October is Adopt a shelter dog month, and Best Friends Animal Society encourage anyone considering a dog to take the plunge and find a new best friend at a local shelter or rescue, as the need is always great.
Even with the pandemic dog craze, 32% of the 347,000 pets (dogs and cats) killed last year were dogs, according to Best Friends 2020 data from U.S. shelters. Over the summer, shelter admissions were on the rise, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dogs in need of new homes across the country.
Adopting a Dog Has Many Benefits, Vet Says Erin katribe, Medical Director of the Best Friends Animal Society.
âStudies have shown that having pets reduces stress and reduces anxiety,â Katribe said. âThis is especially helpful during the difficult times we have experienced over the past year and a half. Dogs are also great walking and hiking companions. It’s like having a personal trainer on all fours. “
Another advantage of adoption is its cost effectiveness. âMost shelter dogs are groomed, vaccinated, microchipped and ready to go home for a nominal fee,â Katribe said.
Since most dogs in shelters have been in homes, many of them are educated. âFor adult dogs, it usually just takes a quick refresher course to get clean in a new environment,â Katribe said.
Of course, saving the life of a dog in need is extremely rewarding as well. âThese dogs are so excited to be someone’s best friend again,â Katribe said. “They will repay you for your kindness with a life of unconditional love and companionship.”
Best Friends has rescue centers in Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City, a sanctuary in Kanab, and partners with more than 3,300 shelters across America (including Kittyland Cat and Kitten Rescue, Friends of Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Animal samaritans and Love all animals here in Coachella Valley), so finding a shelter or rescue near you is as easy as going to bestfriends.org and clicking âAboutâ and âNetwork Partnersâ.
To help you in your search, Best Friends offers the following tips:
1. The lifestyle is huge. Do you like frenzied TV watching and prefer quiet nights at home on the sofa? An elderly dog ââor one who prefers to be a single pet could be your ideal partner.
More athletic types should consider a high energy dog ââthat can take any adventure. High energy doesn’t always mean young, either. Many older dogs are still bursting with energy.
Even if you don’t have a large home, dogs of all sizes can thrive in an apartment or condo (as long as they get the necessary exercise). Large breed dogs are most at risk in shelters, so keep your eyes peeled for a big boy or girl who might otherwise be overlooked.
2. Ask the shelter team to play the role of matchmaker. Tell the shelter staff and volunteers who you live or share a space with, including any pets (rodents and reptiles count). You’ll also want to write down any animals you see on a regular basis (like small dogs in your apartment complex or a friend’s dog who likes to visit).
3. How much affection do you need? Some people love to be fucked doggy style, others not so much. Ditto for sleep: do you want to snuggle up in bed with your dog or would you rather have their own bed somewhere else? How much (or how little) affection you expect from your pet is an important factor in deciding which one to adopt.
4. Involve the children. It is important to take your children with you to meet any potential pets so that you can observe how they interact. Ask shelter staff if any dogs in their care have ever lived with children.
5. Keep an open mind. Rather than focusing on appearance, size, or race, focus on characteristics, such as who will best suit your lifestyle and who you find a connection with.
6. Know your limits. If you’re not ready to potty train a puppy, or can’t handle a strong young dog, don’t feel guilty. It is important to know what you can and cannot do as a dog owner.
7. Ask about the medical history. Some dogs, especially the elderly, may have current or ongoing health issues that require increased medication or veterinary care. As such, it can cost more money and involve more time to care for the dog. It is important to take this into account in your decision-making process.
8. Promote first. Most shelters allow potential adopters to bring a dog home for several weeks or more. This is the best way to really get to know the dog and can give you the confidence to decide whether to make the situation permanent.
For more information or to find a shelter or rescue near you, visit bestfriends.org.
About Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the slaughter of dogs and cats in American shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer of the movement no-kill and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from around 17 million per year to around 347,000. Best Friends runs rescue programs across the country, as well as the world’s largest sanctuary. animals without killing the country. Working in conjunction with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends strives to save them all. For more information, visit bestfriends.org.