Rescues Vs. Shelters

Posted: May 12, 2012 in Helpful Advice
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The two different groups offer very different adopting experiences. To help you in your decision on where to adopt from, we will do our best to describe the advantages and dis advantages of each.


Rescues are usually non-profit organizations, run by private owners with the help of volunteers. When you adopt an animal from a rescue, a great many things have already been taken care of for you. Spay/neuter, vaccinations, any other medical needs, varying degrees of training, a background of the animal, and microchipping. (If you’re adopting a cat or dog. Smaller animals aren’t generally microchipped.) For this reason, the adoption fees are higher than those of shelters. If you call your local vet and price out all the above things, you will most likely end up saving money adopting from a rescue.

Rescues tend to know their animals more intimately because the people and volunteers handle them daily. They can tell you whether; they get along with other animals, have a bite history, or dislike children. Many times their animals have been living in foster care and are housebroken.
The main disadvantage of a rescue (and this is opinionated based on each individual’s views) is that there is an adoption process. This involves filling out an application to review. Once and if, you are approved there may or may not be a home check. This seems to be the area that people get shy. They think it’s too invasive. What you need to remember is that these animals have already had tough lives. The rescues only concern is that the animal is going to a safe environment. So what’s one extra guest over for the day if it means you get to keep the warm ball of fur (or feathers) you’ve been dreaming of?


Shelters are generally county run and funded by tax dollars. They work off of strict budgets, donations, limited employees, and volunteers. Because of this, many are what are known as “kill shelters”. They see a surplus of animals dropped off or picked up as strays. The animals only have so many days to be adopted before they are euthanized to make room for more animals. Shelter life is much like jail and only the basics are met. Veterinary care is minimal. Anyone with a valid ID can adopt from here, with no home inspections.

As depressing as this all sounds, adopting from a shelter can still be rewarding. When you adopt an animal from a shelter you are literally saving someone from death row. Yes, the vet bills can get high if you have an ill animal but this also brings you closer to your new found friend. As cheesy as some people think it sounds, you can tell an animal is thankful when you save their life. Perhaps only people who have been through this process can understand what that means. But wouldn’t you like to find out?

In conclusion, no matter which route you decide to go, there are ups and downs to each adoption process. All you need to do, is decide which is the right path for you and your future friend. Please feel free to post any experiences you may have had in adopting an animal in the comment section!

  1. […] Previously we explained the main differences between adopting from a rescue or adopting from a shelter. If you missed it, you can find it here: […]

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