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Save a life, adopt a shelter dog

Hollywood, MD—“Who rescued who?” written inside of a paw print is a bumper sticker that you may have seen adorning cars in your community. Rescuing a dog not only adds a family member into your home, but it saves the life of a living creature. Every year, over 1.5 million animals are euthanized in shelters, around 670,000 of those being dogs.

Dogs are surrendered to shelters for numerous reasons. Oftentimes people will purchase a puppy from a breeder and not realize the amount of work that goes into caring for a living animal. Not only is the well-being of that animal solely your responsibility, but there are also vet visits and other pet supply costs to take into account. Dumping a dog at the shelter seems like an easy way out, but now the fate of that pet lies on the happenstance of a good Samaritan. Pets are also surrendered to shelters because of moving situations, breed restrictions, and other countless explanations.

Adopting a shelter dog saves the life of an animal that only wants love. Dogs cannot comprehend money, they don’t understand the stresses that humans encounter, so when they are left at shelters, they are just waiting for you to come back. Rescuing a shelter dog ends that waiting game, and gives them a stable roof over their heads. Taking one dog out of a shelter also allows space for another surrendered pet, and further lowers the chances of euthanasia.

Not only is rescuing beneficial from a morality perspective, but it even helps your wallet. Purchasing a dog from a breeder can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. After buying, you will have to take your new pet to the vet every few weeks for their puppy vaccines, and then you will have to pay to get them spayed or neutered. When you rescue a dog, the adoption fee is significantly lower (typically $50-$150), depending on the dog’s age it will already be vaccinated, and they will already be spayed/neutered—all for just the initial cost of adoption.

There is a stigma behind shelter dogs. Some seem to think that all dogs that come from a rescue are mixed breeds, or for some reason are not as healthy as purebred dogs, when in fact purebred dogs tend to have more health problems than mixed breeds due to years of inbreeding down their lineage. However, shelters have countless breeds available, from eight-week-old puppies to seniors. You can even consider breed-specific rescues as well.

Rescuing a dog warms the soul. You have given this loving creature a second chance at a happy life. While you should consider adoption when thinking about adding a furry friend to your family, you should first ensure that you will be able to take care of that pet for all of its days. Make sure that you have funds for vet bills, and that you have time despite your schedule to not only take care of your pet, but to play with and give them attention as well. Having an animal is a huge responsibility, but when done properly is one of the most rewarding qualities of life.


October was Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, but it should be celebrated all year. Click here to read some of the promotions that the Tri-County Animal Shelter offers for the month of November.

Photos provided by readers of TheBayNet.com.

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