Shelter Pet Edition
Many people choose to buy a pet rather than adopt because of some common misconceptions about shelter pets. Welcome to Myth Busters, Shelter Pet Edition.
Shelter Animals Were Surrendered Because They Were Bad Pets
Busted! Many shelter pets were surrendered for reasons beyond their control, including:
Owners are moving to housing that don’t allow pets (7% dogs, 8% cats)
Allergies (8% cats)
Owner having personal problems (4% dogs and cats)
Too many or no room for litter mates (7% dogs, 17% cats)
Owner can no longer afford the pet (5% dogs, 6% cats)
Owner no longer has time for the pet (4% dogs)
Other reasons include their owner passing away or the former owner being neglectful. Often times "behavioral" problems are due to lack of training (or patience) by the previous owner. A puppy will not be house trained overnight. They are just babies and deserve patience and understanding while they learn to be a good grown-up pup. Scores of pets in shelters were picked up as strays or found abandoned after a move. To learn more, we suggest reading PetFinder's article Why Are Pets Relinquished to Shelters?.
I Can't Get the Breed I Want Through a Rescue or Shelter
Busted! While it may take more time or patience, there are many rescues and shelters that have purebred dogs and cats. Often rescues will be engaged in abandoned puppy mill moms, dads, and puppies. Other rescues specifically scour shelters across the country rescuing specific breeds. The Pixel Fund believes that every dog deserves a second chance, so while we do not specialize in a specific breeds, we often have dogs that are pretty darn close! Do a little research and you might find a local rescue specializing in what you are looking for, such as Maine Lab Rescue or Poodle Rescue of New England.
Rescue Animals are Like a Box of Chocolates... You Never Know What You're Gonna Get
Busted! While it is true that rescue organizations are often left guessing on what breed the dogs are (well, this one looks like a Chihuahua's head on an Italian Greyhound's body), we often know more about your potential pet than a pet store would. Sure, a pet store can boast that "Boston Terriers are generally good with cats" or "Cavalier King Charles Spaniels generally don't bark much." However, the Pixel Fund (and many other rescues), foster our animals in the homes of our volunteers. Instead of making generalities, we can tell you specifically how this dog behaves in our home. We can tell you this specific dog needs an hour of exercise, not a half hour. We can tell you that this specific dog wants to cuddle on the couch. We can tell you that this specific dog eats like a pig, or needs to put on weight, or is good in a crate. We can tell you where they are in their house training process. We will even let you enter into a foster-to-adopt agreement, where you can live with our pup for up to 10 days to decide whether or not it's the right fit. With many breeders, you pick your dog before the litter is even born. placing a deposit on an upcoming puppy. While assumptions can be made about that puppy's temperament, you won't know who they are yet. It is true that every dog is different, but we can help find the RIGHT dog for YOUR family. Often that's the key to success.
It's Expensive to Adopt a Pet When I Can Get One for Free
Busted! Pixel Fund dogs adopted in Maine come with an adoption fee between $325 and $375 (see our Adoption Fees page for more information). However, consider that every Pixel pup (unless otherwise noted) comes spayed/neutered and up-to-date on shots. This can be a cost savings for you in the end, when you consider the typical veterinary fees for these services:
Spaying/neutering $150 - $300
Distemper vaccination $20 -$30 x2
Rabies vaccination $15 - $25
Heartworm test $15 - $35
Flea/tick treatment $50 - $200
Animals from Abusive or Neglectful Homes Won't Make Good Pets
Busted! Most animals that come from an abusive or neglectful past make a full emotional recovery. Of the 50 pit bull recovered from Michael Vick's dog fighting circuit, 49 were fully rehabilitated and have been placed in loving, family homes. The Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka notes that "many of them are so grateful to be rescued from their previous situation, they end up being more devoted and loyal than animals coming from non-abusive homes." In fact, Pixel spends thousand of dollars rehabilitating some of our dogs to give them that second chance they so richly deserve.
"Rescuing" from a Pet Store
Busted! Adopting a pet means that when you pay your adoption fee, your money is going to an organization that treats animals humanely. Purchasing a pet at a pet store means direct financial support to puppy mills. Saving dogs and placing them in loving homes is the #1 priority of the Pixel Fund. Puppy mills and pet stores are private business that put profit before the well-being of their animals. To learn more about puppy mills and why we oppose them, click here.