For those of you who already know me, forgive me. I've said this time and time again: ADOPT A SHELTER PET. Don't spend $2,000 or more at a "local" breeder or pet store. Isn't there something odd about a business making a profit from breeding dogs? Sounds unnatural to me-and it certainly is. Not to mention inhumane. It also just doesn't make sense-EVERY 8 SECONDS, ONE SHELTER ANIMAL IS EUTHANIZED IN THE UNITED STATES (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/). That is a devastating number of animals and that doesn't even account for those animals who die living on the streets without homes.
With that said, adopting a shelter animal is not only giving a furry friend a second chance at life (or maybe even a first chance,) it also allows you to create a bond with an animal who has often been next in the euthanasia line, neglected, abandoned and displaced by society. And believe me, rescue pets are so grateful. You can see the love and compassion in their eyes and through their actions. And just as you help them, they want to help you too.
The saying, "Who Saved Who?" is catchy and something that I support. The animals who have been rescued literally minutes away from euthanasia seem to recognize this second chance at a new life with someone who loves and cares for them. And they give back. Rescue dogs and cats are often certified as Therapy Pets who visit nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Other animals do this as well, such as minature horses. They are able to interact with people who need extra TLC and comfort. Animals who work with the disabled, the elderly, U.S. Veterans, the terminally ill and others in need often create deep bonds that have a lasting impact. If you think your pet could help others in need, search the internet for some local training classes. For dogs, the K-9 Good Citizen training is a great way to get started.
Check out the story below about a dog that provides comfort, moral support and friendship to a young, terminally-ill boy: