why is it better to adopt a pet from a shelter official studies?

Shelter animals for adoption

When searching for a new furry friend to welcome into your home, there are plenty of options available. From breeders to pet stores, it can be overwhelming to decide where to find your perfect companion. However, one option that should not be overlooked is adopting a pet from a shelter. Shelters are filled with wonderful animals just waiting for their forever homes, and choosing to adopt from a shelter can make a world of difference for both the animal and the adopter.

Why adopt from a shelter?

There are numerous reasons why adopting from a shelter is the right choice for many individuals and families. Let's take a closer look at some of these reasons:

1. Saving a life

By adopting a pet from a shelter, you are giving an animal a second chance at life. Shelters are often overflowing with animals, and sadly, many of them may be euthanized due to overcrowding. By adopting, you are directly saving a life and providing a loving home for a deserving pet.

2. Promoting responsible pet ownership

When you adopt from a shelter, you are supporting responsible pet ownership. Many shelter animals have been abandoned or surrendered by their previous owners, often due to irresponsible practices. By adopting, you are setting an example for others and promoting the importance of providing a loving and forever home for a pet.

3. Wide variety of animals

Shelters have a wide variety of animals available for adoption. Whether you're looking for a specific breed or just a lovable mixed-breed, you're sure to find your perfect match at a shelter. From playful kittens to wise senior dogs, shelters have animals of all ages, sizes, and personalities.

4. Health benefits

Contrary to popular belief, shelter animals are often just as healthy as pets from other sources. In fact, many shelters provide medical care, vaccinations, and spaying/neutering for their animals before they are adopted. By adopting from a shelter, you can have peace of mind knowing that your new pet has received proper medical attention.

5. Cost-effective

Adopting from a shelter is often more cost-effective than purchasing a pet from a breeder or a pet store. Shelters typically have lower adoption fees and may include services such as vaccinations and microchipping. Additionally, by adopting, you are helping to support the shelter and its mission to care for animals in need.

Shelter pet statistics

why is it better to adopt a pet from a shelter official studies

Before diving into the process of adopting from a shelter, it's important to understand the current state of shelter pets. Here are some eye-opening statistics:

1. Millions of animals in shelters

Every year, an estimated 6-8 million animals enter shelters in the United States alone. These animals come from a variety of situations, including strays, surrenders, and rescues. Unfortunately, not all of them find their forever homes, highlighting the importance of adoption.

2. Overpopulation crisis

One of the biggest challenges shelters face is pet overpopulation. Irresponsible breeding, lack of spaying/neutering, and pet abandonment contribute to this crisis. By adopting from a shelter, you are helping to combat this issue by giving a loving home to a pet in need.

3. Breed diversity

Contrary to common misconceptions, shelters are not only filled with mixed-breed dogs and cats. In fact, around 25% of shelter dogs are purebred, meaning you can find your favorite breed at a shelter without going through a breeder.

Adopting from shelters

If you've made the decision to adopt a pet from a shelter, there are a few steps involved in the process. While each shelter may have its own specific procedures, here is a general overview:

1. Research local shelters

Start by researching and identifying shelters in your local area. Look for reputable shelters that have a good track record of caring for their animals and facilitating successful adoptions.

2. Visit the shelter

Once you've identified a potential shelter, schedule a visit to meet the animals and speak with the shelter staff. Take your time to interact with different animals and understand their personalities, as this will help you find the perfect match for your family.

3. Complete an adoption application

Most shelters require potential adopters to fill out an adoption application. This application may ask for information about your living situation, previous pet ownership, and your expectations for a new pet. A thorough application helps the shelter staff ensure that the adoption is a good fit for both the animal and the adopter.

4. Meet and greet

If your adoption application is approved, the shelter may arrange a meet and greet session between you, your family, and the animal you are interested in adopting. This allows everyone to interact and determine if it's a good match.

5. Adoption fees and paperwork

If the meet and greet goes well, you will need to pay the adoption fee and complete the necessary paperwork. The fee helps cover the cost of caring for the animal during its stay at the shelter and often includes vaccinations and other medical services.

6. Prepare your home

Before bringing your new pet home, it's important to prepare your living space. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies such as food, water bowls, toys, a comfortable bed, and a safe space for your new pet to explore and rest.

7. Follow-up care

After adopting from a shelter, it is essential to provide your new pet with the necessary follow-up care. This includes regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and any additional medical treatments recommended by the shelter or your veterinarian.

Benefits of shelter pets

There are numerous benefits to adopting a pet from a shelter. Let's explore some of these benefits:

1. Unconditional love and companionship

Shelter pets have an innate ability to provide unconditional love and companionship. They often appreciate their second chance in life and form deep bonds with their adoptive families. The love and loyalty of a shelter pet can bring immense joy and fulfillment to your life.

