Psychologically and emotionally speaking, taking the decision to adopt a pet is quite like the decision to have children.

In fact most first-time human parents will readily admit that had they known what they were getting themselves into by having children, they might have changed their mind and never gone through with it.

This, is quite the same with pet adoption.

Those of us who have had pets in the past or who somehow know what it takes to be a responsible pet parent, are usually the last ones who take the plunge to adopt.

And whilst this could be the responsible thing to do, superb animal lovers need to keep themselves in check.

You see, by setting our own standards too high, we’re likely to be depriving a deserving animal of a good home.

With all our good intentions and responsible over-thinking, we could be sentencing innocent dogs and cats to a lifetime behind bars; a lifetime with no family or home to call their own.

But the truth is that if you’ve educated yourself on the basic needs of dogs and cats, you’ll know that even if you’re not home all day, even if you have a normal 8 hour day job, even if you travel two or three times a year, even if you don’t own a 100 square meter garden, and even if you can’t afford to buy them the most expensive pet food or cook them gourmet dinners every night, chances are that you can probably offer them a better environment than any sanctuary.

The sad truth is that, whilst most animal sanctuaries do their very best to keep their animals as healthy and as happy as possible, there’s only so much they can do. Funds are scarce, volunteers are scarcer and the premises that they operate from are far from any warm home that you can offer.

So please, if you can offer an animal, food, shelter, love and companionship, cut yourself some slack, rethink your standards and give a sanctuary dog or cat a home.

Get the shelter to find you a good match based on your age and lifestyle and go for it. Chances are that if you can do better than this, it’s probably win win for both.


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  • Fair comment.
    A sanctuary is definitely only a last resort for an unwanted/abandoned dog.
    But thank God for sanctuaries. They provide shelter and care but the available volunteers also go out of their way, albeit with obvious limitations, to provide companionship ot these dogs.
    Standards and design of accomodation at sanctuaries have to provide for socialisation and interaction between the dogs themselves.
    Dogs adopted from sanctuaries make great house pets.

  • Ian says:

    Proper, well-run shelters will always try their very best to ensure everyone who wants to adopt can adopt and make every animal available for rehoming. It’s unfortunate that there are one or two NGOs out there who make claims of how they turn down 80%+ of their home checks, but you’ll find these are the ones who keep animals overcrowded for years oblivious to the suffering this causes.

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