ADOPT, DON'T SHOP!
You’re Saving the Lives of two Dogs
Every year, 2.7 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in this country. It’s hard to fathom that many healthy, friendly pets lives are ended simply because there’s nowhere for them to go. This is especially shocking in the face of the fact that over 2 million dogs that were bred and born in puppy mills are bought each year.
When you adopt a dog, you’re literally saving that dog’s life. But you’re also giving another dog the chance to take your dog’s place in the shelter and then be adopted out to a good home. Your adoption gives both dogs a second chance at a happy and healthy life.
You’re Not Contributing to Breeders, Puppy Mills & Pet Stores
When you get down to it, there’s really no need for the thousands of disreputable dog breeders and pet stores that exist in the US. There are far too many animals who already need good homes, so it’s simply irresponsible to purposely contribute to even more. There are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in this country, and most of them have deplorable conditions and few are actually licensed by the USDA.
The reason most of these places exist is pure profit – their goal is to breed as many puppies as possible for the lowest cost so that they can compete with other breeders to sell to pet stores. Because of the conditions, many of the dogs that are born here leave in a physically and emotionally unhealthy state. So, when you adopt from a shelter not only are you one less person contributing to their existence and overpopulation, but you also end up with a healthier dog.
It’s More Affordable
Unlike pet stores and breeders, pet shelters are not in it for the money. Their main concern is rescuing animals, so the only cost to you is an adoption fee. Given that shelter dogs are almost always spayed or neutered and often given vaccinations and sometimes even microchips, there won’t be any additional immediate costs to you. When you get a dog from a breeder, however, you often pay hundreds of dollars and still have to shell out for the other services mentioned.
Shelters want to make positively sure that they are only adopting out pets that are healthy. So, usually when you adopt you know that the dog has been fully examined and doesn’t have any serious issues you’ll find out about later. Also, the staff and volunteers at most shelters get to know each animal well, so they can tell you a bit about each one’s personality and match you up with a dog that suits you and your home environment.
You Can Get a Healthy Mutt
In addition to the health problems that often come along with dogs raised in cruel puppy mills, purebred dogs are notorious for having issues that are the result of years of years of inbreeding. After all, the only reason that breeds of dogs exist at all is because of humans. The healthiest dogs who tend to live the longest are mixed-breed mutts. And, personally, we think mutts are the cutest.
You’ll Get a Socialized Dog
Dogs that have spent most of their lives alone in tiny cages are, unsurprisingly, not usually very well socialized. Shelter dogs, on the other hand, are used to interacting with lots of other dogs and a variety of people. So transitioning to your home, your family and your other pets won’t be such a huge change for them, and they’re less likely to exhibit problematic behavior.
You’re Supporting Great Organizations
Most pet shelters are non-profit organizations that rely solely on grants, donations and adoption fees. These organizations are an important part of our communities, so it’s important to help them continue to do the great work that saves animals’ lives. When you adopt, you’re doing your part to support them and allow them to keep going.
These are really just a few of the reasons that adopting from a pet shelter is the very best route to getting a new dog. Perhaps the most compelling reason, though, is the look in the dog’s eyes that tells you how grateful and happy he is to get a healthy forever home with you.
About the Author: Narayan Khalsa is a passionate supporter of adopting shelter animals and providing adopted pets with all-natural care.