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National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Apr 30, 2016


Today is National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day. It’s a day to break some of the myths surrounding shelter pets and to promote adoption. According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats in the United States enter animal shelters every year – that’s approximately 7.3 million homeless animals that need a furrever home. Overcrowded shelters lead to euthanasia of healthy animals as they are forced to make room for more animals. Adopting a shelter pet is about saving a life – and often results in gaining a best friend.

Shelter pets get a bad reputation, and it’s just not fair. Here are three big misconceptions about shelter pets we hope to clear up in this blog post.

Myth #1: Shelter pets are aggressive.

Animal shelters spend a good amount of time screening each pet. Many shelters have a separate area for pets that are undergoing medical care, need behavior training, incoming strays acclimating to the shelter environment, and/or assessing animals involved in animal cruelty/criminal cases. These animals are kept separate from adoptable pets. Additionally, new strays are usually held for a short period of time in case an owner comes in to claim their missing pet. So the animals you see at the shelter are ones that have been deemed ‘adoptable.’

It’s important to remember that being in a shelter, even for a short period of time, can be scary and confusing for animals. The sweetest dog might cower or growl when you approach. Ask the shelter if you can take them out to a meeting area to see how the animal acts outside of their enclosure. Talk to a volunteer or staff member who has cared for the animal to get a good idea of its personality and behavior. And remember, no pet will be “perfect.” Every pet requires training and will need time to adjust to their new home. 

Myth #2: Shelter pets are old. 

From kittens and puppies to senior pets, there are pets of all ages available. Due to the sheer number of strays born on the streets, young kittens and puppies often find themselves picked up by animal control or good Samaritans and turned into shelters. 

We get it. Who doesn't like cuddling with a cute little puppy or kitten? They’re adorable! But there’s also something very special about adopting an older dog. In fact, there are many animal rescues like Susie’s Senior Dogs and Frosted Faces Foundation that work exclusively to promote adoption for senior pets.    

Myth #3: Shelters don’t have any purebreds.  

Purebred dogs and cats are not exempt from entering a shelter. Just like any other pet, they can be found as strays or relinquished by an owner. Many pet owners who don’t spay and neuter their pets can find themselves with a litter of puppies or kittens they are unable to take care of.   

Additionally, many shelters work closely with rescue organizations and might send purebred animals to a breed-specific rescue. If you’re heart is set on adopting a Golden Retriever, look for a Golden Retriever rescue group. Most rescues will post their adoptables on their own website as well as sites like and so conduct a search.

Adopt a shelter pet and save a life! 

If you’re thinking about adding a new furry member to your family, please consider adopting from a shelter. There are so many moving stories about shelter pets that have become therapy dogs, loyal companions, and precious members of the family.

At The COVE, we believe every day should be Adopt A Shelter Pet Day. Many of our team members have adopted their pets from a local shelter or rescue group. We invite you to meet a few of them today!  


Meet Avett

Pet Parent: Meg T., Licensed Veterinary Technician (ICU/ER)
Avett is a 3-year-old Jack Russell Mix. Meg adopted Avett from a shelter in August 2013 when he was seven months old.


Delilah.jpegMeet Delilah

Pet Parent: Tricia C., Licensed Veterinary Technician (ICU/ER)
Delilah is a 3 ½-year old English Mastiff that was adopted from the Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center when she was 2-3 months old. She was born blind and had to have both eyes removed due to glaucoma. “She is amazing. My husband I are blessed to have her in our family.” 

Jake.jpgMeet Jake

Pet Parent: Kassandra B., Veterinary Assistant I – ICU/ER

Jake is a 14-year-old Swiss Mountain mix. Kassandra adopted Jake from the Peninsula SPCA in November 2004. Jake loves running alongside his human siblings and watches over them like they were his kids.  

MoseyMae.jpgMeet Mosey Mae

Pet Parent: Tiffany Q., Veterinary Assistant I - ICU/ER and Cardiology
Mosey Mae is a 8- or 9-year-old Bluetick Coonhound. Tiffany adopted Mosey Mae from Eve’s Orphan through Bennetts Creek Veterinary Care in April 2014. “She is hands down the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned.” (pictured right)

Misha.JPGMeet Misha

Pet Parent: Renee H., Hospital Care Attendant 
Misha is a 4-year-old Great Dane. Renee adopted Misha from the Great Dane Rescue of the Commonwealth.

Necile_11.jpgMeet Necile

Pet Parent: Andria D., Licensed Veterinary Technician (Cardiology and ICU)
Necile is a 11-year-old domestic shorthair. Andria adopted Necile from the Philadelphia SPCA in December 2004. She named Neclie after a character in Frank L. Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, because she adopted her on December 21st.  

Rugby_Harrington.jpgMeet Rugby

Pet Parent: Mary H., Licensed Veterinary Technician (Cardiology and ICU)
Rugby is a 7-year old domestic shorthair. Rugby was only 10 weeks old one Mary adopted him in June 2009 from The Cat Corner in Hampton, Virginia.  Rugby loves sitting on the screen porch to watch the backyard wildlife. And he’s a perfect gentleman at the veterinarian’s office. 

The COVE supports various local animal shelters throughout our community. Visit one on News & Events page to see when the COVE will be participating in an upcoming fundraiser to benefit these organizations.


Category: Pet News