Unlike acquiring a new piece of furniture for your home, adopting a pet requires a multi-year commitment. An adopted pet will have the same issues as an adopted child. Some pets weather the transition well, while others may have abandonment or previous abuse issues that must be handled with patience.
Adoption has both good and bad points, and like anything else good in life, sometimes you need to do some research before making a long term commitment.
The good points of pet adoption
Helping homeless animals
When you choose to adopt from a private shelter or a public animal control facility, you provide a home for an unwanted animal, and you also allow another animal to take its place in the facility. That's two lives saved by one adoption.
Minimizing profits for "puppy mills" and other unscrupulous breeders
Because of the demand for purebred animals, some pet breeds can cost thousands of dollars. This leads to a proliferation of "puppy mills," which treat purebred dogs as farm animals and breed them incessantly until they develop health issues or can no longer breed.
Unscrupulous breeders will also seek to accentuate specific traits in purebred animals by successive inbreeding, which results in generational genetic abnormalities and health issues.
If you really want a specific breed of pet, you can peruse the websites of local shelters or visit them in person. Pet owners abandon many purebred pets for a variety of reasons, most of which don't involve adverse behavior or temperament by the pet.
Rescue organizations for specific breeds will also allow you to adopt the breed of pet that you desire. Of course, because of their love for the breed, adoption requirements may be more stringent.
Potential problems when adopting a pet
Some adopted pets may have been rescued from abuse or neglect and may require additional patience and attention to overcome fear of further abuse or abandonment.
Most shelters and other adoption facilities don't want an animal to be adopted only to be returned for behavioral issues, so they will inform potential pet owners if an animal is not good with children or other pets.
Of course, there are no guarantees that an adopted pet will have perfect health. Older animals, in particular, may experience some of the same health issues associated with human aging.
However, most adoption facilities require the adopted pets receive basic vaccinations before they can be adopted. These vaccinations are often provided and paid for by the adoption fee.
The rewards of adopting a pet usually far outweigh the possible negative aspects. You are gaining a family member who will often be at your side when you need them most. For more information, contact a company like Pilot Knob Animal Hospital.