Not long after my husband and I started dating, we joked that one day we’d have a labradoodle named Walrus. I can’t remember how this came about, but it became an inside joke between us throughout our entire relationship. Because we were living in a condo that didn’t allow pets, we told ourselves that once we moved out, we’d get a dog.
After getting married and moving to Fort Wayne, we decided that getting a dog was an absolute must – especially since I was working from home. When thinking about what kind of dog we wanted it, it was a no-brainer we wanted a (chocolate) labradoodle named Walrus.
Long story short, I lost my job, and our dream of getting our Walrus was put on hold. Eventually, we decided to look into adopting a dog instead – mostly because it would be less expensive to adopt from a shelter than buy a labradoodle from a breeder.
Everyone always says, “adopt don’t shop!” But if you’re like my husband and I, you’ve probably thought of purchasing a dog at one point or another – maybe because you wanted a certain breed or you just felt more comfortable with it.
So, why should you adopt instead of buying from a breeder or pet store? Here are five reasons to adopt a dog:
1. Adoption Gives Dogs A Second Chance
After adopting our dog Hendrix, I did a little bit of researching to learn more about his background. I learned that:
- He and his brother were picked up as strays in Alabama in December 2015
- On Valentine’s Day 2016, he and his brother were adopted together
- At the end of March/early April, both dogs were returned because the owner didn’t have enough time for them
- At some point, he was adopted out again but was returned for being too timid
- His brother was adopted – but Hendrix wasn’t
- At the end of June 2016, Hendrix was transported to Fort Wayne, IN through Rescue Waggin’/Petsmart Charities with the hopes of finding a new home
The dogs that end up at shelters are healthy, sweet and smart. Many times, when a dog is surrendered, it has more to do with the owner than the dog. Adopting a dog from a shelter gives these dogs a second chance at a forever home.
2. Adoption Saves Lives
It’s crazy how many dogs are put down every year because there isn’t enough space for them. While there are many no-kill shelters out there, not all of them operate this way. According to the SPCA [Link to: http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics], approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year due to overcrowding. Every time you adopt a dog or cat, you give them one more chance at life.
3. Adoption Saves You Money
When we looked at getting a labradoodle, it was going to cost us anywhere between $800 to $1,200 to buy the dog – and then we still needed to get the dog spayed/neutered, microchipped and up-to-date on all of its shots.
For an $85 adoption fee, Hendrix came neutered, microchipped and up-to-date on all of his shots. And because we adopted, his first vet check-up was free.
4. Mixed Breeds Are Often Healthier
There’s a huge misconception that purebred dogs are healthier than mixed breeds. However, many purebred dogs have health problems such as hip dysplasia, enlarged hearts and breathing problems. This is often due to over-breeding or breeding for looks rather than wellness. Mixed breeds are more likely to live longer and cost you less in vet bills. Just another reason to adopt instead of shop.
5. Adopting Is Rewarding
When we adopted Hendrix, all we knew about him was that he came from the Shelby Humane Society in Alabama. We had so many questions when we got him home. I did some digging and was able to learn about his background, and while that may info have been intimidating for some people, it just made me love him so much more.
After a couple of weeks, I shared his adoption story and progress with the Shelby Humane Society, and their response was so overwhelming and sweet. In that moment, I just knew that adopting this little man was the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my entire life.
And while the Shelby Humane Society thanked me giving Hendrix the chance he deserved, I couldn’t imagine things any other way. He pulled me out of a really bad place and filled a piece of my heart that I didn’t even know was missing.
So thank you, Hendrix, for coming into our lives and for being the missing piece to our little family.