Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!

I am a huge dog lover. I want dogs around me at all times. I want to cuddle them and pet them and play ball with them and frolic through fields of wildflowers with them. Dogs live in the moment, they love unconditionally, and they are just such great companions! If you’re thinking of getting a dog, I’m super jealous. I just don’t have the means (finances, space, time, etc.) to give a dog a good home at this point in my life. But one day I will adopt – not buy – and you should, too! Here’s why:

  • Adopting a dog (or any other animal) means that you’re giving him a fur-ever home. Imagine spending your life with no stability, in a kennel with no one to call your own. Dogs in shelters aren’t necessarily mistreated, but a life that is constantly up in the air is stressful on an animal!
  • When you buy a dog from a pet store, you’re directly supporting puppy mills. I am so surprised by the number of people who don’t know this. Dogs who are sold in pet stores are treated as products, not living, breathing creatures capable of feeling love, sadness, and a whole range of emotions. They are bred in factory-like settings, and most of them never get to see the light of day or feel grass beneath their paws. I won’t go into the gory details, but I encourage you to do your research. I’ll get you started with a first-hand account from someone who worked for a puppy mill and a list of the worst puppy mills in the United States.
  • An estimated 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year because they are not adopted. Three million! You can adopt from a no-kill shelter to help prevent this, but whatever you do, adopt! One of my favorite thoughts on this: Every time you adopt, you save two lives, because every animal adopted makes room for another!

There are a million other reasons. You’ll have a best friend who loves you unconditionally. If you’re concerned about getting a pure-bred dog, an estimated 25% of dogs in shelters are pure-bred. Many shelters include spay/neutering fees and initial vet visits in their adoption fees. I could go on and on. But just take a look at these before and after shots of dogs before they made it to a shelter and after rehabilitation (courtesy of onepicturesaves.com). They speak for themselves!

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But what if you can’t have a dog right now? For me, I don’t have one because I know I wouldn’t be able to financially support a dog, I wouldn’t be able to give him enough time, and I wouldn’t want him penned up in my apartment by himself all day (not to mention that I’m not allowed dogs at my current place). One day I will give a pup a loving home, but I want that to be a responsible and well thought out decision. Here are some ways you can help without adopting:

  • Volunteer at your local shelter. You can walk dogs, scoop poop, or even just work in the office!
  • Spread the news about the horrors of puppy mills and encourage people to adopt, not shop.
  • Donate money or goods to your local shelter. Some shelters are overrun with dog food but are in desperate need of cleaning supplies. Reach out to them and ask what they need right now! Here’s a tip: clip coupons for these items so you can get them at a cheaper price before donating. Then you can give even more!

Woof woof! xo Sara

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14 thoughts on “It’s Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!

  1. I love dogs! We aren’t in a good space for one now–it wouldn’t be fair to the dog, but I look forward to adopting/rescuing a puppy one day. It will be the best birthday present for my little guy–who I’m pretty sure is saying his first word when he sees them on our walks-“Daah!!” :). I wish that in addition to adoption, more people would spay or neuter as well. Do you know of organizations that offer this for free? I’d donate to that charity too!

    • Same for me! It just wouldn’t be fair to force a dog to spend all day in a small apartment with no yard. But one day. I’m sure your little guy would love one – every kid should have a dog, in my opinion!

      The ASPCA has a searchable database of low-cost spay and neuter programs: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter

      And I remember when I was living in Boston, there was an animal clinic that offered check-ups, surgeries, prescriptions, etc. (basically everything a regular vet would offer) for a lower cost. You could see if there’s one in your area that could use some donations!

  2. This topic is one that I am PASSIONATE about! I’ve only ever had shelter pets and strays that I’ve taken in. I just don’t and never will understand people who think they have to buy from a breeder. It’s infuriating!

  3. And maybe you could consider fostering a senior dog! You said two of your holdbacks were finances and space. In most cases, the rescue will foot the bill for everything if you foster, and fostering a senior is MUCH less demanding than a young dog. :) I’m sure they’d rather lay around your apartment than on a cold shelter floor! Just tossing it out there as maybe something to think about. :)

    • I have definitely considered that for the future! I’m not allowed to have dogs in my current apartment but I think fostering is so important, too. One day!

  4. I love that you posted this. My sister recently adopted a beautiful lab/shepherd/collie cross from our local shelter – and I’m loving my new doggy niece. She’s good-tempered, smart, and ready to be loved. Adopt adopt adopt!

  5. This is so important, Sara. The public needs to see the horror behind industrialized breeding and inbreeding. Many are bred to be sold to laboratories and illiicit activities, too. Pet stores will lie about the origin of their animals for sale, saying “breeders” instead of “puppy mills”, making customers believe that this is a good thing.

    We are locally celebrating Greyhound adoption month, so I wrote a feature about their lives as racers to raise awareness and foster adoption. Like in puppy mills, they are overbred as commodities while being forced to live like machines.

    We have saved and adopted dogs and cats for over 35 years, with high priority to the senior, unwanted and special needs. My blind and deaf pet children are the light of my life.

    Hope you can foster or adopt soon! :-)

    • That is so great, Carmen! I had never met a Greyhound, but one day I was running an errand at the mall and a local rescue group was there with their adoptable dogs. I fell madly in love with one of them. He just walked right up to me and put his head on my shoulder and we sat like that for five minutes. What a sweetie. It broke my heart to leave him but I was living in a dorm at the time, it definitely would not have been possible to take him home. One day soon!

      Actually, I just took a look at your blog and realized that Greyhound Friends is based in Massachusetts. I was in college in Boston at the time and stopped by a mall outside the city, so it’s very possible that the organization there was Greyhound Friends. What a small world! :)

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