Adopt Don’t Shop: The Benefits of Pet Adoption


Everyone has heard the mantra that shelters, pet rescues, and the animals they save live by: Adopt. Don’t shop.

But, why should you choose to adopt your new fur kid rather than buying one from the pet store? Turns out there are lots of good reasons for adopting and not shopping:

When you adopt, you are saving a life that is worth saving. Many animals who find themselves in animal shelters or in the care of a rescue have come from abusive situations, were abandoned and simply don’t know what it feels like to be loved, safe and secure. When you adopt, you are changing your fur kids life forever, and yours as well.

Adopting your furry kid can also appeal to your frugal side. Adopting your newest family member from a shelter or pet rescue will typically cost you anywhere from $50 to $200. Compare that to the thousands you can spend when you buy your pet from the store.

Most of the time, the animal you adopt will be spayed or neutered; have had a health check and all his preliminary vaccinations. All of those procedures can add up when you put them on top of the cost of buying from a pet store.

When you adopt, you can be sure that you are not supporting puppy mills and breeders who are only it in for the money. These mass-breeding businesses compromise the health of dogs and their puppies because they breed so many at one time.

Rescues and pet shelters are home to literally every breed of dog and cat – both purebred and mixed – that you could possibly want. There is such a wide selection available at most shelters and rescues that they have websites to help you search for your furry kid by age, sex, breed and size.

You’ll never experience a moment of loneliness when you adopt a pet. Pets can give your life a purpose because they give you someone to care for and give you unconditional love right back. Who doesn’t want to come home to a wagging tail at the end of the work day?

You can’t put a price tag on the love you will receive when you adopt your new furry companion from a shelter or rescue organization. You are not only saving a life, but supporting a good cause as well.

Teaching Your Fearful Dog Calmness


Every dog, no matter their background or disposition, deserves a second chance. Many of the dogs that are rescued from shelters have gone through unspeakable abuse through no fault of their own. When you have a fearful dog, it’s often through no fault of their own. If you have a fearful dog, it’s up to you to teach them calmness. Luckily, it’s not too difficult. I recently read some tips from none other than the legendary “dog whisperer” Cesar Millan. Here is what he had to say:

When your child is afraid, it’s only natural to want to comfort them and tell them that everything will be okay. Your dog might feel like your child, but comforting them like that is actually the worst thing you can do. Dogs relate your behavior to whatever it’s doing in that moment. That’s how positive reinforcement works; if you want to teach your dog to “shake,” associate that behavior with a reward. To dogs, one of the best rewards is affection. So when you comfort a fearful dog, you’re rewarding it for acting scared.

Over time, rewarding a dog for its fearful behavior, even if it’s unintentional, can make an already timid dog even more skittish and fearful. It’s difficult not giving your dog unconditional love at all times, particularly when they’re clearly afraid. But, in that instance, they don’t need to be comforted, they need to see leadership. Dogs learn by imitating, so when your dog is afraid, you need to act calm and assertive, which can help make them more confident.

It’s important to remember that dogs do have the common animal instincts possessed by so many. They can be narrowed down to four: fight, flight, avoidance, and surrender. When your dog is experiencing fear, their first response will almost always be either flight or avoidance. Obviously, you’ll want to prevent the fight response as best you can, but this can occur in extreme cases. The goal is to make them surrender, which is them accepting whatever the stimulus is without reacting to it. This can be done by displaying calm, assertive energy.

Dogs are surprisingly intuitive about our feelings. Your dog can often tell when you’re sad, afraid, or excited. So, when you act afraid, your dog will pick up on that. Humans are typically the leaders of the pack, and when you’re afraid, that leadership role is empty and a dog’s natural reaction is to take over, which could lead to the dog acting aggressive out of fear. This, in turn, creates a feedback loop that exacerbates the situation. Therefore, a fearful dog needs, more than anything else, a calm and assertive leader to show them that everything is okay.

The Value of No-Kill Animal Shelters


As an animal lover and financial supporter of no-kill animal shelters myself, I understand the importance and significance that these programs hold in saving the lives of homeless and ‘unwanted’ animals. It’s an unfortunate problem that not many people address today.

There are currently over 70 million stray animals in the United States, of which only 6 to 8 million dogs and cats find animals shelters annually. The only reasons why these animals successfully make it to our country’s shelters is because of their owners either giving them up, or animal control officers finding them in the wild. But, even then, many of the cats and dogs rescued are subjected to a similar fate by being given to facilities that promote euthanization to control population sizes.

Approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized every year, largely due to the fact that most shelters do not have the space permitting for the number of cats and dogs received on a regular basis, along with adoption rates not being able to keep up. However, depending on the type of shelter, many homeless or ‘unwanted’ animals are able to once again find their way back to a loving home. Private shelters, for example, often have contracts that allow them to work with their local governments for funding sources, additional help in finding homes for these animals, and enforcing stricter animal care laws.

The standard practices within these facilities also differ in terms of dealing with the increasing size of the animal population. For example, standard shelters typically euthanize cats or dogs who have not been claimed in a shockingly small 72-hour window, thus stressing the importance of no-kill shelters.

The only reason why a cat or dog may be euthanized within a no-kill shelter is because they are suffering from an irreparable disease or injury, which is then for the good of the animal. Doing so as a means of controlling the shelter numbers is never policy. Because of this, communities working together to save homeless and ‘unwanted’ animals are able to rescue up to 90% of those found, without worrying about euthanization.

No-kill shelters are also responsible for largely promoting adoption, spay and neuter programs, donations, and fellow programs benefitting an animal’s well-being. They strive to work collaboratively with other organizations dedicated to placing animals in loving homes, and avoid senselessly putting down those without them simply due to the fact that their facilities are not big enough. Though some people may argue that allowing at-risk animals through their doors is unsafe, that is the point of no-kill shelters; to give each animal a fighting chance.

Stray animals may appear hostile when approached by any individual, but trained professionals working with no-kill shelters are able to rescue those without homes regardless of age or breed. Sadly, pit-bulls and “bully breeds” are often discriminated against depending on the community’s laws. Nearly every no-kill shelter though, rejects this false belief that one breed is more dangerous than another, accepting all animals into their facilities.

Today, the number of animals euthanized has thankfully decreased in recent decades because of the no-kill shelter movement. This humane trend is beginning to take effect in many cities across the United States, leading to a higher number of rescued animals and more volunteers willing to devote their time to this cause. While establishing no-kill shelters in every community across America is unlikely, there are strategies we can put in place, along with the combined efforts of those passionate enough to make a change, that can lead to this ideal goal.