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How Adopting an Animal Can Change Your Life

Her dog King has changed the way Gagen lives and inspired her to go vegan. Gagen said: 'He has taught me how to be a mom. Being King’s person is the best experience I’ve had in my entire life'.

303 MAGAZINE: ‘According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 6.5 million animals enter US animal shelters nationwide every year but only 3.2 million are adopted. “There are many dogs in shelters that need to be rescued than there are people willing to adopt them,” said Joanna Lambert, a professor in biological anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder who conducts research on animal behavior. She said shelters around the country are put into a dilemma where they have to weigh the consequences of maintaining the dogs they have versus bringing in new dogs.

Gagen and Lightman visited the Boulder Humane Society to look around immediately after they decided to adopt a dog. Before walking through the doors, Gagen told Lightman she wanted a small, old dog nobody else would adopt to makes its last years of life memorable. They ended up adopting King — a 7-year-old, 85-pound German Shepherd, pit bull and chow chow mix full of energy and life…

Adopting an animal can have immense impacts on people’s lives in numerous ways. King inspired Gagen to go vegan and work for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley as a developmental intern for a semester of school. She no longer interns there but still donates dog food and toys throughout the year, especially during the holidays. King has changed the way she lives. “He makes me so grateful to have animals in my life. He makes me want to start a sanctuary one day — not just for dogs but for a bunch of different animals that are in need,” Gagen said. “He has taught me how to be a mom. Being King’s person is the best experience I’ve had in my entire life”. SOURCE…

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