BY LISA S.T. DOSS
“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ~ Karen Davison
More than 6.5 million animals arrive to rescue and animal shelters each year. A sense of loss and abandonment can be a terrifying experience for animals who seek a family to please. Despite the misconception that all shelter dogs are bad or abused, the long-term, proven philosophy of medical screenings and structured training sessions, ensures each animal has an opportunity to find a forever family and home. Many shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to match each family’s lifestyle with the right pet. They work with a wide variety of breeds, not limited to, Australian shepherds, beagles, boxers, chihuahuas, German shepherds and Labrador retrievers.
National Adopt-a-Shelter Month
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) joined with the American Humane Association (AHA) to create in October two messages behind Adopt-a-Dog Month and National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month events. Celebrating the gift of animal adoption encourages shelter and rescues across the country to encourage residents to become a forever family for a homeless dog.
Why Adopt from a Rescue or Shelter?
“Whoever declared that love, at first sight, doesn’t exist has never witnessed the purity of a puppy or looked deep into a puppy’s eyes. If they did, their lives would change considerably.” ~ Elizabeth Parker, author
We all have a favorite breed, beloved due to a specific size, temperament or characteristic, such as keen intelligence, short hair or a sport dog. Walking through the door of a rescue or shelter begins with an open mind. At that moment, it’s not about size, breed, sex or age; sometimes, the choice is out of love for an adorable face that says, “I belong to you.” A mixed-breed animal already has the tenacity to live longer due to the uncomplicated hybrid vigor. The purebred has a propensity to develop health problems, ranging from breathing difficulties and cancer to hip dysplasia, in larger canines.
You’ll discover, dogs awaiting adoption in rescues or shelters will:
- already be vaccinated and microchipped.
- be screened to determine specific temperaments and behaviors to ensure each family finds the perfect dog to complement their lifestyle.
- be spayed or neutered.
- already be house trained.
Saving Your Life, Too!
Discovering the many benefits of adopting a rescue includes saving you. Canine companions improve their caretaker’s quality of life by lowering stress levels, increasing physical activity and promoting social interaction opportunities. Dog owners develop patience by adapting to their new four-legged companion from long, enjoyable walks to sitting together in the evenings.
Every town and city has at least one animal rescue. Locally, you’ll find canine and farm animal rescues, humane societies and various animal shelters. With minimal resources and advertising, non-profit organizations need your help and support. Start following a group or two on social media, and spread the word about your adoption experience, or post pictures of adoptable animals.
Incentives to Adopt
October, the season of color and environmental changes, can often bring surprises. Take the time to visit local shelters and animal groups. The adorable face, wet nose and perfect build is waiting for you. Life changes for the better when an animal is adopted. A four-legged friend often makes difficult days better, and the great days, complete!
“Dogs, for the reason that can only be described as divine, have the ability to forgive, let go of the past and live each day joyously. It’s something the rest of us strive for.” ~ Jennifer Skiff, author