If there is one good thing that resulted from the 2020 quarantine it is that pet adoption skyrocketed. People had more time at home and, struggling with isolation, depression, loneliness, and well, stir-crazy kids, adopting a pet was a beautiful way to help. And this isn’t something new. Pet owners have known for centuries the benefits of owning a pet including, companionship, increased exercise, modeling responsibility for children and yes, that unconditional love that comes from our best friends. And when you rescue a pet from a shelter you are doing a world of good—literally. You’re saving a life and teaching your children to care for nature, animals, the planet and of course I could go on and on about the rewards of owning a pet in need of a home. I’ve got a houseful.
But if you’re still not convinced, you may need a little more inspiration. To help, here are six, well actually seven, books that will inspire you to adopt a pet.
One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues by Cara Sue Achterberg. After welcoming her one hundredth foster dog (and her puppies), Cara grabs her best friend, fills a van with donations, and heads south to discover what is really happening in the rural shelters where her foster dogs originate. What she discovers will break her heart and compel her to share the story of heroes and villains and plenty of good dogs, in the hope of changing this world. One Hundred Dogs and Counting will introduce the reader to many good dogs, but also to inspirational people sacrificing personal lives and fortunes to save deserving animals.
Mutual Rescue: How Adopting a Homeless Animal Can Save You, Too by Carol Novello. Sharing the transformational impact that shelter pets have on humans, this book explores the emotional, physical, and spiritual gifts that rescued animals provide. Sharing anecdotes, observations, and scientific research, the book proves the complexity and depth of the role that pets play in our lives. In a nation plagued by illnesses—16 million adults suffer from depression, 29 million have diabetes, 8 million in any given year have PTSD, and nearly 40% are obese—rescue pets can help. 60% of doctors said they prescribe pet adoption and a staggering 97% believe that pet ownership provides health benefits. This book will resonate with readers hungering for stories of healing and redemption and wanting to help unnecessary human and animal death.
Rescue Matters: 4 Years, 4 Thousand Dogs. An incredible true story of rescue and redemption by C.J. English. As soon as you purchase this book, you are saving a dog’s life. A portion of the profits go directly to rescue organizations heading the effort behind the book’s story and they need your help in continuing their work. If you’re inspired to help, share it, pass it to friends or donate a copy to your library. They have rescued thousands of animals and together with everyone’s help, can change the landscape of rescue forever.
Second Chance Sam by JoAnn Sky and illustrated by John Tatulli. An adorable and heartwarming children’s picture book, Second Chance Sam tells the story of an older dog, Sam, who finally gets adopted from the shelter. All the families want puppies and seemingly perfect pets, and they are adopted quickly, while Sam dreams of life on the outside. Then when an elderly man decides that Sam, despite his age and crooked leg, is the right fit for him, they set off on a bonding journey. All Sam needed was a second chance and he proves to his new owner that he was worth the risk.
What a Good Dog: 55 reasons to adopt a rescue dog by Marjorie McHann. Despite an upsurge in rescue dog adoptions over the past decade, myths often prevail, keeping potential owners in the dark about the joys of adoption: something’s wrong with the dog; he was dumped for being bad; he’s sick, mean, abused or unable to bond with the owner; you don’t know what you’re getting. Debunking these tired, old myths is this inspiring collection of “55 reasons to adopt a rescue dog,” dramatic firsthand accounts from Good Dog Rescue adopters whose lives have been transformed by the love of a rescue dog. What a Good Dog! reminds us that we’ll always have joy in our lives as long as we have dogs by our sides. (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts by Laura T. Coffey. “No Dog Should Die Alone” was the attention-grabbing—and heart-stirring—headline of journalist Laura T. Coffey’s TODAY show website story about photographer Lori Fusaro’s work with senior shelter pets. While generally calm, easy, and already house-trained, these animals often represent the highest-risk population at shelters. With gorgeous, joyful photographs and sweet, funny, true tales of “old dogs learning new tricks,” Coffey and Fusaro show that adopting a senior can be even more rewarding than choosing a younger pup.
Joey: How a Blind Rescue Horse Helped Others Learn to See by Jennifer Marshall Bleakley. At the height of his show career, this beautiful Appaloosa’s majestic stature, strength, and willingness to work made him the perfect partner. But when an injury cost Joey his show career, he moved from one owner to the next, ultimately experiencing severe abuse and neglect. A rescue group found Joey nearly dead from starvation—and blind. Then he came to Hope Reins—a ranch dedicated to helping hurting kids who had been abused, emotionally wounded, or unwanted. By teaching these children to care for rescued animals, the Hope Reins staff were convinced they could reach kids with love and hope and show them that we are never forgotten by God.
To save a life and become a pet parent, contact your local humane society or one of the smaller non-profit, no kill shelters in your area.
Images Courtesy of New World Library, Cara Sue Achterberg and Dogs and Books