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Did Adopting an Animal Change Your Life?

Did Adopting an Animal Change Your Life?

Behind every animal adoption, there’s a story. One might even compare the story of you and your pet to that of you and a significant other! We’re asking you, Care2 members, to share your animal adoption stories, and to kick it off, I’ll share my own:

When I was in college, I was feeling down. It was junior year, we we’re having a gloomy winter, I was just…in a funk. A little lonely, a little depressed, and everything just seemed “blah.” I hung out with friends and tried to really engage myself in my classes, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was lonely. On a less-than-wild spring break at my parents’ house, wearing old sweats and eating a generous breakfast-in-bed of cinnamon toast (my I’m sick/I’m sad food), I had a thought: what if I got a pet? When I was a kid I had guinea pigs, but this time, I thought, I’d get a bunny.

Although I absolutely do not condone getting a pet on a whim, in this case I had a gut feeling and I went with it. That’s really how I make all my best decisions. The next day I went to my local shelter and adopted Peanut Butter, a Peter Rabbit look-alike I couldn’t have been more in love with. From that day on, Peanut Butter, also known as P.B., Peebs, or Dr. Giggles, cuddled with me between classes and he’d lick, lick, lick my arm as we took naps (that’s how bunnies groom one another and say “I love you”). He was the guest of honor whenever my friends and I would get together to watch LOST and he would even accompany me to the beach (on a rabbit leash, which not all bunnies tolerate but he didn’t mind). Peanut Butter lifted me out of my slump and not only provided me with endless affection and companionship, he taught me the beauty of thinking of and caring for someone else.

Share your own animal adoption story!

Although I’d had pets growing up, Peanut Butter and I had a bond deeper than I’d ever had with another animal. He definitely had a personality — and at times would even give me attitude, grunting and kicking his little feet up at me! Through him I realized that all animals are individuals. Peanut Butter had favorite spots to sit in, favorite games to play, foods he liked and foods he didn’t like, and he’d show me when he was happy, scared, excited and frustrated. I realized if he did all this, so did cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys. I was already a vegetarian, but Peanut Butter helped motivate me to transition to a vegan diet. I’d never hurt him, and I didn’t want to hurt or fund the hurting of any other animal, either.

After adopting Peanut Butter, I also vowed that, as long as I was responsibly able, I’d be an adopted-animal mom. Peanut Butter has since passed away, but I still think of him often and his legacy lives on with my veganism, animal activism, and in my home: I am now the adopted companion of four rabbits, pictured above. Jack, Chloe, Frankie and Marley are the little rabbit-family I take care of now, and it’s all because of Peanut Butter’s inspiration.

Adopting an animal really did change my life, and I love telling my and Peanut Butter’s “love story.” Please, share yours! Tell us how you or someone you know came together with a companion animal. Did adopting a pet change your life? Feel free to write something in the comments section of this post, but also please share your story on this action page.

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Photo credit: Kayla Coleman

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3:23AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:49PM PDT on Mar 13, 2011

I was always bringing strays home when I was a kid and thank god my parents let me keep them. Now as an adult I have been adopted by at least 14 feral cats that I trap/neuter/return (TNR) to my property.They are Happy an healthy kitties and bring great joy to my life!

8:09PM PST on Mar 12, 2011

I have a dog who was living in a construction site who adopted me, and also a cat who was thrown out by some neighbors who moved. the cat was an indoor cat and the previous owners removed his collar and threw him out and then moved. He then adopted me and is now a 100% indoor by choice, or if I go outside, he'll follow me around our yard. SO full of love, both of my little ex-street buddies. i love them both and they've both added something beautiful to my life, they seem to appreciate my love for them as well. :)

12:21PM PST on Mar 12, 2011


11:30PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

no. paw kids have been stray, abused, feral who adopted me, thru individual and community trap-fix-adopt efforts prior to going to over populated local rescue/shelters. ty.

7:48PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

We always kept our eyes out for strays or animals in need.My first pet was a cat that a friend brought home to me.She told me one of her employees saw some kids hitting it with sticks.It was also tied up in a bag. The cat lived a good long time.I do miss him he was of course one of a kind.

3:45PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

I adopted a 3 old kats and a old dog for living theirs last years of life with love,respect and dignity.They lived in a shelter with many other animals but they were alone and sad, now they have food, warm, medicines, education, toys and, the most important: love

11:00AM PST on Mar 11, 2011

I have adopted 2 cats from shelters, rescued 2 cats from death and also rescued a dog from being put to death. They are the best animals in the world, all they require is love and it is accepted unconditionally.

7:37AM PST on Mar 11, 2011

I have never adopted a pet. I have 1 dog & he is the pup of a previous dog we had but was given away by my parents because he had become too bad.

5:53AM PST on Mar 11, 2011

It hard to say - my cat was abandoned on the street, and we simply took her home. We found out she's pregnant and that's probably the cause why somebody abandoned her. She's with us for almost 12 years. Before her we took home many other cats who we're living on the street.

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