Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Dani Hemmat

Adopting a shelter pet is love at first sight


February 7, 2019

Dani Hemmat

Trusty companions Tootie, Reuben and Betty—all shelter adoptees, all loved, all worth it.

A pet adds a dimension of happiness to a household that is unique, as any pet owner knows. Many folks don’t realize that pets add more than play and snuggles to our lives. They benefit us in ways that far outweigh their care and cost. Studies show that pet ownership lowers blood pressure, fights off depression, lowers risk of heart attack, promotes longevity and speeds recovery from illness.

Caring for a pet also teaches compassion and responsibility to kids, and encourages exercise, play and social interaction. And any pet owner can tell you that nothing beats that unconditional love and affection.

Especially for those pets that have been adopted from a shelter. For anyone who has ever walked in to an animal shelter and made eye contact with “the one,” they will tell you that the animal they rescued might have actually rescued them. It is love at first sight.

According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million companion pets enter shelters each year. Of those,1.5 million are euthanized, and 3.2 million are adopted. The remainder are reunited with their owners.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) has a high turnover rate of adoptions, providing shelter and care to more than 7,000 animals a year, with 95 percent of them being adopted. The HSBV receives many dogs from out-of-state shelters that have a high-intake versus low-adoption rate. Boulder County is also home to several rescue organizations that help match critters with forever homes. A quick internet search can put you in touch with several.

While the majority of shelter animals aren’t purebred, that could actually be an advantage to the health and longevity of your pet. According to Scientific American, “purebred dogs not only have increased incidences of inherited diseases but also heightened health issues due to their bodily frames and shapes.” So that shelter mutt you fall in love with might come with fewer vet bills than a pricey dog from a breeder.

The humane societies in Boulder County have streamlined the adoption process, so that the animal you fall in love with will come home neutered or spayed, with a vet check-up, and a plethora of behavior and care resources to help you integrate your new family member into your life.

When you adopt your pet from the shelter, you are not only saving a life, but you are gaining a grateful companion who will likely add as much, if not more, to your life than you ever expected.


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