Pet Rescue News

The Impact of Pet Adoption

Written by Rachel Phelps



Full disclosure, I am not adopted.  I came from a local breeder as a puppy.  This means I have always been a part of my family since I was eight weeks old.  I don’t remember much about my mom and dad other than they were Westies (duh hehe) and I have brothers and sisters who were also taken home by other families.

My dog brother Elvis is adopted (he insisted on having his picture on this posts since he says I’m the adopted one!)  and we foster a lot of dogs that I have the privilege of helping get adopted.  My brother and sister cats Dr. Pepper and Mr. Pibb were adopted by my family years and years ago before I was even born.  Dr. Pepper just turned 13 (but don’t tell her I told you her age … she wouldn’t be happy with me).

So when my pals at the NYC mayor’s alliance asked me to tell them about how our adopted pets have made our life better, I thought, hmm … I don’t think they want me to answer.  My answer would be that I have a brother to play with but I get jealous when he gets attention.  Also, I have my bother and sister cats to chase from time to time but sometimes I get scratched.

  • Kimberly B says:  I’ve adopted two rescue Westies from Westie Rescue of Tennessee.  I have a bumper sticker that says “who rescued who?” It’s true. They have enriched my life in so many ways, I’m not sure I could name them all.  And when I had a cancer scare last year and a big surgery, my Tripp wouldn’t leave my side; my pups were the reason I got out of bed despite everything.
  • Theresa O says:  My Prudence is adopted, and now I’m blogging & tweeting on her behalf!
  • Claire S says:  We adopted a Racehorse named Casino King, he was injured at only 3 years old. The love that he gave us was astounding.
  • Lea M says:  I have two Westies, Jack and Fiona.  My husband and I adopted Jack as a rescue when Jack was 1 1/2 years old and my husband had finished difficult chemo for pancreatic cancer.  It was 2002, and we were originally fostering Jack, however, his new home fell through, and we decided to become his forever family.  Little Jack and I have been through so much together!  After my husband’s death, I was devastated.  That first year, very often Jack’s need for me to care for him was the only thing that kept me moving forward.  He’s been a constant, determined, devoted, caring, and joyful presence and reassurance in my life all these years. He’s now 11 1/2 and still going strong and has a Westie “sister,” Fiona in our home.  I call him “the sweetest little sweetheart there ever was in the whole wide world,” and he most certainly IS.
  • Cris D. says:  As soon as I saw Annie on the website of the shelter I volunteer for I knew she was going to be mine.  We had surgery almost at the same time (she was spayed) and she wouldn’t leave my bed during the days I had to rest.  She has really bad allergies and it made me be more conscientious about food (for all our family).  She inspired me to start a line of embellished dog collars, and she enriches my days with love and fun. She is the best!
  • Remedy P says:  I rescued my blind dog as a foster. Everyone said I went too many places for a blind dog to keep up.  The next morning I realized I was in love and a huge foster failure.  She enjoys all of the activities (shopping and charity events – sometimes protests) and keeps up just fine.  I have learned from her how to slow down and have patience.  You cannot run anywhere fast with a blind dog.  And to enjoy every moment.
  • Jeannie K says:  We have a true Heinz 57 that we adopted from the shelter in Porter County, and the family loves her very much. In fact, Nova loves being with my husband most of all. She follows him around and even paces the house when she “knows” it should be time for him to come home from work. I couldn’t imagine anyone happier than the two of them, unless it’s when my daughter has her outside with her, and Nova chases her as she swings on her tire swing.

I asked my mom this same question and here is her response:

  •  My mom says:  Adopting pets has made a huge impact in my life.  My cat Pepper came into my life when I first graduated college and had my first apartment.  I wasn’t allowed to have a pet but I smuggled her in.  Then Pibb came along after some of my students found him eating McDonalds fries in the middle of the bypass as a kitten and somehow managed not to get run over.  Ashes was only supposed to be a houseguest while my husband’s friend found his own place but he decided he wasn’t leaving.  Preston was our first pet together as newlyweds.  We learned how to parent, make decisions together, and how to work together.  Then Elvis was our foster failure that stole our hearts when he came to stay with us.  I have learned so much from taking care of them and loving them and can’t picture our lives without them.  Even though they are messy sometimes, have accidents in the house, or I step on a nasty hairball barefooted (YUCK), I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  They are my family!

If you live in New York City, the Mayor’s Alliance is having an amazing event for you to find that pet that will change YOUR life!  Here are the details:


About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website


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