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With the addition of Cattleya, our Rough Collie, I became the parent (some people call it owner or master, I suppose) of the first purebred dog I’ve ever had in my family. While I love my dog fiercely and think that purebred dogs, bought from breeders, need homes as well, I love rescuing animals. There are so many great pets out there (especially cats) that need a good home.
There are so many options when it comes to adoptions. My first recommendation would be a “kill shelter” known as an “open admission” shelter. Adopting a pet from one of these organizations gives a dog or cat another chance at life. Often workers are forced to euthanize animals due to different circumstances such as the animal might have an illness that threatens other shelter animals or the shelter might be too overpopulated.
Another option is a no kill shelter. These organizations are my favorite because they work very hard to protect animals. Some will also rescue animals from kill shelters when they have openings. My cats, Rex and Hadassah, were strays before being picked up by a kill shelter and then rescued by a wonderful no kill shelter.
Companies like Pet Smart also have adoption options. They usually provide another way for shelters to reach the public by hosting different organizations on adoption days.
Lastly, if you must have a pure bred dog or cat, there are always rescue organizations that specialize in specific breeds. Before adopting Cattleya from a breeder, we researched Rough Collie rescue organizations from which we could potentially adopt. Unfortunately there were none close enough to us.
While adopting from a shelter might take more patience and persistence, I can honestly say rescued animals are amazing additions to the family. When I was growing up in rural Ohio, many cats and dogs were often dropped off and left to die on back roads. If they made their way to our house, my mother would always try to feed them and find a way to care for them. Almost every time we adopted them. We never took in more cats or dogs than we could care for, but we never left an animal to fend for itself against coyotes and the elements either.
If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, I would highly recommend it. You can start with a basic internet search. One option is Petfinder (follow the link here). Make sure you are capable of caring for pets before you adopt. Know what would fit your family situation best — dogs are usually social creatures good for big families, while cats are independent and usually need less maintenance.
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