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Five Common Misconceptions about Pet Adoption

1. Shelter Pets have been abandoned for a reason.

Contrary to popular belief, shelter pets are simply unlucky rather than unlovable. In fact, the majority of shelter pets have been surrendered not because of their own problems, but because of their owner’s issues. The number one reason owner’s give away their pets is because they are moving. Other common reasons include the onset of allergies, an elderly person’s inability to care for the pet, and quite commonly today, financial troubles and home foreclosures. Other reasons can be the owners got rid of their pet when their baby was born, or they simply lost interest in the pet and became too busy to take care of them.

2. With Shelter Pets, You never know what you are going to get.

Most animal care centers have several methods of discovering the animal’s true personality and determining what type of home would be best. When people surrender their pets, the shelter staff takes the time to ask questions about the animals personality, behavior and health. Animals are observed by the staff and volunteers during their stay. Shelter animals tend to be adults, so their personalities are more developed and their behavior traits are easier to detect than those of puppies or kittens, says Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of ASPCA Adoptions.

3. Shelter Pets are sickly.

Shelter pets aren’t invincible when it comes to illness, but, to be fair, neither are pets purchased from pet stores or breeders. That said, shelters do take actions to ensure their animals are in good health. All reputable shelters provide medical care to pets including basic wellness exams, routine vaccinations and treatment for any medical conditions. When visiting shelters, ask questions to determine the state of your potential pet’s health and what type of medical programs they have in place.

Shelters cannot guarantee an animal’s long-term health, nor can breeders, for that matter. However, should your pet become afflicted with an unexpected illness right after you adopt, rest assured: Reputable shelters will have mechanisms in place to help adopters deal with any medical issues that may crop up shortly after adoption.

4. Purebreds are impossible to find at Animal Shelters.

Just because your heart is set on a purebred doesn’t mean you have to rule out your local shelter. It is possible to find purebreds, though you may have to look a little harder. According to co-founder Betsy Saul, approximately 25 percent of adoptable animals in shelters or rescue groups are purebred. Of course, it should be noted that although you can expect certain characteristics from pedigrees, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an edge over their mixed breed counterparts. “Studies have shown that because mixed breeds are from different genetic backgrounds, they generally live longer than purebreds and have fewer health problems,” explains Saul.

5. When picking out a pet, puppies and kittens are the way to go.

Puppies and kittens are undeniably adorable, but as anyone who has ever had her favorite pair of stilettos chewed to bits knows, they can require an ample amount of time, patience and energy. On the other hand, older pets are often less demanding, as they usually do not require constant supervision.

Many still fret that they won’t be able to form quite the same bond with an older animal as they would with a kitten or puppy. The truth is that though rescue pets can require a period of adjustment, they usually flourish when placed in loving, nurturing homes. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly teach it how to love again. Animals have proven themselves to be astoundingly resilient, and they will adapt to new homes with relative ease.

Shelter Pets... just waiting!

This information is a compilation from highly regarded Animal Advocates on the Internet.

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