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Happy National Pet Day!

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Even though it's assumed you cherish your partner every day, we have Valentine's Day dedicated to that special love. Similarly, we know you shower your pet with affection on a daily basis, but we still have National Pet Day to honor the joy our pets bring to our lives. And that day is April 11th! Happy National Pet Day!

This special holiday was founded not only to celebrate the amazing companions in our lives -- but to raise awareness of those less fortunate who have not yet found their forever homes. If you're looking to add a furry, feathered or scaled friend to your family, WebVet encourages you to visit a shelter or rescue, where you'll save one life -- and elevate those of everyone around your new pet.

Need a reason to adopt instead of buy? Here are five:

1. You'll save a life: The Humane Society estimates 3 and 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. By adopting from a private humane society or animal shelter, breed rescue group, or the local animal control agency, you'll help save the lives of two animals -- the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.

Related: 4 Great Reasons To Adopt A Disabled Pet

2. You'll get a healthy pet: Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals. Most shelters examine and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive, and many spay or neuter them before being adopted. In addition to medical care, more and more shelters also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure each family finds the right pet for its lifestyle.

3. You'll save money: Adopting a pet from an animal shelter is much less expensive than buying a pet at a pet store or through other sources. In addition, animals from many shelters are already spayed or neutered and vaccinated, which makes the shelter's fee a real bargain.

Related: Studies Prove Dogs Are Amazing

4. You'll feel better: Studies have proved that pet owners worldwide enjoy longer lifespans and that their animals make those extra years of life more gratifying. People with pets also enjoy superior self-esteem, while suffering less depression due to an optimistic mindset that companionship with animals will bring.

5. You won't be supporting puppy mills and pet stores: Puppy mills are large commercial breeding operations that produce large volumes of purebred or designer puppies for profit. Housed in the worst possible environmental and social conditions, puppies are often kept in wire "coops" piled one on top of the other, allowing excrement to pass through and accumulate on the dogs below. In order to maximize profits, dogs are bred over and over again until they can no longer produce, at which time they are either dumped or killed.
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