Because of the bad press and advertising, shelter dogs have always had a bad reputation. When most people – that is, non-animal lovers – think of shelter dogs, they think of a vicious and unstable creature that has been delivered to the shelter because it too often bites its owner and even people in the street.
However, this image is far from reality – dogs find themselves abandoned in shelters for a multitude of reasons, and often it is the owners who behave badly with them.
We have gathered some of the many facts about shelter dogs that will dispel any doubts you may have once and for all.
Shelter dogs love humans.
A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research found that shelter dogs are “more socially motivated to be more interested in and interact with humans” than pet dogs. Basically, if you opt to adopt a dog instead of buying, get ready to receive all the hugs of the world!
When you adopt, you support a good cause.
By adopting, you fight against puppy mills, where dogs are kept in “overcrowded and dirty cages” and can neither socialize nor wander.
Dogs offer children a better family environment.
It’s true what they say about shelter dogs: Not only do you save them, but they save you too. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Florida found that having a pet dog helps children cope better with stress, which prepares them for future success.
Each shelter dog is carefully evaluated.
A major factor that prevents people from adopting a shelter dog is the fear that their dog has health problems or hidden behavior.
However, according to Kenny Lamberti, vice president of pets at the Humane Society of the United States, “the vast majority of dogs coming from a shelter are evaluated in terms of behavior and health.” And not only do shelters properly analyze each animal that is entrusted to them, but they do it more thoroughly than most breeders and pet shops.
The majority of shelter dogs are euthanized.
Sad, but true: According to the PetFinder pet adoption website, about 60% of shelter dogs are put to sleep each year because they can not find a home.
Shelter dogs are perfectly normal!
Although some dogs delivered to the shelter suffer from behavioral problems, the majority of them are abandoned either because of circumstances beyond their control (allergies of the owners), or because of minor incidents which are managed easily ( like peeing at home).
Adoption in a shelter is cheaper.
From a tax point of view, going to the shelter to choose your new animal makes more sense than contacting a breeder or pet shop. Although the average shelter does not charge more than $ 250 for adoption fees, some breeder dogs have price tags that will make you run as much as the cost of a cheap car.
Millions of dogs are sent every year to animal shelters.
Each year, 3.3 million of the 6.5 million animals that enter national shelters in the country are dogs.
Pit bulls are extremely misunderstood.
Pit bulls are by far the most common breed in animal shelters, but it’s simply because they are misunderstood. While most people assume that animals are aggressive and vicious, a study conducted by the Dognition website revealed that pit bulls were ranked among the 35 most aggressive breeds.
There are more homeless animals than people.
Dogs suffer from vagrancy just like humans. In fact, according to the DoSomething.org volunteer website, there are five homeless animals on the street for a homeless human.
Most dogs entering shelters are still young.
A common misconception that deters people from adopting is that all shelter animals have the last leg. However, a study published in the Macedonian Veterinary Review revealed that in 2013, the average age of a shelter dog was less than two years, which proves that there are dogs of all ages available for adoption.
All shelter dogs are mutts.
People think that the only way to find a purebred dog is to get it, but that is far from the case. On the contrary, DoSomething.org notes that 25% of dogs housed in shelters are actually purebred.
Owning a dog can help you live longer.
Adopting a shelter dog is a win-win situation. According to a study of 3.4 million people published in Scientific Reports, single dog owners were 33% less likely to die than their pet-free friends.
Most dogs never find a home forever.
If you’re still on the fence of adopting a dog shelter, then consider this: According to the Mosby Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps to care for injured and abused animals, only 1 in 10 dogs born is placed in a permanent home.
Overcrowding is a huge problem.
As adorable as the puppies are, the world just has too much, at least compared to the current pet demand. Not only are the majority of dogs not sterilized, but the average fertile dog produces one litter per year, each litter consisting of four to six babies. And when these dogs can not find a home, they are sent to shelters, which creates a strong demand for a small number of shelters.
People continue to buy dogs from breeders instead of adopting them.
Although people know how many dogs stay in shelters, the ASPCA reports that 34% of dogs are obtained from breeders, while only 23% are adopted in animal shelters.
Many shelter dogs are trained.
Because so many dogs are brought to the shelter after having already lived in a family environment, it is more than likely that you notice that your new pet already knows some of the basic commands.
Most shelter dogs have already been sterilized.
Sterilizing a dog is expensive, but it is not an expense to consider when adopting a shelter dog. The majority of shelters will cover the cost of the procedure while the dog is in their care, and these prices are already included in the small supplement you pay to adopt your new furry best friend.
Shelter dogs are extremely unique.
If you want a truly unique dog, the shelter is the place to go. According to a study of more than 900 babies published in PLoS ONE, the average shelter is a mix of three different breeds!