Writer Feature: Why I Chose to Adopt

Adopt Don't Shop

Editor’s Note: Please welcome to our writer roster Sherlynn Rocha! Sherlynn is the proud mom of 2 dogs and 1 cat and has her BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University. We are thrilled to have her on board!

I’ve had many pets since I was a little girl and nothing feels better than bringing a pet home to be a part of your family. Pets are wonderful because they offer a lifetime of friendship and security. When my boyfriend and I decided to adopt our first pet together, it wasn’t something we planned since we already had two dogs that we had for many years. In spite of this, I had been hoping to get a cat for a while.

One day we walked into Petco and saw that they had kittens up for adoption. Naturally I had to see them! There were older cats and three kittens a few weeks old. One in particular caught our eye. He was crazy and youthful, just like us. We fell in love instantly and knew we had to adopt him since he would be a perfect fit for our family.  We were lucky because we got to raise our kitten and were able to teach him to live with dogs. We also were able to watch him grow and develop a fun personality!

We decided to name him Damon, after a character off of Vampire Diaries because at the time I was obsessed with that show and because he has eyes just like the main character. Damon is very independent and loves messing around with our two dogs, Kiba and Shadow. I actually believe he thinks he is one of the dogs! He is unlike any other cat and loves the game of fetch. The biggest thing we have had to overcome as a family was introducing him to Kiba and Shadow. Neither of them had experience with cats but now the three of them act like brothers. They constantly play and sleep together.

We often hear about unwanted animals in shelters. If you’ve ever walked into a shelter you know how depressing it can be. The sad fact is when so many pets are in shelters, there is limited space which means space need to be made by euthanizing older animals, sick animals, animals with behavioral issues, or animals that have been there a long time. Even at no kill shelters, the amount of pets dumped can leave to unhealthy conditions and years of waiting. Every pet deserves a home and to feel loved.

A major benefit with adopting is that it is very affordable and is oftentimes cheaper than buying a pet from a breeder. Costs of spay/neuter, first vaccinations and sometimes microchipping are included in the price of the adoption. In our situation, it was only $65 for all three of those things.

Sometimes adoption includes the benefit of adopting a trained pet. One of the many perks of adopting Damon was that he came litter box trained, which was something I wouldn’t have known how to train him to do on my own.

Another, good thing about adopting is it saves a life. The more people adopt, the more lives we save. Many people often look into buying from a breeder because they believe that shelters don’t have purebred dogs which is totally inaccurate. About 25% of cats and dogs in shelters are purebred and there are even rescues for specific breeds.

If I had to go through the process of getting Damon again, I wouldn’t change a thing. The way I see it is we chose a cat that was abandoned and he chose us. I am blessed because he changed our lives for the better. Sometimes people tend to be more open minded with pets that they can start from scratch with. However, if we stay closed-minded we lose the love that pets who need to be adopted can offer and, consequently, lose a lifetime of wonderful experiences.