At our heart, Zoetis is about caring for animals – and some animals need a little more care than others. In countries throughout the world, millions of companion animals are without homes, and in the United States alone, more than 7 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year.1 If you have thought about adding a pet to your family, adopting an animal from a shelter has many advantages. Here are just a few:

  1. You will save a life. When you adopt a pet from a shelter, you’ll give that animal a second chance at life – and save them from potential euthanization.
  2. You’ll save money and receive a healthy animal. Animals that have been placed in shelters are usually spayed or neutered, as well as vaccinated.  These initial procedures can be costly. It’s also relatively inexpensive to adopt a pet from a shelter in comparison to purchasing dogs or cats from pet stores.
  3. You’ll have a large selection of pets to choose from. Animal Shelters are often full, which means you’ll have a wide selection of pets to choose from. Many shelters also have websites that allow potential owners to find the exact pet they’re looking for by age, sex, size and breed. This enables you to find your ideal pet rather than making an impulse decision when you arrive at a shelter.

Are You Ready for a Pet?

Before stepping foot in a pet shelter, it’s important to think through what it will be like to bring a new pet into your home, and how the addition of an animal will affect your lifestyle.  Far too many animals are initially loved and then neglected or abandoned over time because owners find that caring for the animal is more responsibility than they actually want or can provide.  This video, The Gift, which was sponsored by our Zoetis team in Hungary, has received more than 19 million views and serves as a cautionary and compelling tale of what can happen when a family brings home a “pet” that they are not prepared to care for.

To make sure you’re ready for pet ownership, here are some important questions to ask yourself, courtesy of the American Humane Association (AHA):  

  • What major changes might happen to you during a pet’s lifetime? Marriage? Children? New job? Long-distance move? Are you willing to continue spending the time, energy and money to care for your pet when taking on new responsibilities like those?
  • What will you do if your spouse or child is allergic to or cannot get along with your pet?
  • If you’re getting a pet for children you have now, are you willing to take on the responsibility of caring for this pet when your children grow up or lose interest?
  • Have you previously owned a pet that died prematurely due to a preventable accident or illness, such as being hit by a car or suffering from heartworm disease? If so, what will you do differently with a new pet to prevent the same thing from happening again?

Zoetis for Shelters Program

Just a generation ago, shelters were seen as the final destination for homeless pets. Today, the mindset of the public and the veterinary profession has changed toward shelters – they are now vibrant hubs of activity with volunteerism, non-profit coordination, adoptions and expanding veterinary care.  However, many of today's shelters face real budget issues due to economic challenges and other financial constraints.

The Zoetis for Shelters program helps shelters continue to provide essential services for pets despite these budget constraints. This U.S. program provides valuable discounts on Zoetis products to non-profit shelters. Established in 2011, the program delivers real cost savings that enable shelters to focus more funds on finding forever homes for dogs and cats. Learn more by visiting the newly-updated Zoetis Shelters website.

1 Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)