Pet Adoption is the Better Choice


Emily Butterworth, Writer

Thinking of adding a new pet to your family? You should consider adopting from a shelter.

The idea of going to your local pet store and buying a young puppy or kitten seems promising, but adopting from breeders or pet stores isn’t as harmless as it seems.

Adopting from pet stores is bad because oftentimes these stores are supplied by puppy mills. Puppy mills are basically large farms that mass breed puppies and keep them in harsh and often inhumane conditions. In puppy mills, dogs are kept in small, unclean cages and typically receive no attention or regular veterinary care. The mothers are disposed of once they can no longer able produce puppies. Sadly, most commercial pet stores are supplied by puppy mills.

When an animal is bought from a pet store, it just leaves more space for another to take its place.

Adopting from shelters is a much better alternative. Animals in shelters are typically there because they were found, rescued, or their previous owners were no longer able to care for them. Pets that you would find in shelters are perfectly fine and deserving of loving homes to go to.

Each pet adopted makes more shelter space for another animal in need, as well as diminishes the demand for commercially-bred dogs.

Even shelters that utilize euthanasia treat animals better than mills and stores. Shelters are significantly more humane, but because of the intense overcrowding, shelters have to euthanize older and ‘less desirable’ dogs.  US shelters euthanize, 2.7 million pets each year, as reported by the Human Society. This number only includes pets that are healthy and ready to be adopted.

Aside from morally being the better option, adopting pets is much cheaper than buying them from a store. In Georgia, the price to adopt can be anywhere from free to $250 at most. From stores and breeders, however, it can range from $300 to $1,500 and higher for more desirable breeds. The reason for the price gap is that animals in stores are sold for profit, whereas those in shelters are not.

The “Adopt, Don’t Shop” ideology has been gaining traction these past few years, especially over social media. The issues with commercial breeding have been coming to people’s attention recently and changes are being made. Many pet store franchises have stopped selling cats and dogs in store. In many places there is starting to be actual legislation passed. In 25 states, including Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, ordinances have made it illegal for retail stores to sell commercially-bred cats and dogs for profit. Many of these stores will now provide extra space and have adoption opportunities for shelter pets.

So next time you’re in the market for a new pet, remember… adopt, don’t shop.