Angela Fullmer knew something must be wrong when her rescued dog, Capone, wouldn’t stop barking at 1:30am, despite her calling for him to stop. When she eventually got out of bed to see what was going on, she saw the microwave on fire. While the fire quickly spread, she immediately jumped into action and was able to get all of her children safely out of the house before it was completely destroyed.
The Fullmers had rescued Capone just over a year before. They found him wandering alone on a highway in their hometown in Iowa. He’s a hero to the family now!
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the perfect time to reflect on how adoption is a life-saving action.
In many cases, the “life-saving” runs both ways.
Rescued Dogs Rescue Guardians!
Hazel MacDonnell credits her rescued dog with catching her ovarian cancer. Hazel could tell her dog, Bob, was acting a bit strange. Then, he started jumping up at her and hitting her stomach, which she knew was odd behavior. She ended up booking an appointment with her doctor. The doctors found a large mass over her ovaries and bowel area. Thankfully, the cancer was in an early enough stage that she managed to make a full recovery. Hazel fully credits Bob with saving her life. She told The Daily Record, “Bob was a failed farm dog who I rescued several years ago as he was going to be put down. I rescued him, but he rescued me right back.”
86-year-old Joyce Ackerly knows that the violent robbery that happened in her back garden would have played out much differently if it weren’t for the actions of her rescued dog Axel. The great-grandmother was knocked to the ground when her attacker hit her over the head with a large stick. Axel immediately jumped into action, knocked the robber to the ground, and bit his arm. As he wriggled free, Axel chased him down the street to make sure Joyce was safe. “I’ve never seen Axel react like that before, normally he is as gentle as a lamb, ” Joyce told a local news source. “I am very proud of him and grateful — he got spoiled afterwards.”
These amazing stories of canine bravery and devotion further emphasize what we already know: dogs are beyond amazing!
Stories like these can make it even harder to accept the tragedy of pet overpopulation and the destructive impact it has on dogs across the globe.
Choosing to rescue a dog by opting for adoption is a truly life-saving action!
How Adoption Saves Dogs
While pet stores and breeders offer the allure of "brand-new" puppies and kittens, the truth is that choosing these sources over shelters perpetuates a cycle of neglect, overpopulation, and the killing of healthy, adoptable homeless animals in shelters. Adopting a dog or cat from a shelter is not just a personal choice — it's an ethical responsibility.
The Overcrowding Issue: A Reality Check
Animal shelters across the country are filled to the brim with companion animals looking for a home. An estimated 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year. Tragically, around 1.5 million of these animals are put to death due to lack of space and resources. Adopting a companion animal from a shelter directly alleviates the overcrowding issue and opens up a spot for another animal in need.
The Ripple Effect
When you adopt a companion animal from a shelter, the impact is much larger than it might initially seem. Here's how the cycle works:
Immediate Impact: You save a life the day you adopt.
Resource Allocation: Your adoption fee often covers initial veterinary care, freeing up resources for the shelter to rescue more animals.
Increased Awareness: By talking about your experience, you encourage others to adopt, further perpetuating the cycle.
Adopting has a multiplier effect; your single decision ripples outward, contributing to a culture that values animal lives and welfare.
Financial Considerations: More Than Just Savings
Adopting a companion animal from a shelter is generally less expensive than buying one from a store or a breeder. The adoption fee usually includes vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and sometimes even microchipping. While saving money should never be the sole reason to adopt, it certainly is an added benefit that can enable you to provide a better life for your new companion animal.
The Health Benefits
Contrary to what some people think, shelter animals are often healthier than companion animals from other sources. Reputable shelters assess the health of animals before putting them up for adoption and carry out essential vaccinations. Plus, the diversity in a shelter population can mean that mixed-breed animals are less susceptible to breed-specific diseases and conditions.
Health Concerns with Breeding
The concept of breeding animals to achieve certain aesthetic or behavioral traits has been around for centuries. When it comes to breeding dogs and cats for specific traits, the hidden costs often manifest as genetic issues that can seriously compromise the well-being of these animals.
For example, consider inbreeding. In an effort to maintain particular characteristics and looks, breeders may mate animals that are closely related. This limited gene pool can lead to genetic mutations and an increased risk of inherited diseases.
Emotional Connection: Love Knows No Breed
Shelter animals are just as capable of providing love, companionship, and joy as any purebred. In many cases, adopters say that their rescue animals seem to “know” they’ve been saved and show extra affection and loyalty as a result.
Celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!
Adopting a companion animal from a shelter isn't just a decision to add an animal to your home — it's a commitment to saving a life and making room for more lives to be saved. You become a part of a solution to a problem much bigger than one dog or cat. With millions of healthy animals waiting for a chance at a new life, the need to adopt has never been more urgent. By choosing adoption, you give an animal the ultimate gift: a loving home.
So the next time you think of expanding your family with a companion animal, remember that love doesn't come with a pedigree. Adopt, don't shop. Your best friend is waiting for you!