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Team Rachael

8 Amazing Facts About Pet Adoption

Every year, millions of pets wind up in shelters. And every year, millions of people make the wonderful choice to give them new homes.

It’s an incredible decision, and one that impacts every aspect of our day-to-day lives from our fitness to our finances. If you’re thinking about making the leap, check out these amazing facts about the state of adoption across the U.S. and what to expect in your own home:

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If you want to learn more about bringing a new furry friend into your family, visit the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and the North Shore Animal League to read their resources and find an adoptable pet near you. And a special thanks to these organizations who helped contribute to this project!

22 Responses to “8 Amazing Facts About Pet Adoption”

  1. Catherine Dinsmore says:

    I actually got to watch your show today, usually I am working. By the way Happy Birthday! Any way, I loved the segment about the adopt a pet. We recently adopted a dog from the Mainely Dog Rescue. He’s from Tennessee. We had lost our other dog two months before, and I was so lonesome for her. We found him through a local animal newspaper that is free in stores. He is a handful but so funny. He weighs 15 pounds, he’s a chihuahua mix. We are now looking for a friend for him. I saw one that looked just like him on your show. Have they all been adopted yet? I live in Maine.

  2. eileen jarvis says:

    Hey Rachel Happy Birthday , how do we find the of the 45 baby’s for adoption on your show….. I’m looking for a smal baby no more then 10 lbs…. thanks you and have a wonderful new year….
    Eileen of Staten island,ny

  3. Laurie Cashen says:

    Hi Rachel! I originally saw your birthday show when it first aired. I retired a little over a year ago, and have been contemplating getting a dog since then. Your birthday show, with the 45 dogs spurred me on. I have been searching for the perfect dog/puppy for me ever since. A week ago, I found an adorable Chiweenie (have Chihuahua and have Daschund) on Rescue Hearts Northwest’s Facebook page. I am so excited to meet her and bring her home for a trial. If that works, we will become her forever family. Thank you for spurring me onto becoming a dog owner (we currently have four cats, but I really wanted a companion).

    Wish me luck!

  4. Joy Reed says:

    Ever since retiring in 2001 and moving to New Mexico I have been volunteering at our small local animal shelter (Humane Society of Lincoln County). I have seen the wonderful homeless pets bring great joy to new families. Last October I volunteered 5 days at Best Friends in Kanab, Utah and it was the experience of a lifetime. I had actually been trying to pay forward the five days that a Hot Shot crew from Kanab had spent fighting the Little Bear fire – they had been on land ajoining my home and saved my property. Joy of Alto, NM.

  5. January 7, 2014
    Dear Rachel Ray,
    I am writing to you because you have such a great love for animals, as do I.
    I watch your show every day and I look forward to all your recipes and your great guests. But what has really touched my heart is your Rachael’s Rescue organization, which helps animals in need.
    One of my life long dreams when I retired was to have a rescue home for all homeless dogs and cats… Well, I’m 69 now and retired…but my dream never came true, because at age 60, I discovered I had cancer and I had a battle ahead of me. Which I’m happy to say I won.
    For the past couple of years I have been dreaming of a new and better plan to help rescue animals. It is similar to the first dream, only on a larger scale. But to have this plan become successful, I need to team up with a well-known personality, who is also a humanitarian and cares about Animal Rights and would want to invest their time and their clout to lead this unique idea.
    You have a great heart and I think you would be perfect to help me convenience the world to put this idea into Action. The plan is to save all shelter animals from being put to sleep “forever”.
    I have enclosed a rough draft of my Idea, which I hope, will get you excited. If you like it
    and feel it is possible to do some day. I would be happy to give you the credit for the idea. You would be known as “the person who stopped the killing of animals”!
    I don’t care about the credit…I would just like the plan to start working…immediately!!!!!
    However, if you don’t feel this is an awesome idea… please destroy this email and have one of your
    assistants send me an email stating it has been “deleted”.
    Thank you for taking the time to consider this idea. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to
    contact me at [redacted by editor] or email me at [redacted by editor]
    Sincerely, a Loyal Fan
    Patricia Gerlach
    [redacted by editor]
    PS…I would like to share words I live by…
    ”She believed she could…So she did!”

