Want a New Best Friend? We’ve Got 5 Million Candidates

Approximately 5 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Yet only 20 to 30 percent of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters.

But they’re some of the most loyal companions you could ask for. If you’re interested in a loving pet who will love you unconditionally, consider looking into pet adoption.

Still need some convincing? (We know there are some negative misconceptions on shelter dogs). We’ve compiled a few of our favorite shelter dog hero stories below:

Rocky
As a timid, malnourished dog who had been shot, Rocky lurked around the Lassen County Animal Shelter. Dawn and Floyd Tibbets took Rocky home, and Rocky began traveling with Floyd on his frequent rock hunting trips in remote canyons.

On one such trip, Floyd suffered from an irregular heartbeat, which caused him to pass out repeatedly. Disoriented, Floyd tried to stumble back towards his car, but he couldn’t remember the way and his glasses were missing. Rocky stayed by Floyd’s side, licking his face to wake him up and led him back to the car. Without Rocky, Floyd’s wife believes that her husband may never have left the canyon alive that day.

Source: Huffington Post

Bear
Debbie Zeisler adopted Bear, a German Shepherd that nobody wanted, when she visited a shelter looking for a dog for her mother.

Debbie had suffered from seizures for over 18 years, and without any training, Bear picked up on her condition almost immediately. He quickly learned to tell Debbie when to take her medications and alert her when she was about to have an attack by leaning on her legs.

One day when Debbie ignored Bear’s warning, she suffered from a seizure, fell down the steps and was knocked unconscious. Bear went from door to door looking for help until he ran into an animal control officer. The officer saw Bear’s tag that stated he was a seizure alert dog and followed him back to his house where Debbie lay semi-conscious and disoriented. An ambulance was called and Debbie recovered from the incident.

Bear was honored with the 30th Annual National Hero Dog Award from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) this year for his heroic act.

Source: Huffington Post

Pearl
Pearl was just another black lab that had been abandoned at a shelter when volunteers from the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation discovered her. Pearl trained as a search and rescue dog, and was paired with handler Ron Horetski of the LA County Fire Department. When the earthquake in Haiti struck, Pearl accompanied her handler to the scene of the disaster, searching for victims that were buried alive in the rubble. Pearl and her team rescued 12 people by digging through the rubble.

Pearl was honored as the ASPCA Dog of the Year in 2010.

Source: Huffington Post

Perhaps it is their turbulent beginnings that make shelter dogs and pets such wonderful companions, but no matter the reason we know they make unparalleled comrades. If you’re in the market for a new pet, check with your local shelters to see what pets are available for adoption and consider giving one of those pets a second chance.

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