The 5 Best Reasons to Adopt a Dog

You can change an animal’s life, and yours too!

Honey Bunches
This is Honey (short for Honey Bunches). She is our second rescue.

The decision to bring a dog into our homes shouldn’t be taken lightly.  This requires even more thought when that decision involves a rescue.  Rescues come with a history.  It’s a history that many times we will never know.  That history could shape the animal’s behavior and socialization in positive or negative  ways. 

However, many of us will never have another chance to influence an animal’s life like we do when we choose a rescue.  The dog that we may consider when thinking about adopting a rescue could have been physically mistreated. This could include things like being left outside in adverse conditions, not fed an adequate diet, or possibly worse.  No animal should have to live its life in those conditions.  Unfortunately, so many do.  But, we can change that!

We have the chance to bring that little life into our homes and show it love!  We have the opportunity to try to make the life of that little animal much better.  Imagine being able to bring a scared, little dog into your home and relieve its fears.  The love and devotion we can receive is worth it.  So, given the right circumstances we can have a loyal, loving friend for years to come. 

My wife and I have been able to bring three rescues into our home.  I think it’s one of the better things we have ever done. 

Reasons to Adopt a Dog

There are so many reasons to adopt a dog, below are some of the ones that influenced me to make that step.

1.  A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Save that One Special Life

Although there are a number of no-kill shelters in the United States, there are not nearly enough.  The ASPCA reports that about 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters each year.  Of that number approximately 670,000 of those dogs are euthanized. Some of those dogs may have had severe health issues, or behavioral problems that would have made adoption very difficult, if not impossible. Sadly, many of these dogs are put down because no one is willing to adopt them.  This is such a travesty! 

You have a chance to save that one special life!  You can make such an incredible difference to that one little animal! 

2. The Opportunity to Change a Life

Yes, I understand that above I discussed saving a life, which certainly counts as change! But, in this instance I am talking about taking an animal that may have been mistreated at times in its life, and healing it! You may have to promote healing of physical scars, or of mental or emotional scars, neither of which a dog should be subjected to in its life.

Many, and in fact the vast majority of shelter animals are perfectly normal, and have no issues whatsoever. Only around 7 percent have health or biting issues which may have caused the animal to be given up. That means a great majority of sheltered animals are perfectly normal.

If you do happen to get a dog with issues, this may require patience and understanding on your part. Remember that we don’t know what the dog has been through that may be causing these issues. But, in working through any problems, you will gain two great gifts – the building of the virtue of patience (I can always use more!), and the loyalty and love of a wonderful friend and family member.

3. You have a great chance of receiving a healthy dog

We have probably all heard about people that adopt a rescue only to have it pass on shortly after the adoption. However, you are much more likely to receive a healthy pet that is up to date on its vaccinations, already spayed or neutered, has been checked for parasites, gone through a behavioral analysis, and possibly microchipped.

There are a number of very high quality breeders that raise beautiful dogs. You may be able to find these on the web by doing a google search for high quality breeders to see which may be recommended by trusted organizations. There are also a number of breeders that aren’t high quality, however. Just because a puppy is purchased from a pet store doesn’t mean that they will be healthier than a rescue, and many times they are not. Due to the conditions that they may have been born and raised in, puppies brought up in environments such as these may often display problems such emotional issues, separation anxiety or physical issues.

Please don’t get me wrong – puppies in pet stores need homes too. But, purchasing more animals from pet stores that deal with puppy mill breeders, can cause more dogs to suffer. If you do decide to purchase from a pet store, make sure you deal with one that associates with quality breeders.

4. You can save a lot of green, and I don’t mean salads

You can count on paying more to purchase a dog from a pet store, quite a bit more. The average cost of a puppy from one of these establishments can be quite high. A quick search on Google for the cost of these dogs for the current year showed prices ranging from $500 to $3500 for the articles I looked at. Considering that they may not have had all of the upfront procedures and checks that a rescue normally receives, that doesn’t sound like such a bargain.

Rescues on the other hand normally run anywhere between $50 and $150. I believe I payed $250 for Max if I remember right, and was told that they could lower the price if they needed to. I was glad to pay the $250 figuring the extra money could be used to help other animals in the adoption center.

5. You will be a hero to that one dog

In November of 2017, I went to the Charleston Animal Society Chili Cook-Off and Oyster Roast. I went for two purposes. One was to help an organization that I feel absolutely deserved it. The other was to try to get some photographs as I am somewhat of an amateur photographer. Before I left that day, I discovered a third purpose that I wasn’t even aware of when I left for the event that morning. I adopted Max.

I already had two dogs, and we weren’t really looking for a third. But, I made a mistake and walked by the kennel that they had him housed in for the event. “What a cute little fellow.”, I said to myself. By the time the day was over, I had walked by that spot several more times. I called my wife, we talked, and we decided to adopt Max. Max’s name at the time we adopted him was Ruben. We decided to change his name to Maximus, or Max for short.

As I told Max when I was carrying him to the car, he would never have to worry about being mistreated again in his life. I would take care of him. I wouldn’t let anything happen to him. He would always be well fed, and well taken care of. He would go on family vacations and camping trips with us. We would always love him, and he would have a forever family.

Max is by me right now as I write this, and he stays by me the vast majority of the time. I am Max’s hero.

Final Thoughts

Max on a deck chair
Max, relaxing on one of our deck chairs.

I love my King Charles Cavalier that my wife and I purchased from the pet store almost 14 years ago. He is a beautiful, loving dog that wouldn’t know how to growl at anything if you gave him a course in it. But, I think from now on I will visit the rescue centers to choose my pets. We have been very happy with the ones we have brought home from there. I hope you will decide to give an animal a second chance for happiness. You will be amazed at what they give back in return.

If you know someone that may be thinking about adopting a pet, please share this with them!

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