Today is National Homeless Pets Day-a time to remind us all that there are millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and other domestic animals sitting in shelters waiting to be adopted into loving homes. There is not enough space here, or time for that matter, for me to list all of the very worthy shelters and rescue organizations that have wonderful pets waiting for their forever families. However, I can share with you that a choice to rescue your next pet instead of purchasing from a breeder will be surprisingly rewarding for not only the pet, but you and your family.
The standard argument against rescue or adopting a mixed breed pet is that the animal’s history is unknown, so you are left to guess about its temperament, medical history and physical attributes, particularly size if you are adopting a young dog. These are valid points. However, shelters are filled with dogs surrendered by their owners for many reasons, and full histories are often available. But this argument misses the point of bringing a pet into your family. An animal treated with love and affection will return the favor a thousand fold, regardless of its background. And from my perspective, the point of a family pet is to enrich your life, teach your children, and you, about taking care of animals and appreciating the world around you.
I had the privilege of assisting a Long Island animal shelter with public relations work for a few years. I say privilege because I played a role in bringing together pets and their forever families. And in the few adoption follow-ups I was involved in, I saw that the adopted pets were so happy to be in a real home, and so grateful to have a family of their own, even if it were a family of one. Their new pet parents now had someone to come home to, and the pet had a lap to curl up in, or a chair to sleep next to. It is an affection and loyalty so sublime that it defies description.
Everyone who has shared with me their rescued pet tale tell me that in the end the pet rescued the person, and don’t we all need a lifeline once in a while? Visit your local shelter, or on the web search for your next pet through www.petfinder.com
Do you have a favorite animal rescue story to share? Tell us about it in our comments section!
Here are some shots of the latest pup to rescue us-Wilson-he joined our family on July 31st after spending a few weeks in the care of Last Chance Animal Rescue Fund.