assist in rehabilitating the animal. No animal is made available for adoption unless first assessed and deemed stable by an expert.
Unfortunately, some animals spend months in shelters, or have endured years of neglect or abuse, and as with people, many animals suffer stress, depression and low self-esteem as a result of these experiences. Some animals adopted through rescues do need a gentle touch or extra patience or attention, but these animals are special cases which require owners with special skills. Most pets in rescues or shelters, however, don’t have any special requirements beyond a loving, forever home.
4. By adopting a rescue or shelter animal, you are saving a life.. and your rehoming fee helps the shelter or rescue help OTHER animals who have been abandoned through no fault of their own. Not only are you saving a life, but you are supporting a system that works towards saving lives and minimizing suffering. There are many people who get pets on a whim, who then decide to “rehome” the animal, or people trying to make a quick buck by breeding, and there are accidental breeders.. these practices should not be supported. Pet rescues and shelters encourage potential owners to do adopt responsibly, after much thought, and as such, it is a movement worth supporting. www.savethepets.net
5. You can get to know your pet BEFORE you adopt. Rescues encourage potential owners to take their time finding the right pet. There are many things to consider when adopting a pet, and getting to know a pet ahead of time is a great way to make an informed decision about adopting. Most rescues also offer an emergency return policy, in case the animal is not a good fit, or in the case of a medical or life emergency. The goal of the rescues and shelters is to find the right home.. not just any home.. and they understand you don’t want just any pet, you want a good fit for yourself and your family.
6. You can find exactly what you want. Another outdated perception of rescue/shelter animals is they are all “mutts”, and that this is a bad thing. A dog who is a mixed breed is still a dog, with intelligence, character and loyalty, and a good dog is created by a good owner, not by its breed. In any case, some people want a specific breed of dog, but many don’t realize they can be found at a rescue. Many abandoned pets are mixed breeds, but purebred animals end up in rescues or shelters too. In fact, there are so many homeless and abandoned purebred animals, that there are now “specific breed rescues”. In today’s world, there is a rescue for every breed, size, shape, and color, making it much easier to find your perfect pet. petfinder.com/index.html
If you’re looking to adopt a pet, it seems fair to say you want a pet to love, who will love you back. There are awesome pets just waiting to be adopted at rescues and shelters, due to no wrong-doing on the animal’s part. Adopting a pet from a rescue or shelter gives you value for your money and has guarantees you can count on.
Some Adopt A Pet Resources in Eugene, Oregon:
Save the Pets- www.savethepets.net
Greenhill Humane Society- www.green-hill.org
Shelter Animal Resource Alliance- www.sarasavesanimals.org
West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue- westcoastdogandcat.org
Lane County Animal Shelter- http://lanecounty.org/Departments/HHS/LCAS/Pages/default.aspx
Some Spay/Neuter Resources in Eugene, Oregon:
Willamette Animal Guild- www.wagwag.org
The Feral Fix- www.feralfix.org
Stray Cat Alliance- www.straycatalliance.com
Planet Eugene- http://www.planeteugene.com/pets.htm