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a family of three smiling outside the shelter with their newly adopted dog

7 Myths About Shelter Pets

It’s no secret that “rescued” is our favorite breed. Whether it’s a senior dog or a litter of kittens, we love every animal who comes through our shelter doors. And although shelter pets can make the best family pets, there is often a stigma attached to them. And that stigma is one reason why, according to the ASPCA, 920,000 shelter pets are euthanized each year nationwide. If you’re hesitant about adopting one, keep reading as we dismiss the myths about shelter pets!

Myth 1: You don't know what you're getting.

While shelter pets usually don’t come with registered “papers” as proof of their breed, we don’t think this matters. We encourage all pet owners to put aside breed assumptions and look at each pet as an individual. Look for a pet who is a good match for your lifestyle.  For example, if you love to binge-watch Netflix, you’ll do well with a couch potato. But if you’re the athletic type, you’ll do great with an active dog who can hike or run with you. Or maybe you’re a little of both?  There’s a shelter dog for you too!   In fact, we have matchmakers at each shelter who can help you find your perfect counterpart!  

Myth 2: All shelter pets are old.

The majority of animals in our care are young adults (1-3 years old).  This is the perfect age to adopt a pet! They’re past the rowdy puppy stage, but still energetic enough to keep up with you. And if your heart is set on a puppy or kitten, we often have them in our shelters too.

Fulton and DeKalb County Animal Services are open-admission shelters. To that end, we have pets in all sizes, shapes and personalities to fit your unique lifestyle!

Myth 3: Pets end up at the shelter because there's something wrong with them.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Most animals end up in our shelter through no fault of their own. In fact, the top reason pets ended up in our DeKalb County shelter this year was due to housing restrictions.

Myth 4: You don't know how they will interact with your family.

When choosing a family pet, adult, mixed-breed shelter animals are one of the best choices. Nevertheless, it’s always important to responsibly integrate your new pet into your home!  For bigger families, we recommend adopting one of the hundreds of animals currently in foster homes. Our foster parents know lots about the foster dog or cat living in their home. Moreover, they can tell you if the animal is kid-friendly, loves other pets or has any special needs. 

If you’ve fallen in love with a shelter animal, our staff can set up a family meet and greet. We will help ensure that all family members (including four legged ones) are happy with your new addition! 

Myth 5: Shelter pets are more likely to have health issues.

Shelter pets are actually more likely to live healthier, happier lives than pets purchased from a breeder. Most pets that come in shelters are young, mixed breeds. This puts them at a lower risk for genetic disorders like cancer, hip dysplasia and epilepsy. However, if you do adopt a purebred dog from one of our shelters, don’t worry. Our staff can tell you about disorders specific to that breed and provide advice on managing any issues.

Myth 6: Shelter pets need extensive training.

Most shelter pets don’t require any more training than other pets. We encourage ongoing training for any animal, since it creates a positive environment for that pet.  But, if training is a concern for you, we suggest you adopt one of our adult pets. Many adult pets come into the shelter with some previous training. However, should you need training, Frogs to Dogs trainers provide a free consultation for any pet adopted from us.

Myth 7: It's difficult to adopt from a shelter

Our adoption process is as transparent and simple as possible. We practice an open adoptions policy, which aims to break down the barriers to adoption. Additionally, we keep our adoption fees as low as possible. This ensures our adopters can spend more money on pet supplies, food and toys for their new furry family member.

Are you ready to meet your new BFF?!

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