cat in a cage at a chicago shelter

April 30th is officially National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day!

The best gift you could ever give is love. In honor of this day, Village West Vet wanted to outline some of the amazing benefits of adopting shelter and rescue pets from our local animal controls or rescue organizations, especially our own CARF: Critical Animal Relief Foundation.

You’ll Save a Life

Every year, millions of cats and dogs are neglected, abandoned or abused by their owners or bypassers on the street or in the countryside. Others are simply strays that have been born on the street or were accidentally separated from their homes and became confused and lost. It’s difficult for them to survive in the elements without food, water or protection. If they’re lucky enough to end up in a no-kill shelter or rescue, they may get some of the care they need. If they are unlucky enough to end up in municipal animal control, they may survive longer than expected, but if they are too weak or sick, or the shelter is overcrowded, they will often be euthanized. By adopting a shelter animal, you’ll completely change that innocent animal’s life and give it the tender, loving care it so badly needs.

Beware of Puppy and Kitten Mills

Just because you decide to buy a specific breed of puppy or kitten from a seemingly legitimate source like a pet store, it’s hard to know the true backstory on where that animal came from. Many pet store dogs and cats come from unregulated or under-regulated puppy or kitten mill operations that churn out pets of varying breed or appearance. Puppy and kitten mills often keep dogs and cats in unsafe and unhealthy conditions, keeping them in small crates, fed poor quality food, and minimally treated for parasites. Breeding cats and dogs are kept in these conditions for years before they’re simply discarded with reproductive organs highly susceptible or already plagued with infection or cancer. Puppy and kitten mills often sell their animals to pet stores to pass them off as healthy, despite multiple health problems. There are many claims that pet stores sell these same pets knowing about health problems. The puppies and kittens may have pedigree papers to show their parentage and a better knowledge of their health, but don’t be fooled. Everyone you know has a pedigree, but this says nothing about the individual. These poor little dogs and cats have had it rough because their existence is simply meant for profit. Greater awareness of puppy mill abuses has to lead many states and cities to crack down on their behavior and to limit the sale of pets through pet stores. You can make a difference by simply adopting from a shelter or rescue. This will help decrease demand from puppy and kitten mills by pet stores and will help you to save an innocent life already in jeopardy at the shelter or under the care of a rescue that can continue to save more lives.

All Pets Deserve a Second Chance

It’s impossible to measure the joy that accompanies the adoption of a shelter dog or cat, kitten or puppy. You will open your home and heart to another living soul who will know what care, love, and companionship should feel like. If you or someone you know has recently adopted a pet, schedule an appointment with Village West Veterinary and our veterinarians — so close to the Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Ukrainian Village, Pilsen, West Loop and Lincoln Park neighborhoods — will ensure we help get these deserving little dogs and cats off to the proper start they need.

Humane Society