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When my husband and I decided to add dogs to our little family, we knew we had to rescue. Our Frank and Sally entered our lives two winters ago, and our hearts have never been so full. There are so many pets who are brought to shelters and need a home. If you’re considering getting a pet, please adopt instead of buying. If you need any more convincing, here are a few reasons adoptions can be so rewarding.

Adopting a pet is saving a life from being euthanized. According to the Humane Society, each year almost 3 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in the U.S. because shelters are too full to take any more in.

When a pet is adopted, their world changes. Imagine that feeling you get when you’re the one chosen for something. It feels good, doesn’t it? Most of the time, these animals end up in a shelter for reasons beyond their control. They weren’t misbehaving or not getting along with the neighbors but instead, their previous owner may have moved, or gone through a divorce, or even passed away.

Since most of these pets coming from loving homes, they are often already house trained. So, not only are you saving a life, but you’re also saving your rug, your furniture and those soft slippers you just got for Christmas. It’s also much easier to introduce adopted pets to family members and friends.

Adoption is also much more affordable. I have friends who bought their purebred dog for $1,500, and that didn’t even include all of the necessary vaccinations. When you adopt, vaccinations and sometimes microchipping is included in the adoption price. The average cost to adopt a pet is $250.

When you decide to adopt, you’re also choosing not to support puppy mills. Pets from the pet store, online sellers, and flea markets are almost always coming from a puppy mill. Puppy mills breed animals in a factory style which puts the profit above the welfare of the mother and newborn animals. More often than not, the living conditions for these animals is dreadfully poor, and there is a severe lack of proper medical care.

Hopefully, these are reasons enough for you to consider heading to the local shelter to choose your next furbaby. Remember, adopting your pet not only saves their life, but it will also make room for the next animal who has been abandoned and needs a home.