Sad dog in pound

Animal shelters are the first place to look when you are thinking of adding a pet to your family. Not only do they have a great selection of adult animals for adoption, but many of them also have kittens, puppies and purebred animals.

Bring home a pet
in need

You'll save a life

Sadly, between 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because too many people give up their pets and too few people adopt from shelters. Because there is limited space at shelters, staff members sometimes need to make very hard decisions to euthanize animals who haven't been adopted. But the number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. By adopting from a private humane society or animal shelter, breed rescue group, or the local animal control agency, you'll help save the lives of two animals -- the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.

happy golden retreiverYou'll get a healthy pet

Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelters examine and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted. In addition to medical care, more and more shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet for its lifestyle.

Top pet health resources >>

You'll save money

Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is much less expensive than buying a pet or even getting one free thanks to the services provided by the shelter or rescue group. Because animals from most groups are already spayed or neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed and often bathed and treated for fleas, the adoption fee is a real bargain.

You'll feel better

Pets have a way of putting a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally, and physically beneficial. Caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation in all age groups.

You won't be supporting puppy mills and pet stores

Puppy mills are "factory style" dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most dogs raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and the parents of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they're no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded -- either killed, abandoned or sold at auction. By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren't supporting cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing buying the puppies through pet stores and over the internet.To locate your local animal shelter or rescue group, check the phone book or online for "animal shelter," "animal control," or "humane society." Many shelters have websites that feature animals available for adoption. Some sites even allow you to download adoption forms and plan ahead by providing tips on responsible pet care. In addition, many shelters promote their animals for adoption on national websites such as,, and For more information on adopting a pet, visit The Humane Society of the United States at For more on puppy mills, visit

Source: The Humane Society of the United States

For more about animal welfare

Introducing a new cat to your home
Do pets make good gifts for the holidays?
Are you ready to get a puppy together as a couple?



Comments on "Top 5 reasons to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue group"

Helena Zambelli April 10, 2013 | 6:20 AM

First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I've had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks! Helena Zambelli http://catheydeleety.polyvore/

cheryl September 20, 2009 | 3:21 PM

we have 4 dogs and 5 cats and all are rescues except for 1 - we love our furchildren - remember "Adopting one animal won't change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal" :0) God Bless the innocent..............................................

Delaney September 12, 2009 | 1:44 PM

i like both anminals i loveeee pets im only 11 but i saved alot of anminals b4 to tell u the truth at the apartments ( moved away from there)

Dottie September 07, 2009 | 5:16 PM

I am looking for an older, medium to small size male dog that can be by himself when I work. He will have a lot of love & be spoiled.

Kaisonna September 04, 2009 | 2:23 PM

if you are interested in adoptind a puppy adopt one i saved one and it was a big furball and it so cute and healthy it made me feel better everyday if i could get a great pic. on here i would love to i could show before and after u will love all puppies trust me he is my cutie his name is rhuno. have great time!

molly September 02, 2009 | 5:09 PM

wow!!!!! so cute

Chani May 27, 2009 | 6:51 AM

Excellent article! I TOTALLY agree...but, please, include cats in your adoption options, as well.

+ Add Comment

(required - not published)