Photo from Irie's Instagram series #InstanyIrie
Here at Hammers & Heels, we love our animals and have a dog friendly workplace. Most of our employees have adopted or are fostering pets, and a few of us have backgrounds working with rescues. Irie is the mascot of Hammers and Heels, she found her forever home with Alicia after being rescued and placed in a shelter in Boston. Taking a break to jump in Irie’s bed with her for a quick snuggle session during the workday is one of the fuzzier perks of a job at Hammers & Heels.
Save a life. There are so many perfectly good, healthy animals in shelters who may be scheduled for euthanasia. The number of adoptable dogs and cats that are euthanized each year is currently around 2.7 million. This number could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. Even within rescue groups the more dogs that are adopted and fostered the more dogs they can save. You are not only saving the pet you are taking home but also the homeless animal that can now move into the space you helped free up.
Reduce demand. By adopting an animal rather than purchasing one from a pet shop or breeder, you are not participating in creating the demand for animals to continue to be bred. Many puppy mills house animals in shockingly poor conditions and the parents are forced to breed multiple times a year until they are no longer profitable. Even backyard breeders often force parents to over breed. (Irie was in this exact situation) By adopting you are guaranteeing that you are not supporting cruel breeding practices. People who want a purebred dog often don’t realize 25% of dogs and puppies within the shelter and rescue network are purebred. It may just take some work to find the perfect pet. www.Petfinder.com is a wonderful resource for finding exactly the breed and age you are looking for.
Veterinary Care. Typically basic veterinary care (such as neutering, shots, etc.) will have already been provided before the animals are made available for adoption, saving you time and expense. There is often an adoption fee to help offset some of this cost, but it is typically much less than the cost of purchasing an animal (and then having its veterinary care to pay for on top of it). It is a rather common misconception that the animals that end up in shelters have done something “wrong” or has something wrong with them medically. However, the most common reasons for pets loosing their homes are people related (allergies, divorce, move, lack of time, and financial constraints are the most common).
Know what your getting. An adopted animal will likely have already had some basic obedience training, especially if they’ve spent some time in an experienced foster home. At the very least the shelter will know if your prospective pet was an owner surrender or a stray. Most rescue groups also do basic behavioral evaluations that you can ask about. In contrast a pet store will rarely have any idea what a pet will be like in a home. Many rescues have a foster program or a trial period so you can make sure your new friend is a good fit for your life style.
Life Enrichment. The unconditional love a pet gives you is like nothing else, it can lift depression, ease loneliness, and even lower blood pressure. The gratitude from a pet that you rescued is the best there is. Want proof? Check out these “20 ecstatic shelter dogs on their way home for the first time”. Knowing you saved your furry companion’s life makes a bond so much stronger.