As the nation reopens and people return to work, people are abandoning their pandemic pets.
What is happening right now?
Shelters are overflowing and nearing capacity as more and more people are dumping pet animals as we shift back to normal. Owners feel that with a return to the in-person lifestyle, they can no longer care for them. As a result, shelters around the world are seeing surrender rates twice as high as they were before the pandemic – and these rates continue to rise.
One may ask, “What happens to these pets? Won’t shelters and rescue groups find a way to care for them properly?” While some shelters have no-kill policies, not all of them are, and without enough resources to deal with the overwhelming surge of dumped pets, the shelters will be left with no choice but to resort to euthanizing the animals. According to the American Humane Association, 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.
What does this say about pet adoptions?
Don’t impulsively buy pets as gifts.
Animals should never be carelessly given as gifts to anyone. Before you adopt, think about if you are ready to add another member to your family. Adopting an animal is a serious responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly and takes a lot of effort. Make sure that the pet is being welcomed into a family or caretaker who is strongly interested in owning them, has the knowledge on how to properly take care of them, and is able to do so. Taking care of an animal means being financially and emotionally ready, and also being ready for long-time commitment. Common pets like cats and dogs require a 10-20 year financial and emotional commitment.
Benefits of Adoption
If you are serious about adopting a pet and are giving thought to it, here are some pros to adopting an animal and reasons to prefer adopting from a shelter rather than buying a pet:
- You save lives
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. By adopting from a shelter, you are helping an animal in need. Your love and support will change their whole world, and whether or not it shows, they appreciate you. Not only do you save the life of the animal you choose, but by adopting you also open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.
- It costs less
When getting a pet, usually owners are overwhelmed with the medical costs of things like a spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchipping. However, most of the time these processes are included in the adoption price which can save you a big chunk of up-front costs, and depending on the animal, you may even save yourself the cost of housebreaking and other training expenses.
Apart from the convenience of most of the basic essentials being included with your adoption, you will save yourself a pretty penny by not having to pay a potentially ridiculous price written out by pet breeders and sellers.
- Help fight against puppy mills
Contrary to popular belief, pets like dogs who are sold from stores and breeders aren’t “better” or of higher quality than those in shelters. Many avoid adopting animals from shelters in fear that they will bring home an animal with health or behavioral issues – “Why would I want to take in an animal that someone else didn’t want?”
Animal shelters and rescue groups are filled with happy, healthy pets waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets wound up there because of the problem of their previous owners, like a move, a divorce, or change in financial situation, not because the animals did anything wrong, or are problematic. Because of this, many of these animals are already house-trained and are used to living with families.
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Nathalie Leung is an outstanding freshman at the prestigious Harvard Westlake High School living in Los Angeles, California. Her passion in research, learning, and sharing knowledge has led her to pursuing journalism and writing with The Teen Pop Magazine.