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by Suzie Cyrenne February 19, 2015 9 min read2 Comments
One of the reasons which might stop a future pet parent to adopt an animal from a rescue or a shelter is the host of misleading information regarding pet adoption. These wrong beliefs and misguided information have given birth to a plethora of pet adoption myths.
Like urban legends, pet adoption myths are often rooted from real life problems but are given a whole new life by people who either romanticize or sensationalize real concerns to become their own hyped-up boogeymen. Now, this is not to say that we must let go of common sense when adopting a pet or an animal but rather, we should let go of unfounded fears and worries. This will allow for open minds and, more importantly, open arms to love and care for another creature.
To help you guys out, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common pet adoption myths and the truth behind each of them below.
This has to be the most common and widely believed of all pet adoption myths. Oftentimes people think that animals are in shelters because they have health or psychological conditions which makes them less desirable but this is simply not true. As Gulf Coast Humane Society’s Executive Director Jennifer Galloway says in her statement, “I would love for people to know that most shelter pets end up where they are at for no reason of their own, they are not damaged goods. Most come to us because of a death, divorce, birth, lifestyle change, moving or because the family did not train.”
Surely we can do better than just lump all animals in shelters and rescues into one group right? We’ll discuss this in length in all the other pet adoption myths and pet adoption truth mentioned in this article.
These days, families who love their pets and animals can surrender their pet for reasons which have nothing to do with the pet’s health and behavior. Here are some example of situations like these are the following:
So yes, not all rescued animals or those in shelters are damaged goods. GM Hart says, “Not every rescued animal is damaged; not all rescues come from horrific backgrounds or circumstances. Not all have faced abuse or neglect, not all have some major issue that caused them to be homeless. Sometimes, a dog is just a dog that was dealt a bad hand.”
It is true that in some cases, pets are surrendered or taken to shelters because of factors which are directly concerning the pet such as:
This myth comes up in our list in a number of ways but again, it is simply a myth and the truth is far from it.
Shelters, rescues, sanctuaries, and pounds are teeming with adoptable animals from all ages, health condition, size, and breed. Do you want a puppy? A 2 month old kitten? A breeding age female guinea pig? You can find them all for adoption at a local shelter or nearby rescue. All you have to do is make some inquiries.
For some reason, a huge majority of future pet parents thinks that animals at rescues and shelters are dropped off with no info whatsoever. These days, you can get an animal or pet with a detailed health record, thanks to microchips!
Remember that the goal of most rescues and shelters is to get an animal adopted with a compatible pet parent or family. This is why adoption can be a long process because rescues and sometimes shelters do take time to get to know the animal for them to be able to match it with the best adoption option. A great tip is to talk to volunteers or people working at the facility because they would have the best idea of each animal’s personality and how it might mesh with your needs.
Not true! These days there are plenty of animals and pets going homeless. Just a quick look at craigslist and you’ll sometimes find exotic animals aside from the usual ones like hamsters, cats, dogs, gerbils, and guinea pigs.
If you have a certain animal or pet in mind, it won’t hurt to call the shelters in your area and you might just get surprised by the array of creatures needing a home. Some shelters have turtles, birds, snakes, farm animals, and even spiders! Who knows, you might even find your new animal best friend?
Healthy animals are brought in shelters, pounds, rescues, and other facilities for various reasons such as their family is moving away or the pet simply got too big. That is far from being dirty and sickly!
First of all, most shelters and rescues won’t adopt out a pet or an animal with a health issue. More over, rescues often rehabilitate an animal and makes sure it is ready for a new home before allowing the new owner to take it home. As for shelters, they have in-house vets, staffs, and sometimes volunteers who can give you the run down on the animal’s condition. You can also check out an animal prior to formalizing the adoption.
Plenty of pure breed animals end up in shelters for various reasons, the most common being financial and/or the pet parent having an unforeseen change of circumstances.
It is true! In some shelters, you can even request to be notified when a certain breed of pet or animal becomes available. If you are really keen on having a pure breed animal, rescues are a much better option than shelters because rescues tend to focus on only 1 animal type at a time as compared to shelters which usually take in all sorts of critters.
