One of the happiest moments of my childhood was when I brought my cat, Hamlet, home from the Heart of the Valley shelter in Bozeman, MT. Twelve years later, I have moved him into my first post-college apartment in Seattle. Throughout the years, he has been my snuggly companion, and “assistant” with countless projects. Between the nights where he has sat quietly by my side as I studied for tests or rushed to finish papers, and the winter weekends he has spent sleeping on my tummy, he has been an irreplaceable friend.
All week long, Jolkona’s staff and volunteers have shared their own philanthropic experiences of providing a forever home for a faithful friend. Those pet adoption stories could easily be yours, too. But if you can’t keep a pet, the next best thing is to support animals elsewhere. One way is to join our Give Together campaign before the end of September, while this month’s Animals theme is still raising money for projects through Reading With Rover, the Snow Leopard Trust, and Woodland Park Zoo.
Animal adoption is one of the causes I am passionate about. As our other Pet Adoption blog posts have shown, this simple act of philanthropy has a lasting impact. The U.S. Humane Society and the Jolkona team have some compelling reasons why pet adoption is the best option for both owners and animals:
You can save a life
Many shelters keep as many animals as they can, but the overcrowding problem means that over 2.5 million potential pets are euthanized every year. By adopting from a shelter or rescue organization instead of buying from a store or breeder, you are literally saving a life.
Many breeders and the puppy mills that supply pet stores, breed irresponsibly leading to serious health problems, keep their animals in reprehensible conditions, often with inadequate health care and human companionship. By supporting a shelter and taking business away from these other options, your small contribution will make a huge impact in saving the lives of thousands of animals – not only those in shelters but also those directly impacted by breeders and puppy mills.
You get help
Shelters provide health screens and basic medical care to the animals in their care and match you with an animal whose temperament best matches your own. They will often send you home with supplies as well. Most animals in shelters are placed there because of human circumstances, such as owners moving, or being unable to afford them, meaning that they are by no means ‘defective.’ If you want a particular breed, or want to work with or rehabilitate a rescue animal there are specialized shelters and rescue groups that can provide resources as well.
Adoption is affordable
Adoption fees are very small compared to spending thousands at a breeder. Shelters vaccinate, spay and neuter animals before they are adopted, meaning that you save money on the initial health check.
A pet will make you happier
Having a pet has been shown to be beneficial to your emotional, psychological and physical health. In addition to having a meaningful friendship with a companion animal, having a pet lowers blood pressure, and, especially with dogs, encourages you to be more physically active.
Give Together for Animals
If you aren’t in a position to have a pet or take in another animal, you can still make a big difference through our Give Together campaign this month. There’s only a few days left to support Animals; next month, the theme will switch over to nonprofit projects related to Women/Girls.
At Jolkona, we make it easy to fund a trusted animal based organization that is right for you. If you love dogs, join to support Reading with Rover‘s mission of using therapy dogs to help children learn to read. If you love cats, join to support the Snow Leopard Trust‘s conservation and education efforts. If baby animals make you happiest, join to help the Woodland Park Zoo care for their new additions, including a giraffe calf. Whether you Give Together for animals around the world, or bond with an adopted pet at home, you can be proud of your choice.