By: Erin Ford
We’ve all been there, walking through the mall, when suddenly we see them — the adorable fluffy puppies bouncing in the window of the pet store. They lure us inside with their irresistible cuteness, and we end up thinking we couldn’t possibly leave the mall without one! While it’s wonderful to give a pet a loving home, you need to consider the other options. Shelters across the country are full of pets that are waiting for a loving home, and there are plenty of reasons to adopt instead of shop!
You’re saving a life
According to ASPCA, each year approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs, 1.4 million cats). Whether it’s due to overcrowding or a lack of resources, many potential pets don’t make it out of shelters. When you adopt a pet, you’re giving them a forever home.
Not supporting puppy mills
As many people know, puppy mills are places where intensive breeding of dogs take place under cruel, inhumane conditions. Their sole purpose is to make a profit, and the well-being of the dogs is not a priority. You can learn more about puppy mills here. Many pet stores get their animals from puppy mills, so inadvertently purchases from these store are keeping puppy mills in business.
Supporting volunteers and animal rescuers
In animal shelters, volunteers and employees work hard every day, out of the goodness of their hearts, to make sure these pets are taken care of. Those supporting animal shelters do it because they genuinely care about the animals. It brings so much joy to see pets that are adopted into loving home, because it shows that the pets you come to love have been adopted into a great home, and your work is done.
Making room for more animals
Millions of pets are in need of loving homes, and shelters fill up extremely quickly. There are more pets that need homes than spaces in shelters. By adopting your pet, you’re opening up a spot for another to have a safe place to live and be adopted by a loving family.
More affordable than pet stores
Many pet stores charge exorbitant fees for their pets — some can be over $1,000. Shelters are a much more affordable option, and all the money that’s earned goes right back into supporting the shelter. Many shelters have programs where volunteers and supporters sponsor pets, and thus the adoption fee is waived. In addition, many pets in shelters are up-to-date on vaccinations and veterinarian appointments.
Most importantly, you’re giving pets a second chance
Many pets in shelters have already been owned previously. This means that many of them are already housebroken, trained, and used to living with a family. Some of them are older, so they’re quite calm and there’s no need to handle the responsibilities of raising/training an energetic puppy or kitten. In addition, when a pet is surrendered to a shelter, they can become very upset and disheartened. Adopting them and bringing them to their new home gives them a new life, can rejuvenate their spirits, and makes them eternally grateful for giving them a second chance at life.