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Each year, a staggering 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States simply because their time ran out — they were never adopted from the shelter.
If that statistic alone isn’t enough to make you consider rescuing your next furry friend, consider this: adoption is less expensive, and the animals are fully vaccinated and
spay/neutered. Plus, these fluffy kittens and canines urgently need homes.
No matter what you’ve heard, purchasing a pedigree pooch from a puppy mill, store or breeder doesn’t help pet overpopulation — it adds to it.
“Breeding is a supply-and-demand business,” said Julie Barber, director of community connections at the Kalamazoo Humane Society. “By adopting a pet with nowhere else to go, you’re ensuring that there is less demand for designer and purebred pets. There is also proven benefits to adopting ‘mutts,’ as they are less likely to possess some of the
inherent health problems and defects of
If you’re ready to adopt a displaced pet in West Michigan, here’s what you need to know.
First-Time Owners Welcome
Pet adoption is a great way to become a first-time pet owner, especially if it’s an adult animal. When you adopt an adult dog or cat, you know what you’re getting. Yes, a pet’s behavior can change outside of the shelter when they’re in a more comfortable habitat (or not surrounded by other animals). But the general rule of thumb is: what you see is what you get. So if you’re a runner looking for an exercise buddy, that overly energetic Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix could be a great addition to your family.
The Red Tape
The paperwork at each shelter varies. According to West Michigan Humane Society Executive Director Trudy Jeffers, it’s often a great way to find the perfect fit. “Each adopter is asked to fill out an animal survey,” Jeffers said. “This survey asks each adopter about their expectations regarding a new furry friend, the home environment, and all that. We aim to make the best match based on the survey information and a conversation with each adopter.”
The cost for adoption varies depending on the animal type and age. For the Humane Society of West Michigan, dogs 5-months and older are $195, puppies are $300 (and that includes puppy classes for behavior/training — sweet!), cats 5-months and older are $15 and kittens are $95.
Dogs and cats aren’t your thing? Small animals (like rabbits) are $30. All animals are up to date on vaccines and are microchipped. After all, the most important part of this process is to make sure that once animals end up in their forever home, they stay there.
Helping the Overall Cause
Overburdened shelters take in millions of stray, abused and lost animals every year. Adopting a pet gives them a second shot at a better life — and provides funding for shelters to offer better care and resources to their residents.
“Adopting a pet from a local shelter or rescue opens up a spot for another pet,” Barber said. “This gives another homeless, unwanted or abandoned animal the chance to find a forever home where it will be wanted and cared for.”
For more information, contact your nearest humane society or animal shelter.