Friday, November 27, 2015

Dog Adoption Facts

Most adoptable shelter dogs are already housebroken and know basic commands.

Adopting a dog from a shelter not only saves that animal's life by giving it a loving home, but also helps to enrich the lives of the members of that household. As more research studies link dog ownership to a healthier lifestyle, Internet sites like Petfinder are making it easier for humans to find their special companions.


According to the Petfinder website, animal shelters across the country house approximately 8 to 12 million animals annually, either relinquished by their owners or picked up as strays by animal control officers. Although euthanasia rules, regulations and policies vary by state and individual shelter, roughly 60 percent of all dogs are put down annually in nationwide shelters due to severe overcrowding conditions.


One of the main benefits of dog adoption is that it is less expensive than purchasing a pet from a breeder or pet store. Shelter dogs also receive regular veterinary examinations, and potential adopters will be informed of any health disorders before the adoption can proceed. In addition, older adoptable dogs have already fully developed their individual personalities, making it easy for shelter staff to help connect future dog owners with a pet that matches their lifestyle.


Some of the biggest misconceptions regarding dog adoption include the belief that all dogs that end up in a shelter have some sort of behavioral problems, that they are not housebroken and that they are of mixed heritage. However, according to the Phillips National Injury Group, one of the the most common reasons why millions of dogs end up in shelters is that previous owners have a sudden change in their situation, like health problems or a mandatory move, and can no longer care for their beloved pet.

Expert Insight

According to Animal Planet, most modern animal shelters are nothing like the dog pounds of yesterday. Shelters, like the world-renowned ASPCA in New York, offer a variety of services including animal rescue, medical care, adoption services and caregiver services such as behavior counseling. Many shelters also offer training classes, puppy parenting classes and information on pet-friendly rental properties and on dealing with allergies.


The ability to adopt dogs from all over the country has become easier due to Internet sites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet, which allow interested adopters to learn as much as they can about a dog prior to a face-to-face meeting. And the dog rescue efforts of individuals like Shelly Bookwalter, who rescues and transports adoptable dogs all across the country as seen on the Animal Planet television show "Last Chance Highway," is allowing dogs to be connected with loving families in every region.

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