Our pets are such important members of our families. We love them and care for them as much as any other member of our family (my daughter would say I care for our pets better than I care for her! Not true, but close.)
Every year millions of dogs are Euthanized. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you save a life. And because each dog is spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter, you prevent adding to the stray dog population. By adopting from a shelter rather than buying from a pet shop, you prevent the abuse of puppy mill dogs.
I have spoken to many people that have trouble going to a shelter for various reasons; too loud with all the barking; smells of urine, bleach, wet dog...; too sad and upsetting to see all those dogs in cages; too expensive to adopt; the application is too long. The list goes on and on. The truth is:
- These dogs are stressed from being in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people walking past them, talking at them, looking scared and sometimes poking their fingers into their kennels. Imagine, if you will, being locked in a small room all day long with strange, unfamiliar noises, uncertain what is happening to you. That is how these dogs feel.
- The shelters are always understaffed. They rely on donations and volunteers. They do their best to keep the facility and residents clean and safe. If you can't adopt a pet, please consider volunteering or donating to your local shelter.
- The fees cover the medical exams, spay or neuter, and required vaccinations. Many strays that arrive require extensive care due to injury and/or diseases such as heartworm. The fees you pay for adoption are much less than the cost of the care they receive. Some shelters are able to reduce fees for certain individuals such as senior citizens through grants. Ask if you qualify for reduced fees.
- The application process is critical to ensure you are paired with the right dog. The staff at the shelter are familiar with each dog in a non-stressful situation, similar to how they would behave in a home. If you are a very active family, you would do better with a high energy dog rather than a couch potato/lap dog. And vice-versa.
Finding the right dog takes time. You may have to visit the shelter frequently, or visit many shelters. You may have to meet & greet many dogs to find the right one. Remember, your dog chooses you...you will know she's the right one when she comes straight to you...and puts her nose on your knee...and looks at you like you are her everything. Just like my Lana did 15 years ago.
Here are some of our favorite shelters:
- Grand Strand Humane Society (click here)
- Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach (click here)
- All 4 Paws Animal Rescue (click here)
- Save-A-Pet (click here)
- Safe Harbor Humane Society (click here)
Where did you adopt your dog?