If the time has come in your home to add a pet to your family, here are a few of the pros and cons regarding rescue pets.
Let's start with the cons as there really seem to be fewer;
1. Some animals end up in shelters without any background history. Depending on the age of the animal, this could be significant regarding the health of the animal, both physical and mental. Even animals dropped off by previous owners may not have reliable information.
2. Abused animals take more work. Although it is worth it in the long run, many people are unaware and unprepared.
3. Unlike a purebred dog from a reputable breeder who will guarantee the animals health and temperament, a rescue pet comes with no guarantee (rather like children!).
4. Most shelters have policies in place regarding the spaying or neutering of pets before they leave the shelter if possible. Breeding animals of unknown makeup may not be the responsible thing to do.
And those seem to be the most talked about "problems" with a rescue pet.
Time for the pros;
1. You are probably saving an innocent life. The animals in shelters did not ask to be there. Most are there because of peoples irresponsibility.
2. Variety - Think you want a rabbit? How about a chinchilla instead? Your local shelter is an excellent place to view and handle a wide variety of animals. Shelter staff are among the most knowledgeable people that you can ask regarding your choice for a pet. They will be able to answer questions regarding food, temperament, health and any available background information.
3. Health - Animals are not adopted out from shelters unless they are healthy! They may be a little worse for wear, a frostbitten ear, missing leg, but these just add to their uniqueness.
4. Surprises - If you get a young mixed breed cat or dog, the future is not cast in stone, but a good estimate on size can usually be determined by a vet. If you are not into surprises, then there are always lots of full grown adults to pick from.
5. Rescued dogs and cats are usually mixed breeds. While this may give surprises, there are good things about mixes. The most important being genetic problems that can become prevalent in purebreds, are usually not seen in mixed breeds.
6. Most pets are already spayed or neutered, saving you the time and expense.
7. Price - A purebred animal can cost anywhere from $500.00 and up. A rescue pet is usually anywhere from $10.00 (for gerbils, hamsters and mice) to $200.00 (for a dog already "fixed").
8. Availability - Unfortunately you never have to wait for a rescue pet to be born. There are literally millions. If you can't find what you want at your local shelter, try a private shelter or rescue society. Rural shelters are also a great place to look. There are less people in the country to adopt and these shelters find it more difficult to place animals.
9. Rescue pets almost seem more eager to please. Maybe they know that without you, their days were numbered. Maybe being lonely for a period of their life made them appreciate a family more. Maybe it is just us projecting our feelings onto them. Whatever the reason, a rescue will fill your life.
These are just a very few reasons to rescue a pet today. Next time you're looking, visit your local shelter before you visit a pet shop.