How to Celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), about 6.5 million animals go into shelters every year in the United States, and about 1.5 million are euthanized. Adoption of shelter pets is such a major issue that our nation has set aside a specific day (April 30th) to shine a light on these orphaned animals.
Millions are now waiting in shelters to find their forever homes, so why not open your heart and your household to an amazing new friend by adopting a shelter pet? When you adopt, you’re not only improving one animal’s life, you’re also opening up another shelter spot for a stray or abandoned pet.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of adopting, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is the perfect time to do it. Stop by your local animal shelter, meet the cats and dogs, and speak to a staff member about adoption.
Pick a Pet That Matches Your Personality
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of choices you find at an animal shelter. When picking a pet, find an animal that speaks to you and suits your lifestyle. Active and athletic types shouldn’t bring home a couch potato, and those with families don’t want to get a pet that cherishes its personal space.
Older pets are often overlooked at shelters, but have many great qualities and benefits. They’re usually less boisterous, but they may already be house trained, and extra grateful for the chance at a new family and home.
Why You Should Adopt a Shelter Pet
If you want to bring a new pet into your life, we advise you to “adopt, don’t shop.” If you buy your pet from a pet store or an online retailer, you may be supporting a puppy or kitten mill. These are factories that mass produce puppies and kittens of different breeds. They put profits above the welfare of the animals, and provide them with poor living conditions and inadequate care. Mothers are often kept caged with the sole purpose of being bred countless times over many years. Once they are no longer profitable, the breeding dogs and cats are often killed or abandoned. Adopting from a shelter ensures that you are not supporting the inhumane treatment of puppy and kitten mills.
At a pet shelter, you can find an animal that is already socialized, house-trained, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. You can choose a pet of any size, age, or color. Not only will you find a pet that is well suited to your needs, the cost of these pets is very low as opposed to the high cost of puppy or kitten mill pets.
An animal companion can bring so much love into your life. Not only will your new pet receive a loving home, you’ll be getting a lifelong friend. A pet can make you healthier, too. Pets help reduce our stress, keep us active, and improve our overall health.
Items You Need Before Adopting a Pet:
Be prepared before bringing your new pet home. You should have several things on hand before the adoption date:
- Pet food
- Food and water dishes
- Pet carrier or leash (bring this to the shelter with you)
- A litter box for cats
- Pet toys
- A pet bed
- Contact information for a veterinarian
Other Ways to Support National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
If you’re not ready to adopt a new shelter pet, there are other ways you can help support shelter animals.
Why not volunteer at your local animal shelter? You could feed and play with the animals and help clean cages. There are plenty of ways for you to be of service, and your efforts will be much appreciated by the animals and staff.
If you can’t adopt, this is a great time to make a donation to your local animal charity. Your generosity will help improve the lives of many needy cats and dogs.