    • Jenn Giacoppo says:

      Hi Patricia!
      Thanks so much for writing in. Right now, we aren’t taking submissions for any new rescue ideas, but I wish you the very best of luck with your idea! Rachael absolutely loves animals and believes that they all deserve adoring homes. Thank you for making this a possibility! – Jenn, RachaelRay.com

  6. Carol says:

    Great topic – but some wrong info. Actually – the number of purebred dogs in a shelter is much less. Unless a dog has papers to prove its heritage, it’s a guess. But – not mentioned is the number of dogs, mutts, that are imported into this country on a daily basis – BY RESCUE! That’s right! Rescues are bringing in dogs from other countries – including ones with all sorts of ailments, even rabies.
    Allergic child? Wants a dog? Some breeds may not cause allergic reactions to THAT child. Only with a pure-bred can the child be sure.
    Want a specific personality? All breeds were developed for certain traits and personalities. Only a pure-bred can guarantee that. Want a certain size or non-shedding? Again – only a pure-bred can guarantee that.
    Want to believe those organizations have no ulterior motive? Think again. Best Friends is a religious cult that raises their monies through the animals. ASPCA is joined at the hip with H$U$ (who’s agenda is a vegan, animal-free, pet-less world).
    Shelter dogs are the rage – but they bring a lot of baggage and no guarantees.
    I’d rather have a pure-bred American Pit Bull Terrier (aka “pittie”) than an unknown mix with no idea of it’s personality, traits, or mature appearance. If you don’t care – then get a mutt. If you want specifics – get a pure-bred.
    BUT – STOP THE MADNESS!!! STOP the laws that are threatening to kill off breeding of pure-breds. The American public deserves the choice!!! They should NOT be forced to get other country’s rejects.

    • Jane Bullard says:

      With this kind of thinking you should be made to be onsite for a week at a puppymill that sells “PEDIGREE DOGS”. You should be made to sit through an evening of dog fighting of a group of “PEDIGREE PITBULLS”. You should be made to work at a Pet Store for a month and see how many of those darling “PEDIGREE
      DOGS” come in sick. You need to find out what happens to the poor little pups in those stores when they don’t get purchased and get to old that they don’t sell. What about all the “PEDIGREE DOGS” that all the ethical breeders breed that don’t make the cut. Please don’t bash that good that we as rescue operations are doing. What we do we do for the love of the animal. Anyone can open their wallet and purchase a dog. It’s the American way. We as volunteers give a lot of our time and tears in hopes that people like you go away.
      P.S. If you want to know your dogs “PEDIGREE” they now have DNA test to confirm what is so important to you.

    • EarlGrayHot says:

      No, actually even purbreds are no guarantee an animal will live up to the expected behaviors of any given breed. Nor do shelter animals necessarily come with “baggage.” You get to meet shelter animals and often shelter employees have worked with them enough that they do have a great idea of their personalities. Where did you ever get the idea that rescues are being imported from other countries? Finally, the ASPCA is in no way wanting a pet-free, vegan world! That’s ridiculous nonsense. It’s simply in no way true. By the way, I’ve gotten cats from shelters and they have been fantastic animals. I would always look to shelters for my pets.

    • Matrukansa says:


      You sound like a hateful person. I bet you are a breeder and therefore you go around posting stuff like this to justify the fact that you are too lazy to get a real job…

    • Ana says:

      Best Friends, ASPCA and the HSUS do a great job for the animals. Most – if not all – of your statements are wrong, including the one saying that rescues bringing sick dogs from other countries. Get educated before making that kind of comments.

  7. Carol Furnée says:

    The “25% of shelter dogs are purebred” is not true. Many shelter employees equate “looks like” with “is”. They have no way of knowing if a dog really is ANY breed unless they get the pedigree and registration, which for sure is not happening with any 25% of shelter admissions. The Animal Rights Activists perpetuate this myth as yet one more way to try to discredit reputable breeders.

    • Matrukansa says:

      And what is wrong with not knowing what your dog’s breed is? As long as they are loving and good pets I don’t see any problem.

  8. NJ Cat Lover says:

    The oldest known cat, a registered Sphynx, lived to be 34, I believe. And I don’t think it’s true that the oldest living cat is 24. “Cat Fancy” ran a contest and I’m pretty sure that the second or third runner-up was 24, and the oldest cat submitted was a couple of years older.

    By the way, if most pet owners consider their pets “part of the family” why do so many “family members” get dumped at shelters when it’s no longer convenient to own them? They wouldn’t abandon a child, so why the pet?

