5 myths about adopting pets from animal shelters, courtesy of Pasadena Humane

Austin is a handsome and intelligent 3-year-old Belgian shepherd. He already knows quite a few tricks and appears to be housebroken. Austin is very playful, too. He loves playing fetch and will bring his tennis ball back to you, leave it at your feet and get ready to chase it again. Austin is hoping to find a new home on Free Adoption Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 17 at Pasadena Humane.

Right now, Pasadena Humane has more than 150 pets ready to move into loving homes. I encourage you to stop by our Free Adoption Day today. We are waiving the adoption fees for all available animals, including dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, rabbits and pocket pets.

We often hear common misconceptions about adopting pets from shelters. I’m here to bust those myths with the goal of finding homes for all our amazing shelter animals.

Five Common Myths About Pet Adoption

  • Animal shelters only have older animals

If you think it’s unusual to find a puppy or kitten at a shelter, you’d be wrong. Not only do we regularly have puppies and young adult dogs, this time of year we are also FULL of adoptable kittens.

  • Animals end up in a shelter because they have “issues”

Most adoptable animals are healthy and happy pets that end up at the shelter through no fault of their own. Sadly, with today’s economy, more pets are turned in due to housing insecurity and financial constraints.

  • Shelters only have mixed breeds

It’s estimated that around 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. At Pasadena Humane, we regularly see German shepherds and huskies, as well as the occasional golden retriever, corgi, or lab. Right now, we have a Doberman, a Great Dane and quite a few Chihuahuas.

  • Shelter dogs are not housebroken

Many dogs come into the shelter directly from a home and are already potty trained. In the case of strays, the good news is that most adult dogs are easy to house-train. Our adoption counselors can provide guidance.

  • Adopted pets are less likely to bond with their owners.

Quite to the contrary, many people believe that adopted pets bond more strongly with their owners because they are grateful for being saved.

So, if you are looking for a young, healthy, purebred, well-behaved, and loving pet, it’s a perfect time to adopt.

On the other hand, not everyone has the energy for a puppy or kitten, so adopting an older pet is a great option. Fortunately, we have animals of all ages at the shelter.

You can also find animals who need your special tender loving care if you have the heart and the capacity to care for a pet with medical needs or behavior challenges.

Also, I’m here to tell you that mixed breeds, like my dog Sueshi, and the majority of shelter pups, make great pets. Plus, mixed breeds are generally healthier and live longer lives due to greater genetic diversity.

It’s important to remember that pets coming from the shelter often take some time to adjust to their new home before feeling fully themselves, so patience is important in forming a strong bond.

If you select a pet that needs training, we can help. We offer a variety of training classes for puppies, adult dogs and even kittens.

Shelter pets have lots of love to give, and you are doing a great deed when you adopt one. This is our busiest time of year. As soon as the animals available now are adopted, more animals in need of homes will be taking their place in the shelter.

We have hundreds of kittens currently being cared for by foster families until they are big enough to be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption. New kittens in need of care come into the shelter every day. If now is not the right time for you to adopt, please consider short-term fostering for these babies.

To learn more about adoption, fostering, training classes, and our Free Adoption Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 17, please go to pasadenahumane.org

Dia DuVernet is president and CEO of Pasadena Humane.

This blog post originally appeared as a column in the Pasadena Star-News on June 16, 2023.