Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only are you saving that animal from possible euthanization and providing it with a welcoming and loving home, but you’re enhancing your own life, too. It’s truly a win-win scenario for both of you.
Unfortunately, millions of animals are sitting in shelters worldwide, waiting for their forever home. It’s so important for people to be aware of the reality these animals face, which is why April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.
Keep reading to learn more about this special day and what you can do to observe it.
Why Is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day Important?
Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is important as it raises awareness about shelter animals that need loving homes. According to the ASPCA, around 6.3 million animals enter American shelters annually.1 Of these, about 3.1 million are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats. While these numbers are declining, shelters still euthanize approximately 920,000 animals yearly.
Adopting an animal from a shelter frees up resources so the next animal will have somewhere to be until it can find its forever home. Most shelter pets have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and dewormed. In addition, they’ll have undergone examinations by a veterinarian to confirm they’re healthy for adoption, so you know you’re getting a healthy pet.
How to Celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
Welcoming Home a Shelter Pet
If you’ve decided to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day by adopting an animal, there are several things you’ll need to do in preparation for the adoption and your new pet’s arrival home.
Consider a senior pet.
Older pets in shelters are often overlooked as many adopters want to get a young pet. While adopting a senior animal doesn’t come without challenges, it’s the right choice for some families.
Older pets are less rambunctious than their younger counterparts and often come pre-trained, so you won’t need to do all the dirty work regarding training and socializing.
Check the bylaws in your community.
If you live in an apartment or condominium or are part of a homeowner’s association, read the fine print on your agreement before choosing to adopt a pet. Some facilities have rules about how many pets are permitted and what types of pets are allowed.
Some communities also have caps on how many pets you are allowed, so if you already have a few animals at home, it doesn’t hurt to check your local bylaws to make sure it’s ok for you to add to your family.
Gather your supplies.
Before you bring your new pet home, ensure your home is ready for its arrival. You’ll need supplies such as food and water bowls, toys, food, and animal-specific items like leashes and collars for dogs and scratching posts for cats.
Be sure to ask the adoption agency about your new pet’s current diet. You don’t want to switch them to a new food without first transitioning them to it, so you’ll need to buy a bag of its current food to bring home with you.
Prepare to do a slow introduction.
Adopting from a shelter can be a lengthy process full of paperwork and background checks, but the reward is more than worth it. If you’ve been considering adding to your fur family, National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is the perfect time to do so. Mark April 30th down in your calendars as a reminder to observe this worthwhile cause.
Featured Image Credit: Angyalosi Beata, Shutterstock