[IMAGE: Orange kitten looking out of a kennel]

Millions of pets are waiting to be adopted right now.

Five Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Animal

So you want a new pet in your life, but you’re not sure where to look. Here are 5 great reasons to adopt your loving companion from a shelter.

1. Adoption saves lives

  • The animal that you adopt will be rescued from a life on the streets into a loving home.
  • 3-4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States because the number of homeless animals far exceeds the capacity of shelters to care for them.
  • Those that never make it to a shelter may die of starvation, exposure, infectious disease, animal attacks and car accidents.
  • Taking the animal into your home prevents the birth of unwanted litters out on the street
  • Adoption makes space for more animals at the shelter, where animals with no where to go are often euthanized or simply turned away

2. You'll get a wonderful and unique companion

  • Shelter animals come in all shapes and sizes, pure and mixed breed, with a whole range of personalities.
  • It’s a common misconception that shelter animals are somehow “rejects.” It’s not true! Many shelter animals are healthy, happy and well-behaved, but are relinquished because of a move, a divorce, allergies, or financial constraints.
  • In fact, many shelters screen for health and behavioral problems and make an effort to treat any problems that they find. This way, they can help match you to a pet that fits your family and lifestyle.

3. You'll save money

  • Adoption from a shelter costs far less than buying from a breeder or pet store.
  • Adoption fees often include the spay/neuter surgery, vaccines and basic medical care at a fraction of the normal price.

4. You're helping the shelter

  • Adoption helps make space for so the shelter can rescue even more animals.
  • Less crowding in shelters and a high animal turnover makes happier, healthier pets that spend less time at the shelter and are adopted out quickly.
  • Your adoption fee will help maintain the shelter, care for the animals, and promote public education about pet care and shelter medicine.

5. You're helping the community

  • Pet overpopulation is a serious problem. Feral and stray animals can cause accidents, spread disease, injure pets, wild animals or even people.
  • In addition to this, intact (not spayed or neutered) animals can keep producing more animals without homes to go to.
  • Supporting your local shelter helps get animals off the streets and prevents more of them from being born.