In honour of ESMA’s (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals) first Open Day on the 24th of April, and with animal abuse everywhere on our city’s fine streets (and on our news – RIP Max, and many others), we’ve rounded up the top eleven reasons to adopt, instead of buy, a pet.
1 – You’re doing a public good and ending doggie homelessness. Shelters, especially no-kill ones like ESMA, are always incredibly full. By taking your four-legged companion home, you’re freeing up space for older/special needs dogs that might be left out on the streets otherwise.
2 – You’re helping to end animal abuse. The worst perpetrators of animal abuse are breeders and ‘puppy farms’ who do it for profit, and by adopting, rather than buying, you’re ‘shrinking the market’ and discouraging them from putting more and more doggie-mamas into cages and forcing them to give birth every few months. Not-so-fun fact: Dog breeders will put down puppies that are perfectly healthy but are ‘not suitable’ for sale.
3 – INSTANT best-friend. There’s a great phrase, ‘Be the person your dog thinks you are’. That’s because, no matter what you do (barring acts of cruelty, obviously) your dog will think the sun shines out of your ass. Don’t you want somebody to love you? Don’t you want somebody by your side, to cuddle and support you, no matter how stupid you look? Somebody to listen to your endless rants? We can guarantee that nobody will ever be so excited to greet you when you come home.
4 – House-broken and vaccinated. Most shelter canines are both house-trained and up-to-date with their vaccinations and booster shots, which means far less effort for YOU, busy dog-owner. Most of the ones at ESMA already know commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘down’. You take advantage of adopting pets that are ‘ready’ to take home.
5 – It removes the element of surprise. Especially with older dogs, what you see is what you get, in terms of size, colour, whatever. You avoid the shock when the tiny Fido grows to be twice your size, or when your guard-dog Rex doesn’t grow past your ankles. The shelters will also know the sort of temperament that a dog has, and will be able to advise you as to which one you take home – whether you want an active dog to suit a sporty lifestyle or whether you want another couch-potato, lazy-bum to watch endless seasons of Friends with.
6 – Your options for dogs are basically endless. Again, shelters are usually full to capacity with every kind of dog under the sun; puppies, older dogs, big ones, little ones, disabled ones, pedigree breeds, mutts, hyper ones, lazy ones; you have everything to choose from.
7 – Shelter dogs are more intelligent, and have better immune systems. Shelter dogs are survivors. These are, more often than not, dogs that have had to survive on streets where people have thrown rocks at them, they’ve eaten garbage, been poisoned, been abused etcetera. As a result, their immune systems are more developed and they’re a bit more ‘with-it’.
8 – Less expensive. Compared to buying a dog, for often ridiculous prices, adopting is inexpensive. And anyway, buying a member of your family seems a bit wrong.
9 – You will meet new people (and they will help you!). The dog community is a great community to be a part of. The shelters, and more experienced dog-owners, are only a phone-call away if you need advice on food, kennels, vets, good places to walk, and so on. They like to go out too – doggie dates on the beach and in parks are in your future.
10 – The warm fuzzies. The feeling you get when you rescue a dog and give them a good home is unrivaled. Probably similar to the pride that comes from giving birth (this is just a guess). It doesn’t hurt that the dog will be eternally grateful to you for taking them in and giving them a family. They will show you that appreciation every single day.
11 – You become an ambassador. You will encourage others to do the same, and help end the cycle of animal abuse and homelessness.
Check out ESMA’s Facebook page, or the event listing if you’re interested in going. They urgently need volunteers, donations (these do not have to be money, they can be old household items, toys, cleaning products, blankets), and, most importantly, good homes.
Here’s another picture of dogs, just to make your day better and in case you needed any more encouragement.
By: Noor Salama