By BJ Towe

Thinking about adding a dog or cat to your family? Here are seven reasons to adopt – not shop – for your next pet:

  1. You will save a life. According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year – that’s an average of 859 pets in every county in the nation. While Appanoose County is smaller than average, adopting from a no-kill shelter will save one pet’s life and open space for another.
  2. You have lots of options. Shelters have many different pet types, sizes and personalities, including the occasional purebred, so you can choose the one that fits your personality and lifestyle.
  3. You get a great dog or cat. Most shelter animals end up there because their owners had a problem (e.g., moving, divorce, illness or death). Most come from loving homes and are already housebroken or litter trained.
  4. Shelter pets are healthier. Before becoming available for adoption, shelter pets undergo full physical exams and are treated for any medical issues. If an ongoing medical condition is known, you’ll also know about it before you adopt.
  5. You’ll be healthier. Research shows that pets have lots of good-for-you qualities. They reduce stress and anxiety, promote exercise, lessen the risk for heart disease and more. If you’re single, they’re known date magnets.
  6. You’ll save money. Full-bred dogs and cats can be really pricey. When you adopt, the cost of spay/neuter and first vaccinations (and sometimes microchipping) are included in the adoption fee.
  7. You’ll help fight puppy and kitty mills. Puppy and kitty mills are a large-scale commercial breeding facilities where profit is more important than the well-being of the animals[1] – and they’re no place to get a pet. There are many puppy mills in Appanoose and throughout southeast Iowa[2], and they are usually dirty, disease-propagating and inhumane, typically resulting in sick puppies with behavioral problems. Adopting from a shelter reduces the market for mills while helping assure you don’t get stuck with unnecessary pet problems.

When fully operational, Furever Friends Rescue of Appanoose, Inc. will work to help in-need dogs and cats throughout Appanoose County find their “furever” homes. If you’re looking for a pet in the meantime, it’s worth the short drive to Heartland Humane Society in Ottumwa or another shelter of your choice to adopt.