Caring for an animal companion is a huge responsibility that takes a lot of work and a lifetime commitment. Part of that responsibility starts when you decide to introduce a new animal into your home. An estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats are struggling to survive in the United States, and that number continues to climb whenever someone decides to buy a dog or other animal from a breeder, pet store, or anywhere else. If you are ready for the commitment of welcoming a new canine family member into your home, the only responsible way to go about it is to adopt from a reputable shelter.
1. When you buy a dog from a pet store, you might be supporting a puppy mill.
Many animals sold in pet stores come from puppy mills. These are mass breeding facilities that pack animals into cramped, filthy cages and breed female dogs over and over again until they are unable to continue having babies. The puppies are taken from their mothers too early, and when they get to the pet store, they continue to be denied socialization, exercise, and loving human contact.
2. Adopting from an animal shelter helps other animals in need.
By adopting a homeless animal from a shelter, you help fight the animal-overpopulation crisis. Your adoption fees also help support the important daily work that shelters do to help animals, including spaying and neutering and providing vaccines and veterinary care.
3. Many dogs at animal shelters are already housetrained.
Puppies are often abandoned when they become adults, especially when they were bought on a whim or given to someone as a gift. Many loving, housetrained dogs are left at shelters simply because they’re no longer puppies.
4. Animal shelters handle spaying and neutering, microchipping, and, often, vaccinations.
Shelters and rescue groups also often include vaccinations, microchipping, and spaying or neutering in their adoption fee. Spaying and neutering help to prevent more dogs from becoming homeless, and microchipping helps them get back home to their families if they get lost.
5. Adopting an adult dog allows you to ensure that you have found a good fit for your personality and lifestyle.
Adult dogs’ energy levels and personality are easier to determine than those of puppies, so you will know what to expect from your new family member and can be sure to choose one who matches your lifestyle.
6. Your dog will always be grateful.
Have you ever seen pictures of dogs before and after being rescued? Rescued dogs express gratitude because they know that you’ve saved them from a terrifying life on the streets and have given them a comfortable home where they’re respected and loved.
7. Breeders contribute to the overpopulation crisis.
There are an estimated 70 million dogs and cats struggling to survive on the streets in the U.S., and buying a dog contributes to that number. For every puppy bought, there’s one less home for an animal in a shelter. Also, breeders often don’t require the puppies they sell to be spayed or neutered, so these animals can continue to have puppies of their own.
8. Adopting gives you the best feeling in the world.
The best day of many rescued animals’ lives is when they’re adopted. You can be a part of that special day and give an animal the best life possible—what could be better than that?
Think you’re ready to welcome a new family member into your home? Take our quiz to find out!
If you are, please adopt an animal—don’t buy one. And that includes small animals like rabbits, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, reptiles, and birds, who also suffer in the pet trade. Please pledge to help end the homeless-animal crisis by never buying an animal and by having your animal companions spayed or neutered: