I’ve written about this before but it’s time to talk about it again. There is nothing cuter than a puppy or kitten when one is looking to adopt. However, adopting an adult dog or cat has some advantages over the puppy and kitten.
First, house training is usually complete. Our adult cat, Oliver, recognized a litter box and didn’t hesitate to use it. Our adult dog, Emma, goes to the front door when she needs to “use the facilities.” No owner hypervigilance to ward off accidents is necessary.
Second, you have a better idea of the pet’s personality. You can do research about a breed’s temperament but you only get general information. Whether a particular dog carries those traits is a crap shoot. An adult’s personality is developed and you know what you are getting. Not so much with a puppy or kitten.
Third, and this is a big one, you are saving a life that might be otherwise destroyed. After going to Animal Control several times looking for our lost cat, I noticed one on display in the lobby. He looked laid back and immune to the activity and noise around him. I was told people didn’t want to adopt adult animals when I asked why he hadn’t been adopted. His time for adoption passed and no one knew for sure when his execution day would come. The employees were very excited when we brought Oliver home with us. No regrets on our part.
One can’t blame an animal shelter for having to put down animals after an adoption period passed. Room and resources for their care are in short supply. Animal rescue organizations work hard to save as many animals as possible. We went through one to adopt Emma (see Emma’s Tails). She and her puppies were rescued from a high kill shelter and put in foster care until all were adopted.
If you are looking to adopt a pet, please please consider an adult.