Adopting pets from shelters can have many rewards. Many people say they are so happy that they could save the life of a wonderful animal by giving him a new and loving home. It is estimated that 4 to 6 million cats and dogs are euthanized in America's animal shelters every year. Shelters are filled with animals who were and could continue to be great pets, as well as animals who, with a little training, can become a cherished member of the family.
Animal shelters provide a wonderful mix of adoptable animals. Some are purebreds; others are virtually one of a kind. Animals are also of various ages. Many people prefer to have an older pet so there are no surprises about how big he will grow or the type of coat he may have.
Adopting an animal from a shelter is generally less expensive than acquiring an animal through a breeder or pet shop. Of course, you need to remember that the real financial cost of a pet over her lifetime is not her purchase price, but the food, grooming, health care, toys, etc. If you do not have the money to buy an expensive pet, you need to carefully look at your finances to be sure you can afford any pet, and still provide the care she needs.
While it varies with the shelter, you can usually get good information on the temperament and personality of the animal you are interested in. You may even have access to his health records, and a good description of his life in his former home.
Many shelters now neuter and spay all animals before they can be adopted as pets. Others may provide you with a certificate that will pay for a portion of the surgery. Most of the animals have also been wormed and vaccinated. Most animals will be house trained, and many dogs, for instance, have some basic training.