Where to begin?
First, I’m a sucker for the underdog. It’s tough, I mean really tough, to turn my back on an animal in need. Dogs, cats, any shelter animal really, are struggling to beat the odds. Shelters have a finite amount of space and resources. It doesn’t take a whole lot of grey matter to do the math. But, when you adopt one furry friend from a shelter or rescue group, you actually save two lives – the one you adopted and the one you just made space for at the shelter. Super bonus. If you’re not in a position to adopt, you can always donate your time, cash, or supplies. Every little bit helps.
|Grace was a stray, an underdog for sure, and just look at that grin!|
Second, how do you know if a breeder is reputable or just another neglectful puppy mill? Seriously. If AKC registration gives you comfort, think again. Global Animal posted an article in 2012 noting that it estimates up to 80% of AKC’s annual income comes from puppy mills. Still think that registration means something? Here’s an article from TODAY.com wherein an AKC representative admits the AKC has only 9 inspectors for the entire country. My opinion? No way, no how, are they inspecting even half of the AKC registered breeders nation-wide. There are currently 20 AKC registered Labrador Retriever breeders in North Carolina alone, and the Labrador is just 1 of 178 different breeds listed on the AKC website. With 17 puppy mill busts in North Carolina since 2011, I have to wonder how many continue to fly under the radar.
Third, adopting an adult animal from a shelter or rescue group gives you the benefit of talking to the caretaker about personality and temperament. If it doesn’t matter to you and you’ll love and keep that dog no matter what, that’s awesome! But it matters to some folks, and the shelter staff or foster can tell you what that dog’s personality and energy level have been. Perfect example is a beautiful female pittie I was gaga for. But I talked to her foster mom and learned she was a sweetheart and a barker when left alone. I live in a condo with two neighbors working from home and another working 3rd shift. As much as I wanted to adopt that sweet girl, she would not have been the best choice for my housing situation.
Now don’t go thinking I’m against puppies – I can assure you I am not. If you want a newby, certainly adopt one (or three)! There’s nothing cuter. But if you need a specific personality to fit your lifestyle, consider adopting an adult. You’re setting yourself up for fewer surprises, and in my opinion, you owe it to yourself and to the animal to make an informed decision.
And lastly, this smile. This smile! It took 4 1/2 months for Miss Grace to give me that big pittie smile, but every minute of spoiling her, comforting her, and building her confidence has been worth it. THIS is why I rescue.
|March 22, 2014 – Grace’s first giant smile!|