Over the weekend, we celebrated Artemis' first birthday. When we brought her home from the shelter they had mentioned they believed she would be turning one around September 1st. I guess they can tell that? Who knew? I'd like to think that the last five months with us, were much better than her six months without a home, and one month at the shelter. If you're thinking of adopting, I'd urge you to check out an animal shelter before deciding it's not for you. Five months ago, when we wanted to get another cat -- we went the shelter route because it was sort of our only option. For Apollo, our friend's cat had kittens and he was trying to give them all away. It was easy. A few months later, no one we knew had kittens to give away and it just seemed like a very normal thing to do to stop in at our local humane society. Sean started looking on their website, and saw Artemis immediately. Her name was Rainbow at the time, she looked all scraggly, and she definitely looked afraid. But we knew we had to have her. We called them, they said we could come look at her but that she wasn't ready to leave the shelter quite yet, we started visiting daily, and after a few days we got to bring her home... and now we're celebrating her b-day!
We liked working with the animal shelter for a couple of reasons:
1. Health: At least around us, shelters make sure that animals have their shots and vaccinations. They also spay or neuter the animal. If the animal is sick, they keep a close eye on him or her and don't let them leave the shelter until they're well. Once you bring the pet home, they encourage you to take the animal to your own vet -- but technically, I guess you wouldn't have to. (Although, we did and everything checked out well).
2. Wealth: Because the animals come to you all vaccinated and baby-less, you don't have to take them to the vet and pay out of pocket for those important expenses. It's already done. Even when you take them to your own vet, it's relatively inexpensive since wellness visits aren't that bad (it's all the shots and procedures and extras that cost a pretty penny). Kittens (and especially, puppies) are a bit pricey at shelters. But it's really nothing compared to a breeder's. And the older the animal, the more likelihood of the cost going down. For example, Artemis was $100 less than another cat just because she had reached her 7 month mark. Kittens are most expensive, then cats 7 months and older then senior cats (over 7 years old). It's all more incentive to bring an older animal into your home.
3. Happiness: Not only are you getting a new family member, but you get to say that you helped an animal completely incapable of helping themselves. You gave an animal the chance to become a family pet. You can say you helped your local humane society by adopting and paying the adoption fees, helped your local community by getting strays off the street, and gave a four-legged friend a warm (in the winter, cool in the summer) place to nap day in and day out. How does that not equal happiness?