Ad Council + The Shelter Pet Project

There are tons of reasons to adopt when you're looking for a pet.

Before you make your decision, though, these adopted pets would like to weigh in.

[rebelmouse-image 19527181 dam="1" original_size="1200x654" caption="Image courtesy of Lucky and Doxie, via Angela Maria/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Lucky and Doxie, via Angela Maria/Instagram.

Did you know that if just 10% of the families who plan to get pets in the next year choose to adopt, all the dogs and cats currently entering shelters will have homes? You could help make a big difference!

And if that's not enough to convince you, why don't you hear what the adopted pet community has to say? Lots of pets are adopted through The Shelter Pet Project, which is a joint effort between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund, J. Walter Thompson New York, and The Ad Council to make shelters and rescue groups the first place that potential pet-owners turn to when looking to add a friend to their family.

When the rescue pets heard what The Shelter Pet Project was doing, they wanted to help. They even made a video! Watch:

Yup, shelter pets are definitely social media-savvy.

[rebelmouse-image 19527182 dam="1" original_size="480x478" caption="GIF courtesy of Meatball via David Minkin/Instragram." expand=1]GIF courtesy of Meatball via David Minkin/Instragram.

And ready to hang out with you, whether you want to stay in all day...

[rebelmouse-image 19527183 dam="1" original_size="589x590" caption="Image courtesy of Harvey/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Harvey/Instagram.

...and all night...

[rebelmouse-image 19527184 dam="1" original_size="565x465" caption="Image courtesy of Ruby via Barbara Davis/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Ruby via Barbara Davis/Instagram.

...or if you want to hit the town!

[rebelmouse-image 19527185 dam="1" original_size="479x599" caption="Image courtesy of Andy the Pomeranian/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Andy the Pomeranian/Instagram.

Want a beach bud? Your rescue pup is by your side:

[rebelmouse-image 19527186 dam="1" original_size="590x590" caption="Image courtesy of Jelly the Frenchie/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Jelly the Frenchie/Instagram.

Or perhaps you'd rather be on the water?

[rebelmouse-image 19527187 dam="1" original_size="601x599" caption="Image courtesy of Bea and Emmylou via Leeann McCollum/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Bea and Emmylou via Leeann McCollum/Instagram.

Or you can stay on land and stretch out in the sun!

[rebelmouse-image 19527188 dam="1" original_size="384x380" caption="GIF courtesy of Barry via Emma White Turle/Instagram." expand=1]GIF courtesy of Barry via Emma White Turle/Instagram.

How about a gardening buddy?

[rebelmouse-image 19527189 dam="1" original_size="479x592" caption="Photo courtesy of Bonnie." expand=1]Photo courtesy of Bonnie.

Or a dinner date:

[rebelmouse-image 19527190 dam="1" original_size="441x441" caption="Photo courtesy of Holly/Kellyanne Lark." expand=1]Photo courtesy of Holly/Kellyanne Lark.

You'll always have a buddy to keep you from getting bored:

[rebelmouse-image 19527191 dam="1" original_size="590x589" caption="Image courtesy of Butters McGillicuddy/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Butters McGillicuddy/Instagram.

[rebelmouse-image 19527192 dam="1" original_size="386x480" caption="GIF courtesy of Ella/Instagram." expand=1]GIF courtesy of Ella/Instagram.

...or to make a gloomy day a little brighter.

[rebelmouse-image 19527193 dam="1" original_size="510x500" caption="Photo courtesy of Henry." expand=1]Photo courtesy of Henry.

Even if you already have pets, why not consider adding an adopted pet to the family? Many adopted pets are eager to make friends!

[rebelmouse-image 19527194 dam="1" original_size="589x404" caption="Image courtesy of Chowder, Buddy, and Jackson via Elise/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Chowder, Buddy, and Jackson via Elise/Instagram.

"Most pets end up homeless through no fault of their own ... meaning shelters and rescue groups are full of wonderful, family-ready pets," writes Kenny Lamberti, acting vice president of the companion animals department at The Humane Society of the United States in an email.

Rescue pets are every bit as cuddly, lovable, and ready to fit into your home as any animal out there.  And, says Lamberti, "whether you want a dog, cat, rabbit, parakeet or hamster, shelters often have the best selection of animals anywhere."

See for yourself: Use The Shelter Pet Project's site to find adoptable dogs and cats or shelters near you and see who's out there looking for a new home. (And even if you're not ready to adopt, lots of shelters need fosters and volunteers, so there are plenty of ways to help out.)

[rebelmouse-image 19527195 dam="1" original_size="1200x715" caption="Image courtesy of Cali and Oscar/Instagram." expand=1]Image courtesy of Cali and Oscar/Instagram.

Pretty soon, you could be snuggling with an adopted pet of your own!

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