Having a dog is a great, but any pet is a large responsibility. Making the decision to get a dog can be a tough one. Owners have to assess the circumstance and weigh all the positives and negatives. Families have to decide if they are willing to have another mouth to feed and if an addition to the household is right financially, socially and psychologically.
If the decision to get a dog has been made, the next decision comes to buying a pooch from a pet store or online or whether to adopt a furry friend from a rescue.
If you have the choice (and there’s always a choice), go with adoption. Adopting is a much better option.
Every year 3 to 4 million pets are euthanized. Why not save one of these creatures? You can usually find whatever type of dog you have your heart set on. Though if you are looking for a purebred, you will have to be patient and keep an open eye because they are less likely to be taken to or find their way to the dog pound and will be more likely to be claimed by their owners due to the high costs.
You won’t have to pay those high prices if you adopt. Instead, you pay an adoption fee that typically covers neutering, vaccination shots, heartworm tests, flea/tick treatment and microchipping. The couple of hundred dollars some rescues charge for adoption fees may seem like a lot until you consider how much each of those services cost (numbers from petfinder.com):
- Spaying/neutering $150-300
- Distemper vaccination $20-30 x2
- Rabies vaccination $15-25
- Heartworm test $15-35
- Flea/tick treatment $50-200
- Microchip $50
There’s a misconception that rescue dogs are unhealthy, but the animals available at rescues are usually happy, healthy and looking for a new forever home. Often times, dogs end up in shelters because of no fault of their own, but instead people problems like divorce, moving or financial issues.
By adopting an animal from a rescue, you are saving a life by keeping the dog from being sent to be euthanized, but you are also avoiding the potential support of puppy mills — the dog-breeding facilities that pump out pups rather than love.