Make pet adoption your first optionAdoption Series Part One: Before you adopt
By: Amy Miller, for the Duluth Budgeteer News
This past Valentine’s Day, Frankie experienced a life-altering event: he was adopted.
With a big goofy grin, the 3-year-old collie mix with a white-tipped tail followed his family out the door and stepped into the next phase of his life.
Never forget: when you make the decision to adopt, you have made the decision to change lives.
Which lives? You change your life with a commitment to responsible care. You change the lives of your family members — two and four-legged alike — by introducing a new pet into the household. And, not only do you change the life of the animal you have just adopted, the next animal in need finds its second chance because room has just opened up at the shelter.
Adopt one, save two, and change the lives of countless others. That’s the amazing mathematics of adoption success.
And it’s multiplying.
Animal Allies raises awareness of why it’s important to think adoption first — encouraging more people to head over to their local animal shelter when they are ready to find their new best friend. The concept of pet adoption has joined the ranks of movements that change communities for the better.
Much to the joy of those who work with homeless animals, it is often an owner’s point of pride that their pet is a mixed breed whose only request was a loving home.
Make note, though, that in 2009, the Humane Society of the United States reported that more than 25 percent of dogs entering shelters were purebred. Even those of you looking for a specific breed should keep an eye out at your local shelter.
After all, visit the Animal Allies or Petfinder websites, and you will discover a vast array of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. All breeds. All ages. All sizes. All homeless.
When you are ready to advance into the realm of adoption, the next step is to ask yourself some important questions:
Honest answers, combined with the flexibility to accept your new pet as its complex personalities shine through, are what will make your adoption a success story.
Every day, pets just like Frankie await their new home. When you find yourself ready, visit your local shelter.
From March 31 at noon until April 1 at 6 p.m., Animal Allies will be hosting a 30-continuous-hour adoption event. This event, made possible by the ASPCA “Match-a-Thon” grant, will be filled with games, demonstrations, community activities, and more. The goal? To match 100 homeless pets to their new loving families.
Thirty hours, 100 lives changed. And that’s the way it should be.
Adoption equals lives changed: for the better.
(This is Part One: Before you adopt, of a three-part series. The next two columns will be “While you are looking” and “What to expect when you bring a new pet home.”)
Amy Miller is the marketing and communications coordinator for Animal Allies. She lives in Duluth with her husband and three adopted pets: dogs Maverick and Goose, and a cat named Buddy Love.