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Why Adopt a Pet?

Hi everyone! Tuki here coming to you from my perch at the Potter League. I don’t know about you, but for me it’s been a strange few months – and pretty quiet here at the Potter League! We’re grateful for all of you who adopted pets during this pandemic, but even as some parts of life get back to normal, one thing hasn’t changed, there are still pets here at the Potter League (and other shelters) who need homes! 

So, why adopt rather than buy a pet? Well there are so many reasons, and I’m happy to share a few important ones!

Save a life – It’s estimated that more than 1 million animals are euthanized every year in the US because too many come to shelters that have limited space and resources to care for all the animals that need them. If you adopt, you are saving the life of your new pet and making room for another animal whose life can be saved by someone else!

Get a great pet – Most pets in shelters are there because of circumstances that their human is facing, like moving or a divorce. They are not there because there is anything wrong with them. Even strays that come to the shelter have strayed from somewhere, and that is most often a home. Many are already house- or litterbox-trained (your carpets will thank you!) and used to living with people, so they will be happy to have a new home with you. 

Lower cost – Typically, when you adopt, your new pet has already been spayed or neutered, had their first vaccinations and may even be microchipped – saving you money on those initial veterinarian costs. Even though most shelters charge an adoption fee, these fees are much lower than the cost of purchasing an animal from a breeder or store.  And those fees allow the shelter to help even more animals. 

Fight puppy mills – When you purchase a dog from a store, on the internet or sometimes from a breeder, you may not know where your pet is coming from. Dogs from puppy mills come from moms that are bred over and over so their puppies can be sold for a profit. They are not well cared for and often not healthy, so they don’t bear healthy puppies. If more people adopt, there will be less demand for dogs from puppy mills. Keep in mind, there are reputable breeders out there, so if you really want an animal from a breeder, do your research!

Good for your health – Having a pet can decrease your blood pressure, increase your sense of well-being, and lessen feelings of loneliness. Having a pet will get you off the couch (don’t worry, Netflix will still be there!) and help you stay active if your pet requires regular walking. And these days, we could all use a little more health and happiness! 

Choosing the right pet for you and your lifestyle – When purchasing from a pet store, you don’t have the opportunity to learn anything about your pet before taking him or her home. When buying a pet from a breeder, you may even have to choose your pet before he or she is born! With adoption, shelter staff members evaluate every pet to be sure they go to the right home. They will be able to tell you a bit about your new pet’s personality, whether they get along with other animals, and will help you find the pet that is the right fit. For example, you may not want a puppy or kitten but an older dog or cat which you won’t find at a pet store or through a breeder. If you want to adopt a bunny, hamster, or even a bird (that would be my first choice, of course!), you’ll probably find a good match at a shelter!

Support for you and your new pet – When you purchase from a store or breeder, you are usually on your own once you get home. When you adopt from a shelter, staff members can provide valuable resources for helping you and your pet adjust. Shelter websites have lots of information about caring for your pet and many encourage you to email if you have question or concerns. Some shelters, like the Potter League, have a Facebook page for Potter alumnae and their new families! They provide support, advice, friendship, and you might even find some playmates for your new pet!

Unconditional love – This may go without saying but a shelter pet will provide years of unconditional love for you and all your human family members. 

I don’t know who said this, I hear it a lot, ‘Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.’  So please think about adopting!

‘Till next time, your friend, 

Tuki