The Benefits of Choosing a Shelter Dog
Shelter dogs get a bad rap – most people think of dogs from the pound as being aggressive, sickly, flea-ridden, or all-around “damaged,” and not suitable for a family. It’s quite the opposite: shelter dogs come in all shapes, sizes, breeds, and personalities. Any dog can end up at the shelter! There are infinite great reasons to adopt rather than buy from a breeder if you’re thinking to look to add a four-legged family member.
There is a huge overcrowding issue with most shelters in the United States. So many dogs that don’t have a loving home or family end up at the shelter, sometimes for months or years before being placed. The variety makes it easy for you to find your new companion. Plus, shelter dogs generally cost less than $150 to adopt, often including shots, neutering, spaying, and some toys and food to start with. Breeders and puppy-stores generally charge a lot more – some breeds, like English Bulldogs, for example, usually cost thousands.
Many people assume shelter dogs are abandoned because there’s something wrong with them. The ASPCA conducts full health assessments and behavioral testing before placing dogs for adoption in order to ensure the safety of both adopters and adoptees. These dogs come from all over the place –dropped off by owners who are moving or can’t afford to support them anymore, or brought in after getting lost, for example. On a given day, you could find any size or breed or age of the dog in the shelter – find your local Humane Society and see for yourself! Most shelters will even let you walk and play with the dogs.
There is a misconception that it is impossible to find purebred dogs in a shelter. Any kind of dog can be surrendered. While there are certainly a large amount of sweet and friendly mutts in most pounds, if you’re set on a specific breed, you might just be able to find it.
Adopting a shelter dog is the best way to bring a dog into your family. There are thousands of dogs in the United States waiting to be offered a good home. Misconceptions about shelter dogs are based on prejudice – a shelter houses all types of dogs, so long as they are healthy and safely adoptable. If you’re looking to adopt, head to your local shelter and take a few different dogs out for a walk! You’re likely to find exactly the dog you’re looking for.