2. Support for shelter's mission

By adopting from a shelter, you are directly supporting their mission to rescue and care for animals in need. The adoption fees and donations help fund the shelter's operations and enable them to continue saving lives.

3. Less demand for unethical breeders

Choosing to adopt a pet from a shelter reduces the demand for unethical breeders who prioritize profit over the well-being of animals. By opting for adoption, you are helping to combat the issues associated with irresponsible breeding.

4. Valuable life lessons

Adopting a pet from a shelter can teach valuable life lessons to children and adults alike. It promotes compassion, responsibility, and empathy towards animals. It also provides an opportunity to create lifelong memories and bonds with your new furry friend.

5. Making a difference

Every time you adopt from a shelter, you are making a significant difference in the life of an animal in need. By providing a loving home, you are giving them a chance at happiness, security, and a brighter future.

Shelter pet adoption facts

Here are some fascinating facts about shelter pet adoption:

1. Mixed-breed pets are unique

Mixed-breed pets, also known as mutts, often have unique and special qualities. Their genetic diversity can make them less prone to certain health conditions, giving them a better chance at a long and healthy life.

2. Many famous pets are rescues

Some of the most beloved and famous pets are rescues. From television stars to social media influencers, these pets have captured the hearts of millions and continue to inspire others to choose adoption.

3. Senior pets make great companions

Senior pets, often overlooked in shelters, make wonderful companions. They are generally calmer and less demanding than younger animals, making them a great fit for individuals or families looking for a more relaxed pet.

4. Shelter animals can be trained

Contrary to popular belief, shelter animals can be trained just like any other pet. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can teach your shelter pet various commands and tricks.

Shelter pet adoption stories

Here are a few heartwarming adoption stories that highlight the incredible bond formed between shelter animals and their adopters:

1. Max the Miracle Dog

Max, an adorable mixed-breed dog, was found severely injured and malnourished on the streets. He was brought to a shelter where he received veterinary care and was nursed back to health. Lisa, a kind-hearted woman, adopted Max and provided him with the love and care he needed. Today, Max is a happy and healthy dog who brings endless joy to Lisa's life.

2. Whiskers the Survivor

Whiskers, a beautiful orange tabby cat, was rescued from an abusive environment by a local shelter. His timid nature and fear of humans made him a challenging case, but Sarah, an experienced cat owner, decided to give Whiskers a chance. Through patience and understanding, Sarah helped Whiskers overcome his fears and transform into a loving and affectionate companion.

3. Bella's Second Chance

Bella, a senior Pit Bull, was surrendered to a shelter due to her age and medical issues. Despite facing initial challenges, Bella's sweet and gentle nature caught the attention of John, a retiree looking for a loyal companion. Bella now spends her days enjoying leisurely walks and snuggling with John in her forever home.

Adopting shelter animals

Adopting a pet from a shelter is a rewarding experience that not only changes the life of the animal but also brings joy and fulfillment to the adopter. If you are considering adding a new furry member to your family, we encourage you to visit your local shelter and explore the wonderful pets waiting for their forever homes.

Why is it better to adopt a pet from a shelter official studies

Official studies have consistently shown that adopting a pet from a shelter is the better choice compared to other sources. These studies have highlighted some key reasons why adopting a shelter pet is beneficial:

1. Improved mental well-being

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that pet owners, especially those who adopted from shelters, experienced improved mental well-being. Pets provide companionship, reduce stress levels, and offer unconditional love, leading to overall better mental health.

2. Decreased loneliness

Another study published in Aging & Mental Health showed that adopting a pet from a shelter can significantly decrease feelings of loneliness, especially among older adults. The presence of a pet provides a sense of purpose and companionship, reducing social isolation.

3. Enhanced physical health

Pets have been shown to have numerous physical health benefits for their owners. Studies have found that owning a pet, particularly a shelter pet, can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and boost the immune system. The physical activity involved in pet care, such as walking a dog or playing with a cat, also contributes to a healthier lifestyle.

4. Positive societal impact

Research conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy found that adopting from a shelter has a positive impact on society as a whole. When more animals are adopted from shelters, it reduces the strain on resources, lowers euthanasia rates, and promotes responsible pet ownership.


Adopting a pet from a shelter is not only a compassionate choice, but it also brings numerous benefits for both the adopter and the animal. From saving a life to promoting responsible pet ownership, adopting from a shelter is a decision that has a lasting positive impact. So, if you're ready to welcome a furry friend into your home, consider visiting your local shelter and giving a deserving pet a second chance at a happy and fulfilling life.