Why Should You Adopt a Pet?


t’s estimated that each year, over 6.5 million companion animals, otherwise defined as an animal that is suitable to be a home pet, are surrendered to community animal shelters across the United States. This means that there is one animal surrendered per every 50 people in the country. And this number does not represent the number of pets already in homes.

While there are many reasons that people choose to surrender a pet, the most common reasons seem to be tied to moving or relocation, where a pet might not be allowed in a new home. Another common reason is tied to behavioral issues of the animal, that a pet owner is unable to change, either because they don’t have the desire or skills necessary to help the animal adjust their behavior to one that is more appropriate.

With the number of animals surrendered each year, and with the majority of those animals ready to be accepted into a new home, it is imperative that those who wish to bring a pet into their home look into pet rescue over making a visit to the local pet store. While many may think that a pet store is the best place to get a cute little puppy or kitten, there are thousands of young cats and dogs available at shelters, too. And, many older pets are looking for their final home where they can live out their remaining days as a faith and loving companion.

In many cases, pets provide a sense of rescue to their owners as well. Pets are known to help reduce stress levels, blood pressure and even cholesterol for their owners due to the need for daily activity that might not otherwise take place. Even petting a cat or dog can trigger the release of oxytocin, which plays a role in bonding and eliciting feelings of happiness.

Pet ownership can yield a wealth of benefits for those willing to adopt a pet and take the time to provide the pet with proper love and care. It is believed that pets can help their owners to have a healthier heart as those with pets often have a lower prevalence of heart disease and can decrease cortisol (a stress hormone) and increase serotonin (a feel-good chemical). Pets are great in helping their owners connect with other people, which can lower the risk of depression and loneliness. Those with pets often indicate that they are overall happier and more trusting. If you are lonely, you may consider letting a pet rescue you. ■

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06 Dec 2019

By Ann Jarema