Choosing a dog for personality or looks?Choosing a dog for personality or looks? Why do people adopt certain dogs and cats?  Is it because they're beautiful or cute?  Because they are loving and friendly?  Because they are good with children and/or other dogs and cats?  Or because the people simply want to take care of pets that have been rejected by others?  The ASPCA did a survey of 1,500 dog and cat adopters from five shelters throughout the U.S.  Here is the essence of its findings...

Although whenever you adopt a dog or cat you are coming to the 'rescue' of a homeless pet, generally pet adopters in this survey did not choose 'helping the animal' as their first, second, or even third rationale for their choice of pet.  Among adopters of puppies and kittens, appearance was first.  Cat adopters choose personality, or better said, they selected a cat based upon his behavior, human interaction, and playfulness.  Dogs, however, are generally adopted based on their appearance.

What's the worry?  The thousands of dogs that go un-adopted every year, dogs that are eventually euthanized because humans did not realize what wonderful pets they could be.  

But there is even another concern... that adoptees that are misunderstood will end up back in shelters, older and untrained, less adoptable than they were the first time because of uncorrected behavior problems.  

The ASPCA is using the information from the survey to provide more education to its shelter employees and more programs for potential adoptive parents.  Shelter employees need to acquire information about each potential pet, whether it's the nature of certain breeds, or the individual's behavior around strangers, children, or other animals.

ASPCA Meet Your Match TestASPCA Meet Your Match Test The ASPCA already has an excellent test for prospective pet parents called Meet Your Match™ otherwise known as Looking for the love of your life?  Just reading through the test will give you greater information on what you are looking for in the love of your life. Remember, 9 out of 10 pet owners choose their pets over their mates as their best friend!

ASPCA, Fox News

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