Kim Nelson: Reasons You Should Adopt a Pet

riverDid you know that October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month? Here are some reasons you should adopt a dog or cat:

  • Every year, an estimated 3 to 4 million shelter dogs and cats are euthanized. If you can save the life of an animal, they will be forever grateful to you. They may not be aware of how close they came to an early death, but they do know that they have gone from living in a cement cell to a loving home, and they never forget it.

  • Having a dog gets you out into the world. While walking my dog, I have come across things in my neighborhood I never would have expected or found on my own, from a loose chicken wandering down California Ave to a tiny elf-sized door that someone attached to the base of a tree in their front yard.

  • You get to know your neighbors better. People love to chat about their dogs. When you know your neighbors, you look out for each other and give each other a heads-up when last minute tow zones are posted because there’s going to be an impromptu Lithuanian Pride Parade on your street.

  • Having a dog makes your home safer. Dogs act as an early alarm system, alerting you when an intruder (or a pizza delivery guy) is approaching. Personally, I feel much more comfortable with a dog in my home than a gun. (One is much better at cuddling that the other.)

  • Caring for a pet makes you a more selfless person. Look at the faces of the people at the emergency vet at 11 pm on a Tuesday night, and you will know what love is.

  • Hungover on a Sunday, and all you want to do is lie on the couch all day watching Orange is the New Black in a one-sitting marathon? Your cat is totally down.

  • When you have a terrible day, there is nothing like coming home to a dog or cat. Petting a dog or a purring cat is curative. Therapy dogs visit nursing homes and areas struck by natural disaster because they are so great at picking up broken spirits.

  • Animals provide endless entertainment. If you’ve seen your dog try to run away from their own dingleberry, you know it’s funnier than anything Adam Sandler ever produced.

  • A friendly face looking out your window, waiting for you to come home and hang out. Always.


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