One of the many problems in today’s society is the excessive amount of homeless animals in shelters across the country. Many of these helpless animals end up spending their entire lives in the shelter because not enough people are adopting. Instead, a lot of Americans are purchasing animals through high-end breeders.
Rylie Duggan is a senior at Lake Shore who volunteers for All About Animals Rescue located in Warren. She has owned rescue animals her whole life, ranging all the way from dogs, to cats, to guinea pigs. Since she first started volunteering at the shelter in 2016, Duggan has become a foster mom to 24 kittens.
There are many benefits to adoption. As Duggan explains, “One giant pro of adoption is cost. Most shelters only charge between $50-250 for an adoption fee, and that includes shots, a microchip, and spaying/neutering. Breeder pets can cost upwards of $3,000 for the animal alone. Adoption saves money and lives, so I’d say it’s a win-win.”
Not only does adoption benefit the adoptees and the animals, it benefits the shelter as well. Shelters are always struggling to make enough room for all surrendered and found animals. Unfortunately, most shelters do not have the room to take it every animal that winds up on their doorstep. This leads many shelters with no other option but to be a kill shelter. Kill shelters euthanize animals if they don’t have enough room for them. Duggan says, “There are millions and millions of stray, feral, and abandoned animals that shelters take in, but there’s never enough room for them all.” She continues with, “Almost every shelter or rescue I’ve worked with has a problem with overcrowding. Unfortunately, the solution is usually to euthanize animals to make more room. By adopting, you are freeing up space for more animals to be saved and reducing the need for euthanasia to create more room.”
There are also notable differences, both physically and emotionally, between rescue and breeder animals. Duggan addresses the differences with, “A lot of times, there are both physical and emotional differences between rescue pets and breeder pets. Healthwise, animals in a shelter might have been malnourished and ill on arrival, but easily recover. Animals that are mixed breed have stronger genes and a lower chance of developing illnesses that are breed specific. On the other hand, some purebred animals look healthy when purchased, but can later develop issues due to inbreeding and genetic disorders.” She continues by addressing the emotional differences, “Emotionally, some rescue pets can have behavioral problems due to abuse or neglect in the past, but in my opinion, that makes them even more grateful and loving when they are finally treated with love and kindness. And as a bonus, some who have been owned in the past are already trained.”
No matter what animal you’re looking for, adoption is always a great way to go about finding your newest family member. Duggan concludes with, “I would absolutely recommend adoption for anyone looking for a pet. Whether you’re looking for a puppy/kitten or an adult, purebred or mixed, there is always an animal waiting for a new home.”