I’ve loved felines my entire life, but did not have one to call my own until the age of 23. While it’d be dishonest to say it was an easy adjustment in every way, the full truth is that the small amount of extra work is well, well worth it.
According to the Humane Society, these are the reasons to adopt (rather than shop for) a pet. In addition to these points about saving an animal’s life and not supporting puppy mills, adopting a pet can be good for your physical and mental health. Would you like a healthier heart and better mood? Walking a dog gets you exercise, fresh air, vitamin D, social interaction and all that comes with it.
For my part, I ended up with a partner who’s had cats his entire life, and can’t really imagine it any other way. As long as we’re able to care for one, we’ll have a kitty or two hanging around our furniture and heads at bedtime. We’ll also have cat hair here and there, and occasional vet bills. Small price to pay for those purring nuzzles and hilarious antics with the laser pointer.
When kids are involved, pets offer even greater value. For many kids, the death of a pet is their introduction to loss, and a chance to understand in a very real way what the absence of a physical, living being means. Caring for pets is a responsibility, and being around those that go outdoors can even minimize allergy risk for children.
No question about it – adopting a pet is good for you, animals, kids and the larger society. Finding one is easy, and caring for one is as natural to human nature as anything. This is one of the simplest ways to put some good out there in your world.