Pet adoption is a fabulous option if you're seeking a companion animal. You'll be able to select from a wide variety of different breeds and ages as well as save a life. However, I fully realize that if you plan to show or breed your animal, it would make more sense to purchase a young animal from a breeder.
I purchased my first three animals, two dogs and one cat, from breeders. Each animal ended up being a reasonably good house pet. As I've got older and wiser, I've realized the incredible number of great animals in shelters that need homes. Therefore, my most recent dog is adopted from a greyhound rescue group. My greyhound has been the best companion dog of all! I fully expect my next animal will be an adoption as well.
There are a few things to think about when adopting an animal from a shelter. First, make sure that you're prepared to accommodate an animal that may need a little more tender love and care in his or her first few months. As you know, it's quite a transition going from a shelter to a home and a neighborhood.
Secondly, when you get to the shelter, be selective based on which animal would be the best match. This includes the obvious things such as size, breed and hair length, but also the less obvious like personality. You won't necessarily have knowledge about the animal's prior history. Specifically, you won't know whether the animal had been abused, physically or emotionally. Abuse can definitely affect the way the animal behaves. You'll want to work with the adoption facility director to determine whether the animal is the right fit for you and your family. In most cases, you'll find that the majority of animals in shelters have very good personalities and will become wonderful pets.
There are thousands of adoption facilities around the country and around the world for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, horses and other animals. These animals range from being purebreds to mixed breeds, from being puppies to older adults, from being small to being very large. Take a ride to your local animal shelter and see if any of the available pets appeal to you. Alternatively, seek out the perfect pet online. See the below links to do a quick, targeted search for a cat or dog.