It has been a long standing practice for people who want pets to go to the local pet shop and buy one. This is now being challenged by a new generation of pet owners. Owners who are opting to adopt pets versus buying them.
This idea of going to shelters to adopt animals came about with the revelation that pet stores and online sellers of purebred dogs often get their puppies from puppy mills. These are places where dogs, or cats, are kept solely for the purpose of breeding. These animals are often caged 24/7, deprived of human contact, and they only exist to procreate.
This has made it more popular to adopt pets instead of buying them.
Animals Bred To Be Sold
Dog breeders, or puppy mills, are known for over breeding their dogs. And since their primary goal is to profit, they will, like any businesses, keep costs low. That impacts the way they treat their animals. Most do not even spend the money to spay or neuter their animals. That will then be an added cost for people who end up buying their pets from these suppliers.
Many breeders use their adult animals solely for breeding and do not spend time or money to provide them with a loving and caring environment. The results are the same with the puppies and kittens they breed, and the deplorable conditions they live in often result in sick animals which they then supply to sellers like pet shops or online sellers
In contrast, many rescued animals were not bred to be sold. Many had owners who loved them and cared for them, but for various reasons, find themselves alone and orphaned, in need of new homes.
Animals In Shelters
There are many reasons pets end up homeless or abandoned at shelters. It’s not always because of abuse, although, there are instances when that may be the case.
Often, reasons can be as mundane as dogs being left unwanted after a couple separates. Divorce is a leading cause for pets being left unwanted. Sometimes, people who move across great distances cannot afford to take their pets with them, and they end up having to give up their pets. Other times, people become unemployed and can no longer care for their pets.
Older people often find that they no longer have the capacity to properly care for their companions, and it’s easier for them to simply give them up.
Of course, there are those who end up with litters that were never planned, and cannot take care of all of them, so they end up giving them up for adoption.
In the end, what you often get well-adjusted animals who have been previously loved, and have a greater capacity to offer love in return,
The Benefits Of Adopting Vs Buying Pets
Obviously, the biggest benefit in adopting is the cost.
Pets bred for sale often cost hundreds of dollars more than rescued animals. In fact, designer or purebred animals often cost thousands of dollars. On top of that, pets for adoption are often already spayed or neutered, and in some cases, already micro chipped. While adoption agencies do charge a fee for the adoption, that fee will almost always be less than what you would pay to buy your pet.
Many puppies for sale, as I mentioned earlier, are products of puppy mills. Many of these places have horrible conditions both for the puppies they produce, and the breeding animals that they keep. Adopting is a way to challenge puppy mills. Perhaps, if they realize the changes in people’s buying patterns, they may be encouraged to change their business model. In the meantime, supporting pet adoption is a way to fight against this inhumane practice.
Another benefit is the fact that many of these animals are already house-trained. Mature pets need less in the way of training than younger puppies. Remember, many of these pets are abandoned due to problems that their human owners had, like a move or a divorce, and not for any reasons connected to the pets, themselves. So in many cases, you will be adopting well-adjusted animals ready to share their love with a new household. Also, when you adopt pets, you help decongest shelters, which allows them to make room for more pets to rescue and absorb.
It All About Saving Lives
In the end, adopting a pet from shelters mean you’ll be saving a life. Each adopted pet means one less animal euthanized in this country because no one wants them. According to some estimates, the number run into millions. There are just too many pets and too few shelters that can absorb them all. So each year, those that do not get adopted are sadly, euthanized to make room for more animals.
This is a sad state of affairs. We breed these animals for companionship, yet we discard them like rags and expect them to simply disappear. And they do. They are killed.
That is what this movement for adoption is trying to prevent. By encouraging people to adopt, they are hoping to reduce the number of these animals from being sent to their deaths.
But what about the lives of the puppies that were bred in puppy mills? Are their lives not worth saving simply because of the accident of their birth? This is the dilemma that stores that sell these animals want you to be in. Compassionate people opting to buy these animals simply to save their lives, too.
But according to one writer, stores often reduce prices of puppies until they are sold. If that does not work, they move them around from store to store. Ultimately, when these puppies become too old to sell, they are given away to employees. Or, ironically, they are sent to shelters who end up either having them adopted or euthanized.
In the end, puppy mills contribute to the swelling number of pets that end up in shelters.
Just Say No
Ultimately, the demise of the puppy mill industry depends on how quickly people transition from consumers of their products, the puppies, to proud foster homes to adopted animals. And we can do more to make this happen.
Identify stores that sell animals and stay away from them. Ultimately, like all businesses, these stores will adapt to the tastes and attitudes of their customers. We simply need to change our buying habits.
Already, there are stores that sponsor adoption days for shelter animals. Highlighting the great need to get people to switch from buyers to foster people.
Adopting animals is a good alternative for people who want to have pets in their lives. Pets contribute positively to people’s health. They are great companions. What’s more, as they bring joy to your lives, you help save theirs. Pets are not products to be produced and sold. They are living beings who come into this world for a purpose. And that purpose might just be bringing a measure of calm, beauty and joy to your lives.