Adopting an animal from a rescue shelter or animal sanctuary is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Aside from the positives of simply having a pet, adoption comes with many of its own benefits. You save animals’ lives, save money, and save time on vet bills and appointments by choosing a sanctuary over an online retailer or a breeder.

Here are 10 reasons why you should choose to adopt your next dog, cat, or exotic animal companion.

1. You Will Save a Life

Shelter animals, especially dogs, often come from abusive homes where they were mistreated. By adopting an animal from a shelter you give these animals another chance at being loved and cared for.

2. It’s More Affordable

Adoption is extremely affordable compared to outright buying a pet. While you can expect an initial fee upwards of $1000 for a breeder dog, adopted dogs rarely cost more than $250 and come with perks.

3. Adopting Comes With Veterinary Perks

The majority of animal sanctuaries and humane societies will vaccinate, spay/neuter, and microchip all animals that come into the shelter. This saves a lot of money in vet bills, and some shelters offer another free vet visit after adoption.

4. It Doesn’t Support Breeding Mills

Breeding mills are places where dogs are mistreated, trapped in cages to be bred for their whole lives then tossed aside without any love. In fact, many dogs in shelters come from these abusive situations.

5. It Skips the Puppy Years

Some people don’t want to deal with having to train and rear a young pup. It’s totally understandable in today’s day and age! While you can certainly find puppies at shelters, most dogs at shelters are more tempered and relaxed around people.

6. Older Animals Are Calm Companions

An older cat or an older dog might not seem like a wise investment, but that’s the wrong way to look at adoption. Older animals are calm, thoughtful, and just as eager for new experiences. Choose an older animal if you want a companion who doesn’t need too much action.

7. Adopting an Animal Supports Local Wildlife

Homeless animals, especially cats, can affect local wildlife stability. Free-roaming stray cats kill billions of small animals every year — the population loss has a ripple effect on other animals. Choosing to adopt prevents this number from being any higher.

8. Rescue Animals Are Eager to Learn…

Rescue animals just beg for attention. As many shelter animals were not given the affection they need, they will be eager to learn from a new owner. Online resources like Pet Educate can be valuable when adopting for the first time.

9. …And Sometimes They Are Already Trained!

Plenty of rescue animals are already trained and ready to go, skipping the initial phase of training altogether. More time for getting to know each other!

10. Adopting an Animal Just Makes You Feel Better

There are many well-known positive effects of having a pet, but adopting an animal exacerbates these effects because of one thing: compassion. By choosing to adopt an animal you are saying no to the inhumane treatment of animals, and you offer help to some of our society’s most mistreated friends.

For more on the benefits of adopting and for more about taking care of your new furry friend, take a look at the rest of our blog!