It’s the month of cupid arrows, candy, roses and valentines! February 14th gives us a unique day to celebrate love in all of its many forms, and this month, we encourage you to join FoMA in our mission to save and improve the lives of homeless pets by sharing our new campaign: #AdoptLove. More than just an act of kindness or generosity, adopting a homeless pet creates a bond that is supremely strong, both practically and emotionally, to both parties. Need more reasons to adopt? Keep reading:
Save a Life
In a practical sense, adopting a pet saves lives. Did you know 3.3 million—yes, million—dogs enter shelters each year in America alone. American shelters have staff working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of the animals they take in, but their resources cannot support such a large number of pets, thus leaving many animals homeless, alone, or at risk of losing their lives. Whether these pets were abandoned, neglected, or could no longer be looked after by their owners, we believe they deserve love and a chance at a forever, loving home. Adopting a pet from a shelter saves a life and makes room for more homeless pets.
Adopting a pet is financially easier than purchasing one. Most shelters support the adoption of their animals by including microchipping, spaying or neutering and vaccinating in the cost of rescuing the pet, which is hundreds of dollars less than purchasing a puppy or kitten.
Stop puppy mills
Along with adopting being less costly, choosing to adopt rather than purchase your pet minimizes the ability of pet stores and breeders to take advantage of animals. Businesses like pet stores get their animals from puppy mills, which specialize in mass-breeding of dogs and focus on maximizing profits, while ignoring the responsibility of properly caring for them. They separate mothers from their puppies and leave the puppies unsocialized and even ill. Meanwhile, dogs live in deplorable conditions. Supporting your local shelter will reduce the business these companies get and help put a stop to mass-breeding and unnecessary suffering and death.
Live a happier life
Adopting a pet can be a highly positive experience for all involved. Many studies show that pet owners are healthier than their non-pet-owning counterparts. They tend to live longer, happier lives because the mutual love between a pet and its owner is extremely positive. It has even been shown that people over the age of 65 make 30 percent less doctor visits than others if they own a pet. People dealing with conditions such as depression or anxiety can feel like they have nobody to rely on in times of need. A pet can play an important role of emotional support in times of stress.
Help your children develop responsibility
Lastly, owning and caring for a rescue pet can be one of the most important aspects of your child’s development. Children who grow up around pets learn to play nicely and avoid behavior that could hurt others. It also teaches them to be responsible at a young age by gaining an understanding of how to treat the things they care about. It can also set children up well to enter school and forge bonds with others.
The mutual love of pet ownership cannot be overstated. Clearly, pets are not the only ones benefiting from their relationships with humans. What humans give to pets in care and love, pets give equally in their love and loyalty. FOMA encourages you to #AdoptLove this month by visiting any of our county’s local rescue organizations or the Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center.