If you are considering bringing a pet into your family, please read this first! Not ready to adopt but want to help animals in need? I have some tips on that too!
I have a huge place in my heart for animals. Always have. When I was growing up I was always trying to bring animals home; bunnies, ducks, cats. There has never been a time in a my life that I didn’t have a pet. I have had a rabbit, a few cats, dogs, hamsters, a fish and a guinea pig! Now that I have kids, I want them to know the love and responsibility of taking care of animals too.
When my husband and I got married we had pets before having kids. Our dogs are now 8 and 9 years old and our cat is 9 years old. Recently we decided that adopting another dog would be great for our family. We wanted a younger play companion for our older dogs. We also wanted our two kids to be part of the process of finding our new pet. We welcomed Stella, a 4 month old Shar Pei mix, into our home about 2 weeks ago and our kids have been involved in every step. They came with us to adopt her and they help take her outside to potty and run around the yard playing fetch. They also help feed her and help with some of the training like letting her know she can not jump on them.
So why should you adopt vs. buying from a breeder or pet store? There is an extremely large number of animals that end up in the shelters at MCACC (Maricopa County Animal Care & Control) and the Arizona Humane Society. In 2013, the AHS and MCACC took in 78,440 dogs and cats into their shelters. Combined they euthanized 32,362 of those animals. That averages out to 89 animals being killed every day in a shelter just in our area. Nationwide, approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are euthanized each year. That is a number I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Adopting from these facilities will help decrease these numbers.
Why do these dogs and cats end up in shelters? Owners of the pets either live in a home that is rented or they move to a rental where pets are not allowed. Owners often decide they do not have the time to take care of their pet or the time to properly train their pet so behavior issues arise. Some pets are surrendered due to the owners getting divorced or the owners death. Many are found as strays and often times are not reunited with their owner.
Animal rescue volunteers go to the kill shelters and save animals. They then place these animals in their own facility (non-kill) or in a foster home until the animal can find their forever home. Did you know that when you adopt from an animal rescue it helps save another dog from a shelter? So really, when you adopt, you are helping two animals!
The biggest misconception about shelter pets is that people think these animals ended up there because they did not make good pets. This is not the case. The problem is that many people are not realistic about the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. It takes a lifelong commitment. Pet owners have to be ready to take the time to train their pet and be able to give them medical care when needed.
Please open your heart and be a hero to a cat or dog in need of adoption from a shelter or animal rescue. If you are looking for a certain breed, you most likely will find that breed! Several animal rescues are focused on saving a particular breed such as Pei People who specialize in rescuing Shar Pei or Pitti Me Rescue who are focused on Pitt Bulls. If you want to skip the puppy phase, adopting an adult dog is a great option. They are already house trained and possibly know commands such as sit, stay and may be great on a leash too! At the end of this post I will list several of the animal rescues in the East Valley area along with a link to their website and FaceBook page.
WHY CHILDREN SHOULD GROW UP WITH PETS IN THE HOUSE
Children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma. Many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having a dog or cat. Children can benefit from playing with dogs, which can be both a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a dog can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance. Caring for a furry friend gives a child the gift of unconditional love.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HAVING A PET
Pets can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Your lifestyle changes when you own a pet. Your dog loves going for walks therefore helping you meet your daily exercise needs. You become more social because people tend to approach you when you have a pet. They also add structure to your day because you have a daily routine of feeding, walking and other duties that come with taking care of your pet.
HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP?
Not ready or unable to adopt at this time but you still want to help an animal in need? Shelters and animal rescues depend on funding through your DONATIONS. They are always in need of SUPPLIES such as: puppy pads, dog beds, blankets, towels, dog food, cat food, cat litter, litter pans, collars/leashes, paper towels, fragrance-free laundry soap and dish soap. These facilities also need VOLUNTEERS for adoption support, dog walkers, bathing animals, handling social media accounts and emails, adoption events…the list goes on. Click on the website links below for information on how you can donate these items or how you can make a monetary donation to a specific rescue or shelter.
Here is a list of local shelters and animal rescues where you can adopt an animal who is looking for their forever home! If you know of a facility not listed below, please leave information in the comments and I will add it as soon as I can.
- MCACC (Maricopa County Animal Care & Control) – Website – Facebook
- Ohana Animal Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Boxer Luv Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Pei People – Website – Facebook
- AZ Happy Tails Animal Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Friends for Life Animal Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Furever Friends Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Pittie Me Rescue – Website – Facebook
- AJ’s Best Friends Rescue (Persian & Himalayan Cats) – Website
- Freedom Tails Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Coopers Chance Animal Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Arizona Animal Welfare League – Website – Facebook (Has a location in the Chandler Mall)
- AZ Care Rescue – Website
- Carrie On Rescue – Website – Facebook
- On Angels Wings Pet Rescue – Website – Facebook
- One Dog Arizona – Website – Facebook
- Pound Animals Worth Saving (P.A.W.S.) – Website – Facebook
- Rotten Rottie Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Saving One Life – Website – Facebook
- Small Orphaned Animal Rescue (SOAR) – Website – Facebook
- Underdog Rescue of Arizona – Website – Facebook
- Valley Dogs – Website – Facebook
- Where the Cats Meow Animal Rescue – Website – Facebook
- Arizona Humane Society – Website – Facebook
Facebook pages worth checking out:
- Dog Pound Bound WEST SHELTER – daily videos of all animals that come into the shelter each day
- Dog Pound Bound EAST SHELTER – daily videos of all animals that come into the shelter each day
REASONS TO ADOPT:
- To save a life
- Because it’s one way to fight against puppy mills
- If you adopt an adult dog they will already be house trained
- Because they will improve your life, people who have pets are happier!
- Improve your social life, pets are a great ice breaker
- Help stop cruelty in mass breeding facilities
- You support a good charity and community institution
- You pay less than going to a breeder or pet store
One more thing for current pet owners! If you have a dog or cat, please get them microchipped right away. This helps prevent lost pets from ending up in shelters and they can return home quickly.