Save a Life (or two) by Adopting from an animal shelter or rescue group!

One of the greatest ways you can help is by adopting an animal from a shelter, or rescue group. I am advocate of rescuing over purchasing because you are saving a life. We have a major overpopulation problem in the US and “sadly between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year” according to the Humane Association of the United States.

Reasons to Adopt
There’s a great article on the Humane Association of the United States website “Top Five Reasons to Adopt,” which addresses the misconception of shelter animals being undesirable for “something they have done wrong” or been “abused” but that most all animals are in shelters because of “people reasons,” “like a divorce, a move, lack of time or financial constraints.” They also point out that if you adopt from a shelter, humane organization or rescue group you are saving two lives “the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because you helped free up space.”

What Pet is Best for You
If you are interested in a new pet, think about what type of pet would best fit your lifestyle, home and family. There are a lot of websites with breed descriptions and some with matching tools to help you find the best “breed” for your situation. A few are:

Dogster: (dogs)
Catster: (cats)
Petango: (match)
ASPCA: (right pet)
Pet Place: (dog)
Pet Finder: (dog)
Pet Finder: (cat)
Pet Finder: (cat)

Most shelters or rescue groups will certainly let you spend time with the animal and get a sense of their personality, they may even let you have them for a trial period. Make sure if you are rescuing a dog from a shelter or animal control agency that you get them away from the cage environment, walk them to get some excess energy out and help them relax. It’s hard to get a real sense of personality and fit when a dog has been possibly cooped up in a cage near lots of barking dogs for weeks or months. They are usually so excited to get out of their cage/run that they seem to have a lot of energy but really will calm down once you get them outside and let them walk to get some energy out.

If you rescue a pet most likely they will be a mixed bread but I am a huge advocate of the so called mutt because they tend to have fewer medical problems. There are a lot of pure breed rescue groups so if you are interested in rescuing a specific breed you might want to research one of those. There are some purebreds that end up in shelters but they may or may not know with unequivocal certainty because of how they were surrendered or found.

My focus is on stray and abandoned pets so I am not going to address buying pure breeds from breeders. Those animals need homes too but the greatest need is for the found, abandoned and surrendered pets.

Want to Adopt in Middle Tennessee
If interested in adopting in Nashville, here are several helpful lists: list_animal_shelters, list_rescue_groups, list_animal_control. If outside the area, search for your local animal control agencies, shelters and rescue groups. You can certainly always check the following national websites that have local listings:

Adopt A Pet:
Dogtime: (match)

Additional Resources:

Other great website resources with lots of information on adoption:
Humane Society of the United States
Pet Education (Doctors Foster and Smith)

Helpful Articles:
Top Five Reasons to Adopt a Pet” from The Humane Association of The United States
Choosing the Right Pet” from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
The Rules of Adoption A to Z” from Cesar’s Way
“Pet-Proofing-Keeping Your Home & Yard Safe For Dogs or Cats” from Home Advisor
Keeping Pets Safe in the Home“ from Household Quotes
Pet Safety Guide for New Owners” from ADT
Senior Pet Health & Wellness Guide” from Maryville University

Considering Adopting a Dog:
What to Consider Before Becoming a Dog Owner” on Dogster
Adopt a Dog with the Right Energy“ from Cesar’s Way
Adopting Dogs From an Animal Shelter” from Doctors Foster and Smith

Considering Adopting a Cat:
Why Adopt A Cat” on Catster
Choosing the Right Type of Cat for Your Family” from Doctors Foster and Smith
What Should I Look for When Choosing a Kitten” on Catster