  9. alice smith says:

    He Rach.. looks like you are not so “free and easy’ as all of the posts that do not support your little article have been taken down.
    If you don;t agree you cannot post without censorship.. nice..

    • Jenn Giacoppo says:

      Hi Alice,
      We take open and honest commentary very seriously here at RachaelRay.com (please see our Community Guidelines as a reference http://teamra.ch/RRCommunityGuidelines), and as long as those comments meet our criteria, they are very welcome. On that note, I’m not sure to which comments you’re referring. Could you be more specific? I’m happy to look into it. Thanks! Jenn, RachaelRay.com

  10. it’s so important to adopt a pet in need of a home.
    you know they say, “who rescued who”… this is so appropriate for me. i save the life of a little senior Maltese dog who needed so much health care and love because he was severely mistreated (he was a breeder dog in a puppy mill all his life).
    but the funny thing is he rescued me!
    I was sick and disabled and he inspired me to become creative and start making cute, warm, fashionable Dog Apparel – which you can see him modeling at our store (just click my name).
    it’s not just saving the life of the dog/pet, it’s saving your life too as they bring us so much joy and enrich our lives so much!
    Please Consider Adopting a Pet!

  11. Nataliie says:

    Hi, Allow me to introduce myself. I am Natalie and I am a 15 year old who volunteers many, many hours for a dog rescue in Michigan.

    The rescue I volunteer for is called Detroit Animal Welfare Group otherwise known as DAWG. You can find us at dawghous.com. Some of the things that I do in the rescue are: walk foster dogs, help out at our bi-weekly dog adoptions and feed, water and walk those dogs, talk to people who are looking to adopt dogs, and also do Street Sweeps in Detroit. Our Detroit Street Sweeps are when a group of volunteers go out and walk the streets of Detroit looking for animals in need. We have found countless dogs, cats (even chickens and pigs and a horse) that needed assistance. Here are some stories that really stand out to me: a Boston Terrior that was found frozen to death in her cage on the front porch of an abandoned home, “Bullet” a dog who was actually shot in the neck, 10 puppies found in a junk yard, 5 puppies found hanging in an attic dead, 5 three week old puppies where the owner said, “if no one takes these things, I will bury them in the yard” and my super heart breaking one where we found a pretty beat up dog that I lovingly named Minnie on the corner of Holly and Reid (with Bullet). We were able to catch and vet Bullet but we were not able to catch Minnie. We have been back down to Detroit several times looking for Minnie but there has been word that a neighbor on the street had been shooting at the strays and they think that Minnie was shot. I pray that he wasn’t and has found a “safer” place to live. Now since doing volunteer work in Detroit I have met a friend. She is an adult who works with people and animals in Detroit. She is setting up a booth in South West Detroit and I am going to help her educate people about the importance of Spay/neutering and how important is is for them to get the proper shots for their pets. Some things I would like to help provide along with the materials are leashes, collars, and training materials. I am not sure if you actually carry products like this but can you help me be the “voice for the voiceless”? These people are poorly educated about their anmials and a lot of them can barely afford to have them but do for safety reasons. I just hate to see these animals suffer these reasons. I am also speaking to kids my age and sharing that dog fighting is unacceptable. There is a lot of dog fighting in Detroit and kids have their own dogs to fight. I am taking a stand will you help me? Thank you for your time.

  12. Adopting pets is definitely the way to go! I have adopted five dogs in my lifetime and wouldn’t have it any other way. There are so many animals out there in need of homes and it makes no sense to go to a breeder and get a pure bred dog when you can go to an animal shelter or a rescue agency and adopt for much cheaper and these animals also DESPERATELY need homes.

  13. Kenyatta Colenberg says:

    I was just watching your show which I do every morning alone with some co-workers. I saw about the 45 dogs and finding a good home for them. I’m interested in adopting one if possible but I’m not sure how would I go about doing it. I had a pitbull named Rozay and we lost him last year. Can you please email me back with information about the adoption.

    • Jenn Giacoppo says:

      Hi Kenyatta!
      Thanks so much for wanting to adopt a sweet new pittie, and I’m sorry to hear about Rozay :( Unfortunately, that episode is a repeat from much earlier this year, and those dogs are no longer available for adoption. I’m sure you could find another wonderful pup at your local shelter! All the best, Jenn, RachaelRay.com

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