Adopting a Dog
One Solution to Animal Abuse
By Danielle, age 16, New York
Well, we all know everyone loves little puppies because they are cute and small, but have you ever thought of adopting an animal from your local SPCA or animal shelter? Or if you aren't able to adopt a dog you could begin to volunteer at the SPCA or your local animal shelter. They would love your services, and I'm sure it would make your day to help take care of animals that may need it the most. They are always looking for much-needed attention.
I recently adopted an abused dog from my local SPCA. He is only one year old. He is a sweetheart and so much better than we would have imagined! His name is Chipper and he is an Australian Shepherd mixed with a Lab (I believe - they weren't really sure). They might be older than you might have wanted and they might be harder to train because they do not have any previous training, but you can always bond with your dog and spend time with him by training him. You can also walk him. Dogs love to get outside. It makes them more sociable with other dogs and with people. Besides, walking your dog will give you exercise and time to get outside and enjoy the weather! Walking him can also get rid of his energy and calm him down.
When we adopted Chipper it only cost $65, and that included microchipping (which is a tracking device in case - heaven forbid - your dog happens to get out of the house and run away), ID tags, license, paperwork and registration, shots (such as rabies, de-worming, and several other shots), nail clipping, and a bath. Exactly what you get and how much it costs varies by state and by shelter.
My dog, Chipper
I will be honest and tell you that at times it can be frustrating, but it's nice to say you've rescued an animal who was abused and that you have helped save a life. Chipper along with his brothers and sisters were starved, and Chipper is still suffering from separation anxiety and food deprivation. In fact, on the 13th of March, Chipper will have been in our household for 2 months!
So far in 2008 there have been 12,691 cases of animal abuse. I think that this is 12,691 cases too many. An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are put to sleep in animal shelters each year in the United States. Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from disease, starvation, or injury before dying. These are absolutely stunning statistics, and it hurts me to see these numbers.
Another study shows that approximately 55% of dogs and puppies and 71% of cats and kittens entering U.S. animal shelters are killed. These numbers are real, and it's scary that helpless animals have to be killed before they are ever given a chance to become someone's pet and best friend. So the next time you walk past your local animal shelter or SPCA, think about an animal that may become your best friend.