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:
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!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Dec. 2013, and updated Dec. 2014.