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Choose to Save A Life

Choose to Save A Life

Melissa R. Rich, Ph.D.

This isn’t what I originally planned to write about but when I saw what day it was I couldn’t resist. You may not be aware of it, but April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day.

I must admit that this resonates with me because I have 3 little dogs (my fur babies!) who own my heart. Bugs is a Boston Terrier and was a stray – he was found by some of my son’s friends. Daisy was abused and abandoned and I adopted her from an animal rescue society – it was instant love on both sides! Chewy (short for Chewbacca) was a stray wandering in my neighborhood.

"This is Bugs (Boston Terrier) and Daisy (Terrier mix) in a rare, quite moment."

My dogs definitely make my life more interesting. They add fun, love, energy, activity, joy and laughter – sometimes all in the same day! I’ve never regretted adopting them for a single minute.

For those of you who are thinking about adopting a shelter pet, let me give you some facts.

  • Approximately 6.5 million pets enter U.S. animal shelters every year.

  • Of those, 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.

  • Every year approximately 1.5 shelter animals are euthanized.

  • Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted every year.

  • About 710,000 animals are returned to their owners.

Although I am all for adopting needy animals let me stress the following - please DO NOT adopt a pet if you are not prepared to properly care for them. This includes following all local animal laws, spending time with them and giving them affection.

Yes, you will be (or should be) putting some time and energy into your pet. However, you will get back way more than you put in. Here are some of the benefits of pet ownership:

  • You’ll save a life

  • You’ll get a great companion

  • Pets are good for your health – mental, physical and emotional

  • Your happiness increases

  • It can benefit your children (empathy, responsibility, etc.)

I’m closing this with a pic of myself and my 3 babies. Don’t be jealous – go get a pet of your own!

"My son took these pics this morning. It was REALLY hard to get them to hold still for a few minutes!"

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