This is Leeroy
As some of you know, he passed away suddenly about a month ago. I was, and still am, devastated by the loss. I could never hope to replace Leeroy, but I needed a new dog in my life, as being without one was just…too weird for me. That being said, I’d like to happily introduce Karl Barx. I adopted this pup today at my local city shelter. (sorry for the lack of happy pics, he can't come home until Friday when he is fixed)
I have done A LOT of research into where I should go to get my new addition, and I thought I should share some of the knowledge I picked up along the way as to why you should adopt a pet, particularly from city or county animal shelters.
1) You’re saving a life: This is the most obvious reason. Many times animal shelters, particularly those run by the government, have to put animals down due to lack of space. It’s a sad truth, but that’s reality.
2) All have been tested for health and behavioral problems: I understand that many dogs who are put down for failing behavioral and health tests could be trained or nursed back to health. I also understand that I am just not the person to do that. I don’t have a lot of money or time, and I really commend people who can and do allocate their resources to help these animals, but I don’t have the ability
3) Many non-profits/rescues are really just puppy mills that don’t pay taxes: This one was the biggest surprise to me. I don’t want to rain on the parade of great organizations and volunteers who tirelessly care for abandoned or abused animals, but many of these “shelters” are just trying to get a quick buck. They’ll charge a ridiculous amount of money for a dog, often times charging more or less for certain breeds. This was a huge red flag to me, I don’t understand why a Golden Retriever should cost twice as much as a Pitbull, and I refuse to support this notion by going there. (I won’t even get into actual breeders and why they’re horrible right now or you’ll be reading a novel…just know they’re despicable)
4) There’s a HUGE variety to choose from, and you have every right to request a meet and greet: Depending on where you live, your local pound can have HUNDREDS of animals to choose from. I live in a city, and the county shelter I looked at had almost 500 animals (cats and dogs). It was a little rough to not take 50 of them home, but I’m a big believer in compatibility. Every dog has an owner out there that will suit them, and many times that’s not me…even if they’re adorable.
5) It’s a great place to get a young dog, that’s not a tiny puppy: Initially this may sound like a con. Who doesn’t want a puppy, right? I’ll tell you who doesn’t want a little baby puppy…me. I love puppies; they’re adorable and sweet and fun…they’re also a time suck. Karl is 9 months old so he is still a puppy, but he’s housebroken and old enough to be neutered and have all of his shots done. I’m starting law school this fall and it would have been unfair to all parties involved for me to get a new puppy. Instead I got an old puppy that’s young enough to be playful and to in essence spend their whole life with me, but he has a head start on some training.
6) It saves A LOT of money: The average “non-profit” will charge you anywhere from $200-$500 for a dog. The average breeder can charge thousands of dollars for a particular breed. Dogs are priceless, but my budget is not limitless. The average cost at a county or city shelter was from $75-$120 for a dog and it included: Spay/neuter, microchip, all shots, heartworm tests, deworming (if the dog is old enough), license, and a leash/collar. Many local shelters will also run specials for certain months. For example, the shelter where I ended up adopting my dog adopted all dogs for only $14 the month of February , and it included all aforementioned things. For Karl, his adoption with all vet stuff AND his training classes all put together will be less than I would have paid at a rescue.
If you’re on the market for a new pet, and you’re interested in finding a shelter near you, I recommend using PetHarbor. It’s a really easy way to find local shelters. Anything that says “___ city/county” is the kind of shelter I went to. Another easy way is to google “[your city] animal control”