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How Many People Actually Adopt From Shelters? Here’s The Answer.

November 16, 2013

Of all of the cats in the United States, less than 30 percent came from shelters or rescues.

I won’t lie — that percent caught me off guard. I really expected it to be higher. But I guess it makes sense considering people adopt a variety of ways. For example, maybe they took in a friend’s or relative’s cat, maybe they adopted a cat from a stranger, or maybe they purchased a kitten from a pet store. No matter how people are currently adopting cats, I believe there are things we can all do to help increase the number of people who choose to adopt from a shelter or rescue. The solution? Outreach.

To me, outreach means connecting with everyone possible — from your neighbor, to your coworkers, boss, friends, jogging buddies, even the folks at your veterinarian’s office — to tell them about the benefits of adopting from a shelter or rescue. If you adopted your cat from a shelter or rescue, share your story. While you’re at it, tell them about your special needs cat(s), and don’t forget to tell them how awesome he/she (they) are!

For example, by simply sharing why cerebellar hypoplasia cats make great pets you’re spreading awareness — not to mention compassion. Plus, if you volunteer at a shelter, you can tell the shelter staff about these creative ideas that will help get the word out about adoptable pets.

Small steps like these can result in big changes. If more and more people learn to adopt from shelters and rescues, then those organizations can take in more and more cats to adopt out. Plus, it may also mean that fewer cats need to be euthanized, a likely fate for special needs cats.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Monika permalink
    November 16, 2013 12:51 pm

    Hi Amanda, One thing your article did not mention is Strays or foundlings. Over the years we have found cats/kittens dumped in parks or on the roadside. Most have just shown up on our doorstep. Currently we have 14. 7 have become house pets and 7 are living in our garage. Besides Molly our CH we have 2 that are FIV+. We wouldn’t trade anyone of them. We do tell everyone about Molly and her circumstances but we are still getting mixed reactions.

  2. Carolina permalink
    November 16, 2013 2:50 pm

    As a vet nurse I can agree with Monika. A lot of our clients have cats that they have simply found or that have ‘adopted’ them. Often it’s neighbours that move and leave an unwanted cat behind and then kind hearted neighbours take the cat in. Aside from Oliver and Annie’s special story I also have Daisy who was found by builders knocking down a house. They saw a little white cat carrying something out of the house, she put it down and went back in coming out with a second, then a third. They were her 3 little kittens! The builders caught her and her kittens and brought them to us. The kittens all found homes and Daisy came home with me 🙂 Fortunately there are a lot of caring people and I hear these stories on a daily basis.

  3. November 16, 2013 3:31 pm

    My CH cat came from a breeder, because she could neither show nor sell this kitten. I consider that a rescue. I also have a feral cat that was found walking along the side of a road, and brought to the Humane Society, and 2 cats that I rescued out the apartment of some drug addicts who were being evicted for having pets in a no-pet apartment. So I think I have a pretty good track record for rescue, even though I also have cats that were bought for showing purposes. Not going to do that again! 🙂

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