Overcrowded animal shelters kill about 1.2 million dogs a year in the U.S. That’s roughly 60 percent of all dogs that enter a shelter. Why?
Don’t even get me started. Just read the news any day of the week and you will see why. Humans are irresponsible to say the least. If we as a species practiced the same unconditional love as dogs do, the news would be filled with happy stories.
You can read more sickening statistics about unwanted dogs and cats on the ASPCA website. I just wanted to get your attention with a doozy opener.
There are millions of unwanted dogs across the nation representing every breed, age, size, health, and temperament. If you already own a dog, you already know the benefits of dog ownership. If you are holding back, let me share with you a few compelling reasons to find yourself a dog today!
Dog Ownership Improves Physical and Mental Health
I am not a doctor or scientist. But there are plenty of smart people out there who have been studying the relationship between dog ownership and its health benefits.
Did you know:
- Babies who grow up with dogs are less likely to develop allergies.
- Dogs help people meet other people more easily. They help you socialize. They can even improve your chances of getting a date!
- Dog owners tend to exercise more often and more rigorously than non dog owners.
- Dogs provide companionship for the elderly and give them a reason to stay active.
- The calm and steady presence of a dog can help reduce stress.
- Dogs are good for the heart. In fact, the National Institute of health funded a study that looked at 421 adults who’d suffered heart attacks. One year later, they discovered dog owners were more likely to still be alive than the non dog owners, regardless of the severity of the heart attack. You can read more about the study here.
Find Your Perfect Dog
The right dog for me may not be the right dog for you. I chose Bitsy because the personality and traits of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a great match for my lifestyle. Every family has its own set of circumstances. There was a time when adopting a shelter dog was like shooting dice – you had no idea what you were getting. But so many shelters in the U.S. today take the time to really evaluate each dog, that you can find exactly what you are looking for. Even better, most no-kill shelters use a network of foster families to help these unwanted dogs adjust to family life before they go to a forever home. And unlike buying a pet from a breeder, you can adopt a dog on a trial basis to make sure it is the right fit.
There are a number of online resources for finding a shelter dog. I’ve listed three of the main ones. List your location and preferences, then patiently wait for your ideal dog to show up in search! Or you can attend a local pet adoption event and see adoptable dogs in person.
If you want to support a local no kill shelter in your area, you can find it here. http://www.nokillnetwork.org/
Still not sure you are ready to commit to a dog? You can always apply to be a foster family. This provides temporary homes to unwanted dogs and gives you a taste of ownership.
Please leave a comment below if you have a heart-warming dog adoption story to share. Make sure you include a photo of your new best pal!