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11 Reasons Why ‘Rescue Pets’ are the Best!

Published online: Jul 08, 2024 Pets
Viewed 1560 time(s)

By Michelle Ziel-Dingman, Snake River Animal Shelter, Executive Director

Rescue pets are a fantastic option for anyone looking to bring a new animal into their home and bring a multitude of benefits that go beyond the obvious act of saving an animal's life. When you adopt a rescue pet, you also open space in shelters for other animals in need, creating a ripple effect that helps reduce overcrowding and improve conditions for all shelter animals. This act of kindness can have a profound impact on the overall welfare of animals in your community.

Another significant advantage of adopting rescue pets is the opportunity to choose an animal whose personality matches your lifestyle. Shelter staff usually spend a lot of time with your potential new pet and can provide valuable insights into their behavior and temperament, helping you find the perfect companion. Whether you’re looking for a high-energy dog for outdoor adventures or a laid-back cat to keep you company, shelters have a diverse range of animals to meet your needs.

Adopting a rescue pet also supports the work of dedicated volunteers and staff who tirelessly care for these animals. Your adoption fee helps fund the rescue or shelter's operations, including medical care, food, and other necessities for the animals. This financial support is crucial for maintaining the shelter's ability to continue rescuing and rehoming animals.

Furthermore, rescue pets often come with a unique backstory, adding a layer of depth to your bond with them. Knowing that your pet has overcome challenges and has found a loving home with you can enhance your connection and provide a sense of purpose. The transformation from a neglected or abandoned animal to a beloved pet is incredibly rewarding to witness.

“We’ve been habitual rescuers for years, but we’ve discovered over time that it’s not just the animals who are being rescued,” notes Idaho Falls resident and former IFM editor Steve Smede, who—along with his wife, Shelly—adopted a baby pug named Lyra from SRAS in January. “As an early-retired guy with neurological problems, having a cuddly companion has been cathartic for me and a blessing for our home. It’s not always easy, but it’s constantly rewarding—and often entertaining.” Lyra also has two rescue sidekicks, a mixed-breed “Chidachtzu Spaniel,” Reggie, and a domestic shorthair cat, Spider. 


Overall, adopting a rescue pet is a compassionate choice that benefits both the animals and the adopter, creating a fulfilling and mutually enriching relationship. But if you need 12 reasons to adopt a rescue pet, here they are! 

  1. Saving a Life: By adopting a rescue pet, you're saving an animal from potentially being euthanized. Many shelters are overcrowded, and adoption can directly save a life. At Snake River Animal Shelter, every pet has an unlimited stay, and we never euthanize for space, but many do.

  2. Combating Overpopulation: Adopting from a shelter helps reduce the number of homeless animals. It also discourages the practices of overbreeding and puppy mills. If you stop shopping, and there’s less demand, breeders may reconsider “supplying” the market. At any given time, your local shelters have dogs surrendered by breeders who couldn’t “sell” them in the marketplace.

  3. Supporting Ethical Practices: Shelters and rescue organizations often advocate for responsible pet ownership and spaying/neutering, which helps to control the pet population and reduce the number of homeless animals.

  4. Health and Temperament Assessment: Many rescue pets are vetted before adoption, at various levels depending upon the shelter’s resources and staffing. Typically, all pets adopted from a shelter are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and assessed for health and behavior, which can give you a clear picture of the pet you're adopting.

  5. Diverse Selection: Shelters typically have a wide variety of animals, including different breeds, ages, and personalities, so you can find the perfect match for your household.

  6. Cost-Effective: Adopting a pet from a shelter is usually much less expensive than buying from a breeder or pet store. Even the “inexpensive” pet bought through social media becomes less economical if you want to responsibly take care of them by spaying/neutering, vaccinating, and microchipping. Adoption fees are typically 50% lower than paying for all these services in the retail market.

  7. Promoting Kindness and Compassion: Adopting a rescue pet can be a rewarding experience that teaches compassion and responsibility, especially for children. It instills a sense of empathy and kindness.

  8. Unconditional Love: Rescue pets often show immense gratitude and loyalty to their adoptive families. They seem to understand that they've been given a second chance and often form very strong bonds with their new owners.

  9. Feel-Good Factor: Knowing that you've given a homeless animal a loving home is a deeply fulfilling and rewarding experience. It can improve your emotional well-being and bring joy to your life.

  10. Positive Community Impact: Adopting from a local shelter helps your community. It supports local animal welfare efforts and can even inspire others in your community to adopt.

  11. Older Pets Available: If you prefer a pet that’s already house-trained and past the hyperactive puppy or kitten stage, shelters often have older pets that are looking for a loving home.

Overall, rescue pets bring joy, love, and numerous benefits to their new families, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to add a furry friend to their home.


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