Thursday, September 8, 2016

Adopt, don't shop

This post is sponsored by Purina. As always, all my thoughts and opinions are honest.

This is a post I should have written a long time ago, but it never really occurred to me. I write about my pets often on my blog, and if I haven't made it clear, they are a huge part of my life. We currently have three cats and a dog, and I truly can't imagine my life without them!


All of our pets were strays or in a shelter before we took them in. I just don't see the point in buying a pet from a store or breeder when there are millions of pets that need homes. I also choose to adopt adult pets, because you get a good sense of their personalities; but, there are still kittens and puppies at shelters and rescues that need homes.



Phoebe is about nine years old, and we got her in 2009. She was a stray that a friend of a friend had taken in, and was going to go to a shelter if someone didn't keep her. She was missing half her tail, and had (still has) a BB under her skin from being shot with a BB gun. I know pet owners shouldn't have favorites, but if I did, Phoebe would be mine ;) It took her a while to trust us and warm up to us, but once she finally let her guard down, she became so cuddly and loving.

I sometimes think that Phoebe has a sixth sense in that she knows when one of "her people" is upset, because she is there in a flash for cuddling. After my jaw and abdominal surgeries, she wouldn't leave my side. And whenever one of the family members is upset or crying, Phoebe is like a magnet to them. She's as light as air (you don't feel it when she jumps on the bed) and as soft as a rabbit. She has the prettiest green eyes, too! Phoebe has given us a few scares (like when she went missing for four days), but I protect her the best I can. I love this cat!


Estelle is the most unique cat I've ever owned. She is about seven years old, and we got her in 2010. Again, she was a stray that needed a home. My friend Andrea said that several people in the neighborhood had been feeding her, but she didn't belong to anyone. Andrea is allergic to cats, so she convinced me to take Estelle in ;)

At first, I wondered if we'd made a mistake, because Estelle seemed almost rude. You could pet her exactly 3-1/2 strokes before she'd bite your hand, and she would then proceed to scold you with a strange series of meows. She was so odd! She's the most curious cat I've ever come across, also. If we bring anything new into the house, whether it's a big box or a bag of groceries, she's all up in there trying to figure it out.

Estelle likes to play the victim, also. She was very clear about the fact that she didn't like that we adopted a dog, and any time Joey would even walk past her, she'd meow and fall over dramatically (actually, she still does this). She's extremely dramatic, which is part of her "torti-tude" (I learned this word from a fellow tortoiseshell cat owner at a Purina event--apparently, torties are known to be vocal and have a bit of an attitude!).

Estelle's favorite place to sleep is on my shins when I have my legs up. It looks incredibly uncomfortable, but she is drawn to that spot. If I'm sitting on my hip, with my legs to the side, she balances on one of my legs. She's a very interesting cat, and we love that about her!



Monica is our newest addition. She is about eight years old, and we adopted her from an animal rescue this past June of 2016. She's a tortoiseshell, just like Estelle, but her hair is long. She absolutely adores human attention, and she loves being petted. When you pet her head, she'll rub her head all over your hand. If you dare stop before she's ready, she'll use her paw to tap you a few times on the hand to remind you to keep petting her.

Interestingly, she and Estelle get along pretty well. Estelle does not like other pets, and I was worried she'd bully Monica, but they tolerate each other better than I'd even hoped. Sometimes, I'll even find the two of them sleeping on my bed together.



Finally, we have Joey, the lone canine in our family. Adopting Joey was one of the best decisions we'd ever made! He is about 2-1/2 years old, and he's a black lab/chow chow mix. My kids absolutely adore him, and he's such a well-behaved dog! We got him from our local animal shelter, where he had been for about three months. He was brought in as a stray (which usually means the owner just didn't want him); and I feel so lucky that he was there the day we went to the shelter. The woman at the shelter said that black dogs are very difficult to adopt out, because they are "less desirable".  It's a shame that people think that way, because they could be missing out on one of the most amazing companions. Like Joey!



All of that was a very long introduction to encourage people to adopt a pet instead of buying from a pet shop or a breeder. This is something I feel very passionate about, and I can attest to the fact that pets from shelters are just as amazing as the ones from breeders, if not more so. I really believe that they know that you chose them, and they are extra grateful.

A common argument against adoption is that "You don't know what you're getting from a shelter; when you get a kitten or a puppy, you don't have to worry about its past". When we got Joey, I was a little worried about that as well, considering that I have kids to think about. However, when you get a pet from a shelter, you can go to the shelter and spend some time with him or her to see if that's the right pet for you. We asked to see a few dogs, and they brought them one by one into a room with Jerry and me. I'm sure the shelter would let you take the dog for a walk, bring your family in, etc. 

Another way to find an adoptable pet is through Petfinder. Petfinder is a website that lists literally hundreds of thousands of pets that are available for adoption. You can search by location, pet type, age, breed, etc. Some of these pets are at shelters and rescues, and some are in foster homes. As I type this, there are just under 300,000 pets on the site that are looking for forever homes (just typing that sentence brought tears to my eyes). 

If you adopt a pet that is currently in a foster home, the foster owners can tell you a lot about the pet's personality as well--so, if you're worried about whether they will get along with other pets, kids, etc, you can always ask. We actually fostered Monica at first, and then adopted her because we liked her so much. 