Getting a pet is never cheap to begin with. Having an animal means being a responsible owner and of course that comes with paperwork and having to shell out a bit of dough. Different facilities have different fees and yes, the fees may look like a lot at first glance but when you do the math, you are actually saving yourself a lot.
Neutering, spaying, checking an animal for health conditions, treating underlying conditions if any, and a complete round of vaccinations all cost money. By adopting from a rescue or shelter, you’ll either get a discounted rate and will have to pay only a portion of the total or even pay nothing except the adoption fee. That’s a great bargain!
Being surrendered to a shelters and being in a sad situation can hurt anyone, but this doesn’t mean forever (except maybe in the most extreme cases). Just a quick look online and you’ll see stories of animals who have been through the toughest situations and abuse and yet they turned out to be the sweetest friend their pet parents could ever hope for.
Animals have a remarkable ability to heal and what looks like a scared little ball of fur in 1 corner of a cage can turn out to be the sun-shiniest bundle of joy when given the opportunity. Sharon of Scooby North America attests to this, saying “don’t pass by a shelter animal just because they may have been through rough times. They can overcome their problems with the right care, patience and training and be very devoted family members!”
For some reason, people tend to cling to the notion that getting the pet as young as possible is the best way to ensure that the pet will grow up to be whatever they want it to be. This is also one of the reasons why people end up giving their pet away – because their expectation didn’t meet reality.
Just like young pets, older animals can have their own charms. You may not be able to enjoy the cute moments that a young animal brings when you adopt a senior animal, but then, adopting an older pet can also mean that the animal has come to his or her full growth and has a settled personality. The animal is also way past his or her destructive phase and can be a very good companion for you, even for just a few years.
This may be true a decade or more ago but these days, shelters and rescues have changed a lot and they are far from the places-where-horror-stories are made of years past. Rather than clinging on seeing the animal as a sad creature stuck in a shelter, think of how much better that animal’s life would be living with you. Angels of Assisi Adoption Center Director Matthew Brown says something to the same effect: “Don't focus on seeing them in cages but rather snuggled up with you on the couch so they never have to be in the cage again.”
Of course there are exceptions but you also have to understand that most shelters’ and rescues’ goal is to give animals a better life in every way they can. The good thing is, animals do not get hung up in the past like people do, so even if the pet looks forlorn at the shelter’s kennel, you can still end up with a happy animal once properly cared for.
Besides, knowing how to help your new pet's transition can be done with lots of socializations and maybe some homeopathic products, especially those which can be custom-made in cases of pet's with anxiety and depression. We’ve helped countless shelter animals adjust to a happy life in their new home through our products.
We made this article in the hopes of educating people about the flight of shelter pets and to inform them on the truth about homeless pets and animals. The statistics that A Forever Home Animal Rescue Senior volunteer Linda Rock shared says that 9 out of 10 dogs born can become homeless at one point in their life and that 99% of the 6 million cats and dogs euthanized yearly in the U.S. are healthy and adoptable. How can we let millions of perfectly loving animals be put to sleep when we can adopt?
We hope that we helped debunk some of the pet adoption myths you may have heard of and that you’re on your way to deciding about giving a homeless animal a second or maybe third lease in life.
For more pet healthcare tips and for updates with this ultimate guide to pet adoption series, simply sign up for the Homeo Animal newsletter and don’t forget to join us on Facebook. You may also contact Homeo Animal directly if you think we can help your further.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
December 09, 2015
This is very helpful with good information. Thank you.
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December 09, 2015
We’ve had rescue Bouviers for almost 40 years. Every one of them has been a stellar experience…even the pair of brothers (Bouv Brothers Jake and Elwood) who came to us at 8 years old. We’ve gotten too old to keep up with that breed so now we have 2 rescued shelter dogs, considered ‘senior’ dogs when we adopted them. I wish everybody could see the value a senior dog can bring to your life.