You save a life - to put it simply. The pets that are brought into a shelter, or are saved by volunteers and fostered until they find an owner are in desperate need of being properly taken care of. This doesn't mean they are all vulnerable or broken or unhealthy, it just means you take into consideration their past and are wanting to give an animal a second chance at life.
You don't encourage overpopulation of these animals. Overpopulation of cats and dogs are a huge problem! There so many stray and abandoned cats and dogs around because of irresponsible breeding, this means that the overpopulation is actually harming the animals by causing them to be homeless and unable to fend for themselves. In addition, feral cats, in particular, have a negative effect on the environment.
You help put an end to dodgy breeding. Improper and backyard breeders are trying to make quick and easy money, usually without giving the litter or the mother much needed after-birth care. So by adopting, you discourage this behaviour and help reduce the profit of cruel puppy mills, inbreeding and poor conditions in pet stores.
You can adopt an adult dog/cat who really needs love in their life. By looking at adopting, you will come across older animals which is just as exciting because you will be able to see their personality and will know exactly what you're getting! These dogs and cats will also more likely be house-trained and the dogs will know a few commands, so you can skip the crazy puppy phase that requires patience and a lot of training.
Lots to choose from! When you're adopting, you don't really have to make a lot of research into breeds to try and find the perfect one for your family and lifestyle. There is no need to go to a specific breeder to look at their litter because you can visit different shelters and take your time to find the animal that you love and want to take home. Shelters usually have a range of breeds, some pedigree, and some mutts.
Rescue organizations will always be there for you. If you're unsure about something, looking for information or advice on a particular issue or situation, the organization will be happy to assist you. There is no need to feel embarrassed about asking certain questions as they really want to help and make the experience a good one. Even if it's months after you've taken your new pet home!
You receive a pet that has been recently taken care of, and given the correct vaccinations and, usually, has been desexed! The pet will have also been safe, and hopefully settled, with the rescue organization for a while... remember, "stray" or abandoned animals do not equal problematic behaviour!
You pay less. The adoption fees (if any) you will pay the rescue organization/shelter will be considerably less than what you would pay a breeder.
You encourage others to adopt leading to more animals that need a home to get one! Adopting shows friends and family that you're standing against overpopulation of cats and dogs and cruelty to animals (which includes excessive breeding in poor conditions) and they might take a leaf out of your book next time they are looking for a loving pet.
You support a valuable charity. It's a hard, cruel life for stray and abandoned animals so the work that these volunteers and organizations do, going around saving, fostering and finding a home for doggies and kitties alike is nothing short of amazing.
You can get to know the pet first. When you are adopting a pet, you can visit them more than once if they are in a shelter or foster home and get to know them before you decide... this will be less awkward than visiting a breeder's home, but it is also encouraged when adopting so you and the animal make a connection and feel more comfortable when the time comes to take them home.
Just to be clear, we aren't saying that all home breeding is bad and that you shouldn't go to a specific person for a specific pet, ever! But we would love it if more people considered adopting when they are thinking of growing their family by adding a dog or a cat.
Seeing an adopted pet come out of their shell and start to love a family unconditionally is beautiful, and we think all the animals in shelters should get a chance at going home to a welcoming family.
If you're interested in adopting a cat, get in touch with Cat Rescue Wanaka, whose volunteers and fosterers are happy to help with enquiries and finding the perfect kitty for you.
For adopting dogs, you can make a quick search on the internet and a few different organizations committed to rehoming doggies will pop up such as SPCA, Dog Rescue Dunedin and Pound Paws Rescue Oamaru.