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Are you looking to add a new furry friend to your home? Former Miss America and Veterinarian Dr. Debbye Turner Bell and the Co-Founder of the Best Friends Animal Society Gregory Castle, want to encourage you to adopt your new family member! Why? Because there are so many animals in shelters that need a good home and in March alone, an estimated 270,000 pets in shelters will be killed due to lack of space. That’s about 9,000 every day! But you can help save them.

The Best Friends Animal Society helped start the no-kill movement by implementing spay/neuter programs to help reduce the number of animals entering shelters, and by increasing awareness so more people adopt pets. 

The new campaign Long Live Pets helps to bring awareness about the no-kill movement and shows people the value of a shelter pet so they can get involved and adopt and help lower the number of animals in shelters to zero. 

“You will be able to find great pets at shelters. You’ll even find your soul-mate there!” says Dr. Turner Bell. 

If you’re ready to adopt, consider your own family situation and lifestyle. Do you have an active lifestyle or are you more sedentary? Kids? Allergies? Elderly? Talk to the staff at the shelters and they can help guide you to right the breed or animal. You also need to make sure you have time to take care for a pet. Also consider your budget for veterinarian care and food, suggest Dr. Turner Bell. 

Castle says the biggest thing that may deter someone from wanting to adopt is that people may feel animals at a shelter are damaged in some way, that their health or behavior is bad.

“It’s just not true for all of the animals at the shelter. You can find a puppy, adult dogs, different breeds and various colors of cats,” he says. “Forget about the myth about damaged animals.” 

Want to get involved in the cause? Volunteer, spread the word about adopting, spay and neuter your new pet and donate to your local shelter. 

If you’ve already rescued a pet, the new campaign Long Live Pets want you to help celebrate shelter animals by sending in a photo of your pet and upload it to LongLivePets.com and be a part of their new educational film. Send in your photo by March 31 and your pet could be a star in the new film set to air on Nat Geo Wild on April 17. 

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