Adoption gift certificates are a great idea for friends or families looking for a pet

LOS ANGELES – Americans are inundated every year with classic images of puppies adorned with bows or stuffed kitten stockings, so it’s no surprise that many families bring pets home for the holidays.

Not everyone thinks about it, but where these pets come from can help or hinder efforts to end the slaughter of pets in U.S. shelters.

Best Friends Animal Society encourages families and individuals who are considering having a new furry friend this holiday season to choose the adoption option by taking a homeless animal from an animal shelter or from a group relief, rather than buying from a breeder, pet store or online retailer.

Opening your home to a needy shelter animal means money is being diverted from backyard breeders and the inhumane puppy mill industry who produce millions of puppies each year to supply pet stores and retailers with line.

It is also a critical time to adopt because adoption saves lives. While adoptions were on the rise in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the past six months have proved difficult for animal shelters. Hospitality has been higher, staffing has declined and adoptions have plummeted, resulting in overcrowded shelters and thousands of pets waiting longer than usual for homes.

Late summer data showed challenges for shelters and declining trends in adoption, including a dramatic decrease in shelter numbers, resulting in reduced operations and decreased adoption. animal capacity. As a result, many shelters are struggling to keep pace with public demand.

“Whatever life throws at us, having a pet makes everything better. Pets provide constant companionship while dramatically reducing stress, which many of us can really appreciate these days,” Julie said. Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. “The holidays are a great time to adopt and we hope to welcome record numbers of dogs and cats to loving homes this season. And this year it’s more important than ever to consider and appreciate what pets give us back. ”

“Numerous studies have shown that the presence of pets is beneficial for our physical and mental health. Having pets has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and decrease anxiety, helping people feel calmer and more secure during difficult times. Castle added.

Adopting is also a good investment. Adoption fees typically cover animal sterilization / surgery, health examination, vaccinations, microchip identification and often other free starter gifts which vary from group to group. .

“One thing people often don’t realize is the quality and variety of animals available at shelters and rescue groups,” Castle said. “All over the country there are always purebred dogs, mixed breed dogs, cats, puppies and kittens of all ages, types and sizes looking for homes. Even designer dogs. People need to be relocated when their owners face situations such as job loss, divorce, or housing issues.

Prospective adopters can also check see adoptable animals awaiting homes at local, regional and even national level. Although adoptable pets can sometimes seem scarce in some areas, there are currently over 106,400 dogs and puppies, and 124,000 cats and kittens looking for homes on

Prospective adopters can also visit our website to find links to adopt from Best Friends, or one of our more than 3,500 network partners across the country, including the Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary, If you’re not ready to adopt, consider hosting a pet at a local shelter or rescue group.

What about pets as gifts?

While research has shown that pets received as gifts are not necessarily loved less than those adopted through more traditional means, there are better alternatives than choosing a pet for another adult or family like surprise.

Opening your home to a needy shelter animal means money is being diverted from backyard breeders and the inhumane puppy mill industry.

Choosing a pet is a very personal decision, as animal personalities vary even when you know what breed someone is looking for. There are also age, gender, activity level, hair length and other considerations, so it is best for the adopter to choose which pet will be ideal for their own family and their style of living. life.

For this reason, Best Friends suggests purchasing an adoption gift certificate from a shelter or rescue group, rather than a real pet, to allow the recipient to make their own choice. . To make the gift cuter and more substantial, you can assemble a basket of pet supplies, toys, and treats to accompany the adoption certificate.

When the time comes to bring home a new pet, few would say that adopted pets reward their people with a depth of unconditional love that pets from other sources don’t seem to match. They seem to know they’ve been given a second chance, and they spend their lives repaying their people.

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Submitted by Best Friends Animal Society.

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