In 2005 approximately five million animals were euthanized in the United States. The needless euthanasia comes from various sources. Puppy Mills, Backyard Breeders, Hobbyists, family pets who want to breed “just once”, accidental litters due to unaltered pets, and the list goes on.
Another major source of homeless pets is the lifetime commitment that in 80% of cases is abandoned at some point in the pets’ life. It is estimated that only 2% of all puppies, stay in the first home for the lifetime of that puppy.
Owner surrenders: People turn in their pets at an alarming rate to local animal shelters and animal welfare groups for a number of casual reasons.
1. Moving and cannot take our pet.
2. We had a new baby.
3. Divorce or Marriage.
4. We don’t have enough time anymore.
5. The dog won’t listen.
6. The dog got too big.
7. The kids don’t take care of the pet.
9. The cat stopped using the litter box.
10. The pet has medical issues.
When acquiring a pet, it is a lifetime commitment, usually 10-15 years. Many people do not think through all the responsibilities that go along with responsible pet ownership. The time and commitment it takes to raise a pet, not just when the pet is convenient. Here are some things to consider when acquiring a pet.
1. Why do you want a pet?
2. Do you have time for a pet?
3. Can you afford a pet?
4. Are you prepared to deal with issues and problems that arise with pets?
5. Can you have a pet where you live?
6. Will you take the time to find a place that allows pets when moving?
7. Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?
8. Who will care for your pet while vacationing?
9. Are your living arrangements suitable for a pet?
10. Finally, are you prepared to care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime?
If you think you are ready to adopt a pet, after doing thorough research, going down the list of pet responsibilities, and want to make the leap into having a pet, the best places to adopt pets is from local rescue groups and local shelters and humane societies. These organizations will have a variety of pets, different breeds, pure breeds, mixes, and all sizes. These organizations will also help to make a suitable match for you.
The main focus of animal welfare groups is the best placement and home for the pets, unlike many breeders and/or backyard breeders, whose main concern is the dollars the pet will bring in. They are typically not interested in the health, temperament or placement of a pet, as long as they can make money selling the animal.
Animal Welfare groups have the pet’s main interest at heart. They will try to ensure a proper placement and help in counseling and transitioning the pet into their new home. Many of these organizations also have a foster network where the animal is living in a foster home, much like your own home, and can tell you a good deal about the pet you are interested in. Hence, making a more suitable choice for your family and lifestyle.
You can save the life of a needy animal, even if you are set on a particular breed or size. But, please, do your homework and find out not only the good points about the breed, but all the characteristics that go with certain breeds
If you are interested in adopting a pet contact any of the non-profit groups listed in the Pet Lovers Companion. These are dedicated people, most of which are volunteers who can help you to make the right choice.
Courtesy of Jill Barsky Your Pet-Friendly Realtor 301-651-7785