Today is Clear the Shelters 2019!
For the last couple of years, NBC and Telemundo owned stations around the country have partnered with different animal rescue organizations and shelters to host a pet adoption drive on the third Saturday in August.
One estimate from the ASPCA suggests that approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters each year. Roughly half of those animals are either adopted or were strays and returned home to their owners, which means that there are so many animals around the country that still need their forever homes!
Things to Consider
Deciding to adopt a pet is a big decision and there are so many factors to consider! Do you have the time and space? If not, do you have resources like a trusted dog walker/pet sitter, nearby park, or doggy daycare? If the dog needs regular training, do you have the time and resources to work with them? Are you able to afford the general costs of a pet, which includes vet care, emergency situations, food, toys/enrichment, and potentially the costs of a walker or kennel? According to the ASPCA, pets can cost around $700 a year and more if you have to hire a regular dog walker/daycare or if there are any emergencies. While vet emergencies might be rare, some can cost thousands of dollars!
- Should You Adopt a Dog? This Flowchart Should Help By Jessica Glazer and Kazi Awal, Clear the Shelters
And it’s important to also consider what kind of animal you’re able to care for. If you have young children or elderly family members, puppies and strong excitable dogs may not be the best fit. Plus, some rescue animals need a home that will respect their boundaries and understand that they may not want to play all the time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great pet if you do have kids or elders in your home! It really just means understanding that it may take time to find the right dog for you.
Knowing the general characteristics of different breeds can also come in handy when you’re considering getting a cat or dog. If you live in a small apartment and don’t have time for daily exercise, training, and cleaning, breeds like Siberian Huskies, Australian Shephards, or Border Collies may not be the best fit. These breeds are all wonderful dogs but tend to shed quite a bit (especially in the spring) and require plenty of enrichment, training, and exercise! Similarly, if you want a quiet dog, breeds like Basset Hounds or Great Pyrenees dogs might not be that great either, as they have a general tendency to bark. Plus, breeds like Huskies, Basset Hounds, and many kinds of retrievers prefer to be in a pack with humans and/or dogs so working long days and leaving them alone may not be the best either.
- Dog Breed Selector: What Breed of Dog Should I Get? from the American Kennel Club
- Quiz: What Kind of Dog Should I Get? from Clear the Shelters
All of this isn’t to discourage you from going out and adopting an animal because I know firsthand how amazing rescue animals are. Instead, this is all to say that it may take time and some effort to find the perfect animal for you. The goal of many rescue organizations and days like ‘Clear the Shelters’ is to find the perfect home for animals so they can spend the rest of their days with a happy, loving family and living their best life.
Why You Should Adopt
Adopting an animal is an incredible experience, in large part because rescue animals give so much love and happiness! While there will be some hardships and some bumps in the road, rescue animals can be a valued part of any family and you’ll be saving their life! By providing a loving home for a rescue, you can give them love, stability, and a chance at a wonderful life.
There are plenty of myths that surround rescue animals: they have health or behavior problems, you won’t have as much time with them, you’ll never find the breed you want. But in reality, rescue animals end up in need of a new home for many reasons and there’s a chance you can have many wonderful years with one! I do wish we could have gotten more time with Rooster, as he was 7 years old by the time my family adopted him. But we still got more than 7 wonderful years with him! Any amount of time with a loving family can make all the difference. And there are many rescues that focus on specific breeds and animals too! It may take some time but finding the right rescue animal for you can make all the difference.