Today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, a day where we spread awareness for pets that need homes in shelters and rescue organizations across the United States. The organizations in our local area are run by a group of dedicated individuals who have a strong passion for shelter pets and would do just about anything to help them find their forever homes.
One of these amazing volunteers is Sierra. In addition to adopting 3 shelter pets of her own, she also has volunteered and fostered animals with numerous rescue organizations in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She improves the lives of animals every day.
We had the pleasure of meeting Sierra (and her animals) and learning more about her connection to this important day.
How many animals have you adopted from shelters?
I have adopted two dogs and one cat.
Tell us about your current pets that you adopted from a shelter. What do you love about them?
All of my pets were “rescued” in some way, but my actual adopted pets have a special place in my heart because I know that without their awesome rescues and foster homes they wouldn’t be with me! They complete my pack and I can’t imagine my home without my fur-kids! You can tell that rescue animals are a little more special than others because they know that without you and their rescue, they wouldn’t be alive.
We know that you are currently fostering pets for local rescue, Diamond in the Ruff. How many pets do you have at your home right now?
I currently have 11 animals in my home, which is definitely a lot. I wouldn’t recommend it for just anyone. My own pets form a very stable pack that is welcoming and happy. Without my pets being so welcoming and accepting, I wouldn’t be able to fit “just one more” as I always try to do.
My best advice is to know not only your limits, but your pets’ limits. Your personal pets’ well-being should always come first. Whether you are helping one or one hundred, every life saved matters!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about shelter animals?
The biggest misconception about rescue animals is that there is something wrong with them and that’s why they were given up. Animals come into rescue in so many different ways, whether it is because they were lost and ended up in the pound, their owner moved and couldn’t bring them, owners don’t have the time for them etc.
Some animals may need some work on training, but most learn so many things in their foster home that they just need to learn the flow of your home when they are ready for adoption.
Another misconception is that all rescue pets are “mutts”. Rescues see everything from “mutts” to purebred dogs with papers. So consider checking rescues, before looking for breeders. You might save a ton of money AND get to save a life!
What’s your biggest reason for adopting from shelters instead of pet stores/breeders?
The biggest reason I do not buy animals from a pet store or a breeder is because thousands of animals die in shelters every day and breeders/pet stores just add to the huge overpopulation problem we have in the US. Saving a life is always the better option.
Why do you continue to volunteer with shelters?
I continue to work with rescues, not only because I get to see the countless lives we save every day, but as much help as we are providing, there are always more animals that need help.
How do you think adopting and volunteering for shelters has changed your life?
Adopting and volunteering for rescues has definitely changed my life for the better. I have made lifelong friends through these organizations; friends that have become my support system because not every day in the rescue world is pretty. I have also made professional connections as I am continuing on to vet school this fall.
Most of all though, I have been able to save countless lives, some of them now part of my own furry family, which is a life changing experience that I can’t really put into words. Seeing an adopter fall in love with their new best friend, who wouldn’t be alive without these organizations, is priceless. I feel that being a part of these organizations has given me a greater purpose in life and a goal to strive for, until they all have a home.
Have you adopted a shelter pet? Share your story in the comments below!