I had always been a cat person up until 16 years ago when I met my husband. He came with his very own four-legged best friend and there was no way I was going to come between them. So, not only did I invite him into my life, I welcomed his furry friend too. There was a very valid reason I’d been steering clear of dogs and that was an allergy. When I was younger, I only had to come within yards of a dog and I’d erupt into fits of sneezing, have a runny nose and itchy eyes. If I got close enough to touch one, then it was even worse.
Nevertheless, I loved my husband too much to let it be an issue and was amazed to discover that it no longer was. It seemed that I’d grown out of my allergy, and while I still couldn’t get too up close and personal with his gorgeous chocolate Labrador, I could at least be in the same room and even sit next to him on the sofa. He was called Rren (short for Darren, but you can’t call a dog Darren!) and he quickly became part of our happy family.
Fast forward several years and my husband and I moved to Bulgaria. We left the kids behind, but there was no way we could bear to leave dear old Rren. I moved out to Bulgaria first, because I’d managed to secure a job and my husband and Rren followed a couple of months later. They made the 2000+ mile trip, together with all our worldly possessions, in our faithful Toyota Hilux Surf.
Fast forward a few more years and we decided to add a few more four-legged friends to our Bulgarian family. We’d already been made painfully aware of the stray dog situation in the country and the lack of spaying and neutering programmes that were making the problem worse. We knew we’d have no problem finding a companion or two for Rren. Sadly, Rren passed away not too long after our new family members appeared on the scene, although he did have a few happy months with them.
That’s quite an introduction to this blog, so I guess I’d better get down to the nitty gritty of why you might want to adopt, rather than buy a dog from a breeder or a pet shop. Consider the following reasons and remember they apply to all kinds of animals, not just dogs. Animal rescue and shelter centres across the UK, and indeed the world, are filled with cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, chickens, ducks and much more. All of them are waiting for their very own forever home, with people who will love and care for them. In Bulgaria, for example, a dog rescue organisation, aptly named Twitchy Noses, works tirelessly to improve the lives of stray, abandoned and injured dogs in central southern Bulgaria. This organisation has been responsible for rehoming more than 250 stray dogs, and there are plenty more waiting for a second chance at happiness.
8 Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Pet
Save a Life
Adopt from a rescue centre or shelter and you’ll be giving an animal a second chance. Many of the animals you find in these places will have been neglected, abandoned or abused. Some may be there because their owners simply couldn’t look after them due to illness or a change in circumstances. Unfortunately, there’s often a lack of space in some shelters and animals have to be euthanised. By adopting, you’re stopping this from happening.
While saving money might not feature at the top of your list when you’re looking for a pet it’s a benefit worth considering. Most of the animals offered for adoption will have been micro-chipped, spayed, neutered and vaccinated, so you don’t have to pay for the procedures yourself.
Help to Eradicate Puppy Farms and Pet Shops
While there is a lot of legislation in place in the UK to stop the practise of puppy farms and pet shops selling puppies and kittens under six months old, the same rules aren’t common practice around the world. If you adopt from a shelter, you won’t be playing a part in such an inhumane trade. Puppy farms are run by breeders who don’t care about the animals they are producing. Instead, all they care about is making as much profit as possible. The living conditions are way below an acceptable standard, with animals being kept in small cages and given little human contact. Puppies are taken away from their mother and litter far too early, which can lead to behavioural problems later on.
If you get a pet from a shelter it is more likely to be house-trained so you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and extra effort.
Take it from a rescue pet owner, they seem to know when they’ve been rescued and the bond between you and your pet will be especially strong. A rescued pet will love you unconditionally, never judge you, and will always be there for you.
Spayed or Neutered
Adopting an animal from a shelter means it will have been spayed or neutered where possible. Spaying or neutering is important in controlling the animal population.
Have you considered adopting an older pet? There are considerable advantages, for example, they are often calmer and happy to sit in your company rather than demand constant attention. They may also be less likely to destroy furniture if they’ve already been trained. An older dog will already have a more developed personality and you’ll be able to pick up on this when visiting a shelter.
When you visit a shelter you’re likely to have an idea of what you want, but there will be a wide variety of animals looking for a new home and you might end up going home with something completely different.
Welcome a rescue animal into your life and they’ll bring lots of love to your home. I can vouch for the joy a rescue animal brings to your life and owning a dog has made me so much fitter and healthier.