Petfinder is now celebrating its 20th anniversary! More than 25 MILLION pets have been adopted through Petfinder over the last 20 years. Their goal is to make pet adoption easier by connecting people with the right pets for them. 

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Petfinder put together a video that shows how adopted pets have transformed the lives of their adopters. When the video gets 1 million views, 20 shelters or rescues will receive a $10,000 grant from Petfinder Foundation. If you feel as passionately as I do about pet adoption, or found your own pet on Petfinder, Petfinder Foundation is asking that you share your story on social media using the hashtag #MetOnPetfinder. 

You can find Petfinder on their website: www.petfinder.com
Twitter: @petfinder
Instagram: @petfinder

If you've been thinking about getting a pet, I strongly encourage you to at least go on the website and check out the pets that are available for adoption. It's so hard to look at the site and not want to take them ALL home! 

21 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post. I'm a huge animal lover and also am a big supporter of adopt don't shop! Thanks for sharing that message!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a cute pet family! Adoption is the way to go for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your sweet fur babies, they are adorable! I love that you named them all after Friends characters!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree, adopt, don't shop. I got my kitty in June 2013, I tried to choose the longest staying resident of that shelter. She was asleep and when I called her, she barely looked up at me because she was so depressed. It took for awhile to come out of her shell, it makes me wonder if she was abused in her former home. Only in the last year did she start actual purring. The first time I heard her purr I almost cried. Now she is the most lovable cat ever and it kills me to think that so many people past by her in the 6 months at the shelter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE that you chose the longest saying resident! What a fantastic story. I bet she is eternally grateful for you.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for writing this post!! It was not so long ago that I rescued my sweet Pekingese doggie Henry from a high volume kill shelter... He's been a blessing everyday since!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also -- every cat my mom has ever gotten (except one) has been a rescue!

      Pointfivekorean.com

      Delete
    2. Yay! I'm so glad you adopted him. When you adopt an animal from a shelter, you're actually helping TWO animals--the one you adopt, as well as making space for another who may have been euthanized otherwise. Henry is a lucky puppy!

      Delete
  6. That picture of Phoebe and Joey is so precious, and I want to pet Monica so badly, she looks so soft. Anytime you need someone else on petting duty...My furbabies have all been adopted (or found), and I am a member of our local Friends of the Shelter, so I loved this post. Shared that video, too. I wish desperately that I could adopt a dog - I have always wanted one, but I am so very allergic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Monica is SO soft--and she adores the attention ;) Dogs are fun, but definitely a lot of work (worth it, though). I'll forever be a "cat person", I think; but my kids have converted to "dog people" since we got Joey! I'm sorry you're allergic :(

      Delete
  7. I have followed you for many years and have much admiration you. I have never commented, but just had to today!
    Adopt dont shop....Yes! There are so many wonderful pets in shelters waiting for their furever homes!
    Did you know Amazon has a program called Amazon Smile? You join and pick your charity. I picked CAP (Citizens for Animal Protection). We adopted one of our dogs thru them. It costs nothing, you notice no difference in your account, your prime is still active. Amazon donates a % of your order to your charity. Not every transacation counts, I think its only the ones that Amazon sells, not private sellers. They have many charities you can pick from, if you want to add your own like I did you will need their address.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea about the Amazon Smile program--I am definitely going to sign up! Thanks so much for sharing :)

      Delete
  8. I had no idea about "torti-tude". My parents had a tortoiseshell cat and she was super friendly. But the barn where I board my horse has one and that cat has attitude! She attacked me once and I'm no longer her friend. I'm truly a cat person and I love them all, but this cat has some serious attitude and I've decided we can co-exist but we can't be friends. Breaks my heart. Maybe I'll try again now that I know this is a trait for these cats.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen, Katie! Thanks for sharing your wonderful pet stories! We are a large pet family (we're actually on our second full set of cats and dogs - the first set aged beautifully and all have since crossed the rainbow bridge) and all of our babies are rescues! A good number of the cats we've actually trapped ourselves - most from our own yard! They are all absolute gifts and I cannot imagine life without them. Adopt, don't shop! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, Cassie! Your pets sound like they have a wonderful home with very caring owners :)

      Delete
  10. Not only are there pets in your local shelters to adopt, but if you keep your ears open in your community, there are often pets in other situations that need a new home. Families with economic problems may have to move into an apartment that won't allow pets and so they have to give up their pets or maybe they just can't afford their pets any more; older folks that have to move into nursing homes often can't take their pets - just a couple examples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True! A lot of these pets eventually wind up in shelters for the reasons you mentioned.

      Delete
  11. Wish I could share a picture of my three tortie sisters who were adopted from a shelter via Petfinder. My daughter and I had talked about two kittens and she picked out Hazel and Violet and she and her brother went together to get them for me for Christmas. That afternoon, she mentioned, "They have a sister" so a few days later, Bob and I went to get Irene. They definitely have tortitude but are so so loving <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a sweet story! I love that they are all able to stay together. I think the tortitude is what makes them so fun to have around! ;)

      Delete
  12. Love that you're such a pet person and used your blog post to support adoption. We have a rescue lab and 4 rescue cats all with such amazing personalities. Everyone who meets our chill lab gets to hear his adoption story and i hope he inspires more adoptions. My daughter and i volunteer at a local shelter for service hours for her school. I want to take them all home!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)