By Janet McAfee

Are you thinking about adding a new pet to your family?  The companionship of a rescue dog or cat can be a great source of comfort during a crisis.  They bring love and joy into our lives, helping people feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing.  Animals often know our intentions, and the joy of the dog pictured here during his shelter adoption is contagious.  An animal in a shelter has already gone through some tough times, and given a second chance their grateful heart will warm yours.

Please visit one of the many animal shelters and private rescue groups to meet some wonderful cats and dogs.  Here are some of the reasons why adopting a rescue pet is a great idea.

YOU WILL SAVE A LIFE  – Every year, over a million beautiful adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in public shelters in the United States.  They are of all ages and breeds.  Most of them are healthy and happy creatures whose only crime is being homeless.  When you adopt, you not only save that animal, but you free up shelter space for another animal that desperately needs it.

 YOU WILL SAVE MONEY – When you adopt an animal from a shelter or rescue, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations, rabies, and microchipping is usually included in the adoption fee.  Breeders may charge thousands of dollars for their animals, and because they are motivated by profit, they may not include vet care.

YOU WILL HELP FIGHT PUPPY MILLS – When you purchase a pet from a pet store, online, or at a flea market, it is almost certain to have come from a puppy mill.  Puppy mills are large scale factory-type breeding facilities where animals are housed in shockingly poor conditions.  They are often kept in tiny wire cages stacked up on top of each other.  They are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather.  With profit put first, the parent animals are provided no medical care and fed an insufficient diet. They never feel the soft grass underneath their feet or the loving touch of a human hand.  When a puppy mill is raided, and the dogs freed, they take a long time to recover physically and emotionally.  The public needs to quit supporting these cruel businesses.

YOU WILL HAVE BRAGGING RIGHTS – Adopting a rescue dog or cat is becoming a popular thing to do.  Your friends and family members will cheer when they see posted photos and learn where you adopted Fido or Fluffy.  Folks at dog parks brag about having a rescue pup.

YOUR DOG MAY ALREADY BE HOUSE TRAINED – When you adopt a rescue dog, he is likely to have some house training because he already lived in a home.  When you adopt a young puppy from a breeder or pet store, you will have an animal who needs to relieve himself frequently and you will have to do all the training.

YOUR HEALTH WILL IMPROVE – With their unconditional love, rescue animals have been proven to be emotionally and physically beneficial to their humans.  They can lesson your feelings of loneliness during hard times.  And when you adopt a homeless animal, you will feel proud about helping one in need.

YOU WILL CHANGE THAT ANIMAL’S ENTIRE WORLD – Your new pet is a part of your life now.  However, you are his entire world.  And his world changed when he left that kennel cage for a warm bed in your loving home.

As we go to print, our Riverside County Animal shelters remain open for adoptions and they have many wonderful adoptable pets.  The Coachella Valley Animal Shelter is located at 72050 Petland Place, (760) 343-3644.  You can view the animals at all 5 of our county shelters at  Need help looking for a specific breed or type of pet?  Contact Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000 for further assistance.  You can view their adoptable animals at  Now is the time to get a wonderful best “furfriend”!