Pets are extensions of our families. For many of us with kids, our pets were really our first children (even though we definitely know that the care and raising of a pet is nowhere near comparable that of a human child). And if you’ve been thinking about getting a family pet, whether because your dearest one has sadly passed over that rainbow bridge or because you’d like to take first-time pet ownership for a spin, you’re in luck.
Shelters across the United States are desperately searching for pet lovers to give their inhabitants forever homes, and they need you to step up and help a furry friend out.
I know it can be tempting to buy a pet, especially a dog, from a pet store or a breeder. I get the appeal. In fact, my first two dogs as an adult both came from a pet store, and I love them dearly (that includes the one we recently had to put to sleep).
The thing is, though, aside from the many horror stories you can look up regarding mistreatment and abuse of animals in these places, there are already plenty of pets seeking loving homes without pet stores or breeders — pets who will often, heartbreakingly, be put to sleep if they don’t get placed soon. Because of this, I have made a pledge to myself:
If we ever get another pet, it will come from a shelter, not a pet store or breeder.
So if you’re really considering bringing home a four-legged family member, particularly a dog, take a gander at this list of shelters with dogs seeking adoption. One of these shelters just may be in your neighborhood.
And if they’re not in your neck of the woods, take a trip to your local animal shelter to see if they have any cuddly critters in need of placement.
You just might save a life.