How to Help with the Overpopulation of Dogs, Cats, & Critters: Adopt!November 28, 2022
Animal shelters and rescue groups are constantly inundated with dogs, cats, and critters that need forever homes. These animals have often been through a lot and need a place to lay their head at night for the rest of their lives, not just temporarily. There are many benefits of adopting: for the shelter, for the pet, and for yourself!
Read more below to learn about the benefits of adopting, and if it is the right choice for you and your family.
Benefits for the Shelter
- One less animal: Shelters can only have so many staff members, and there are millions of homeless animals. By adopting, you are freeing up space for another animal to find a loving home and potentially saving their life.
- Supporting your community: By adopting a pet from a shelter, you are supporting your community and the local shelters/rescue groups while also protecting animals from homelessness.
Benefits for the Pet
- Providing a home: Shelter life can be tough on animals. Animals that are in the shelter often behave much differently than they would at home due to stress and anxiety. When you adopt, you provide them with a home, a family, and a sense of peace & safety.
- Preventing euthanasia: Due to lack of funding, some shelters do reach capacity and are put in a very difficult position. Adopting helps to prevent euthanasia in pets that may otherwise be a great fit in a home environment.
Benefits for You
- Saves you money: When you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, they will most often be spayed/ neutered, microchipped, and up-to-date on their annual vaccines which saves you in veterinary bills. The overall cost of adoption is usually less than purchasing from a breeder as well.
- Provided with options: There are many different breeds, temperaments, and ages to choose from when adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue. All of these options can be overwhelming, however most ethical shelters/rescue groups can help guide you in the process of finding out which pet is best for you and your lifestyle. One common myth about shelters is that you won’t be able to find purebreds within them. This isn’t true! While it may take a little bit more research and digging than buying from a breeder, purebreds often find themselves in shelters and are waiting for their forever homes. The Humane Society estimates that purebred dogs make up 25% of the shelter population.
- Older & wiser: Though there are a variety of ages at shelters and rescues, many of the animals in need of homes are adults. A benefit of adopting an adult animal is that they most likely have grown out of the ‘puppy stage’ and can have basic training skills down. Of course, there are also pets in shelters that will need additional attention in care depending on their past and their temperament. Shelter workers will be able to help you discuss these needs!
Things to Remember When You Adopt
Just like any new pet, It will take time for them to adjust to their new home and new family. For shelter pets, this adjustment period can take even longer than normal because of the situations they have been in. It’s best to keep in mind that they will need a few weeks to acclimate to their new lifestyle. Remember not to take it personally if they seem uninterested or standoffish. Just like people, every animal is different! Some may bond to you immediately, and some may need some time.
You may or may not be aware of what your new pet’s life was like before they became a part of your family. It is important to remember that some of these animals may have been through traumatic situations, resulting in them finding it hard to trust humans. As their new family members, it is our job to give them time and provide a safe, secure space for them to open up on their own time.
Adopting is not temporary, it is a forever commitment! While you may find yourself browsing adoption websites and wanting to go pick up a furry friend right that second, it is important to think about if you are ready to make that commitment to a pet in need. They are now part of your family, and will trust you and count on your loyalty!
What if You’re Unable to Commit Right Now?
If you are unable to adopt at the moment, but still want to help support shelters and rescues, there are multiple options! Fostering offers a pet a safe and loving space to stay until they find their forever homes. If fostering is not an option, shelters and rescues are always looking for donations whether they be in the form of money, pet toys, bedding, and more. There is always a way to get involved and support your local organizations!
Here are some local shelters and rescues in the greater SACRAMENTO area! visit their websites for available pets!
Bradshaw Animal Shelter
Front Street Animal Shelter
NorCal Bully Breed Rescue
FieldHaven Feline Center
River City Cat Rescue
Written by: Alyssa Thompson, Client Care Specialist