15 Reasons to Adopt a Pet

15. Save a Life

While it's a common cliche that there are too many animals and not enough homes, it's also very real and dangerous. Homeless animals are at serious risks in the streets. "They can get hit by a car, be abused, even get set on fire," says Buchwald.

Shelters bring in these animals and invest a lot of time, money, and energy to help them recover from injuries and maltreatment they received on the streets. And though more people are adopting pets, the numbers aren't high enough. Nationally, only 20 percent of pet owners have adopted from shelters. "Just think what we can do if we can raise that to 50 percent or 70 percent," says Colvin.

Originally published on HealthyKids.com, January 2005.

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