Once the decision has been made to adopt a homeless animal from a shelter, one must consider what animal is suitable for their lifestyle. Dogs are remarkable creatures that come in all shapes and sizes and have been man’s best friend for over 30,000 years (Stanglin, 2012). Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue awards many benefits. Shelter and rescue groups offer an array of dogs that vary in size, color, and age; thus, allowing one to adopt a seemly companion. Despite the efforts of animal shelters and rescue groups, “5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized” (“Pet Statistics,”). Dogs give their owners companionship and unconditional love; and are also conducive to good health. Plus, saving a dog’s life makes you a hero.
First, adopting a dog allows you to search for and find an exact match. Be aware of your hopes and wishes before selecting a dog breed; likewise, be informed about the size, temperament, grooming needs, and health issues of different breeds. It is a ridiculous, but popular belief that when adopting a dog you do not know what you are getting (“Shooting down common,” 2009). On the contrary, all shelters and rescue groups guide health and behavior screenings before a shelter animal is available for adoption (Kirby, p. 64-65). Almost all shelter and rescue dogs are spayed or neutered (Kirby, p.69-70). Shelters and groups provide detailed information, including the age, breed, and demeanor, upon request (Kirby, p.66-67). Since the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match program launched in 2004, pairing an adopter’s preferences with a dog’s habits and traits has become increasingly easy. Using available resources can guarantee a compatible match (“ASPCA’s MYM,”).
Another advantage of adopting a dog is gaining a companion now and forever (“Ten Reasons to,”). Dogs are oblivious to jealousy, evil, and discontent; and they are unconditionally loyal. Unfortunately, there is a myth that abused and/or abandoned shelter dogs never make good pets (“Shooting down common,” 2009). Despite this belief, many dogs become orphans due to circumstances beyond their control and only 30% are reunited with their original owners (“Pet Statistics,”). Over the course of 2011, “the Humane Society of the United States had joined other agencies in helping more than 2,000 animals in disaster situations” (“Into the Disaster,” 2011). Studies have shown that the dogs that are given a second chance in a forever home “seem to want to please as much as possible to make sure they are never homeless again” (“Home for disposable,”). After you and your new dog bond, you will never find a more loyal companion.
Research has also confirmed that dog ownership is highly conducive to excellent health. Along with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels, dogs also help decrease stress and reduce loneliness (“Pets for the,”). “Studies have found that pet owners over age...