When a child approaches their parents about adopting a pet, the conversation can take one of two directions. A “no” for the time being or a drive to the local shelter. It’s often the latter and that’s encouraging to Jennifer Perusek, a veterinarian and avowed animal-lover who wants to see creatures in need end up in loving homes. It’s a big decision and one that will have effects consuming some days more than others. Still, the love and companionship that a cat or dog can deliver are emotions impossible to replicate through other means. A pet can also teach us all valuable lessons about life, which aren’t to be discredited. In this article, Jennifer Perusek will explore some of the reasons why people decide to adopt a pet and the benefits such a decision can have.
First and foremost, adopting an animal from a local shelter can easily be equated with saving a life. While spay, neuter and trap-and-release efforts have achieved widespread recognition in recent years, it still isn’t enough to save millions of animals from a life on the streets. According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than two million cats and dogs are euthanized annually due to shelter constraints and a lack of people looking to adopt. Going to a shelter to find your “furever friend” could be the most compassion-driven decision you make all year. “Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home,” the Humane Society states. “Most shelter pets wound up there because of a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the animals did anything wrong.”
As a veterinarian, Jennifer Perusek sees pet owners in times of concern or distress. Thus, she understands the reluctance that some may have when it comes to bringing a cat or dog into a home and having to shoulder the emotional and financial burden that comes with it. In the long run, it will only cost you a few hundred dollars annually to keep a dog or cat happy at home. In return, having a companion animal around can provide owners and the entire family with “a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness,” according to the Humane Society.
If you’ve been considering adopting an animal, Jennifer Perusek suggests taking a drive down to your local shelter. Workers and volunteers there will be happy to see you and try as you might to leave and think it over, we think you’ll be bringing home a new best friend.