Adopting pets saves lives

BY EMMA HAHN, REPORTER

My best friend has bad breath. He is furry and cute, and he loves to chase squirrels. Yes, my best friend is my dog Toby.
I got my dog about six months ago from the Mesquite Animal Shelter. His owners left him there because they didn’t have time to care for him. He was matted, dirty and sad at the shelter before I adopted him as my own.
His story could have ended tragically. If I hadn’t adopted him, who knows what would have happened?
Many dogs today have a similar story. They get lost or abandoned and sit in the shelter waiting for someone to adopt them.
People tend to adopt the cute puppies. But many other dogs never get noticed. They are trapped in their cages day and night, with no sunlight or fresh air.
For many, this is the last home they will ever know. They will never be adopted because they are considered ugly or old, or they are sick or disabled. Even cute, healthy dogs are euthanized because of shelter overcrowding.
Fortunately for Toby, he was pretty young, 4 years old, and he was good looking.
But the trauma of the previous couple of days made him miserable. He hung his head in his kennel as if ashamed of himself. His heart was broken. His family, his pack, left him.
But Toby was perfect for me. And after a few weeks in his new home, he became a spunky, happy, squeaky toy-loving dog. He was groomed and bathed and looked so much better.
Toby’s story had a happy ending. He is safe, loved, cared for and snuggled daily. But what about the other dogs in that shelter? Will they live for a few more miserable weeks and then die a lonely, heartbreaking death?
These dogs depend on you to finish their story with “happily ever after.” Whether big or small, happy or sad, ugly or cute, these dogs need help.
If you need a constant friend, consider adopting a dog from a local shelter instead of purchasing one. Dogs are the most loyal creatures I know. Toby spends his days right beside me.
He needs me. I know that for sure. But I also know that I need him even more. I saved his life, and he changed mine.

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