Don’t Shop, Adopt!

By Jenna Yingling ’21

When purchasing an animal, it is wise to consider adoption. Shelters are brimming with many friendly and healthy animals who are desperate for a home and human companionship. Rescuing does not only benefit the animal, but the person adopting as well.

First, it is less costly to adopt a pet than to buy from a breeder. Shelters perform physicals, first vaccinations, and sometimes put in microchips before selling an animal. Many rescues are already housebroken, so training expenses may also be saved. Adoption fees are also generally lower than pet store prices.

Additionally, adopting an animal is one way to fight puppy mills. These organizations prioritize profit over animal welfare. Dogs are forced into poor living conditions and improper medical care. More often than not, puppy mill dogs will carry all types of disease, from parasites to pneumonia.

Due to the complete lack of human companionship, puppy mills facilitate behaviorally troubled animals. Dogs bred in puppy mills have been known to develop problems like extreme shyness, aggression, fear, and anxiety. Female dogs are also bred far too excessively and often.

Once these dogs are no longer profitable, they will be killed, abandoned, or auctioned. Most pet stores, online sellers, and flea markets will sell dogs from puppy mills. Adopting a pet ensures that the animal is not from puppy mills.

Surprisingly, adoption has a positive impact on the environment as well. In human inhabited areas, feral dogs are the most common predators to local wildlife. They are capable of physically harming and spreading disease among small neighborhood critters. For example, the black-footed ferret almost became extinct due to wild and aggressive canines.

Most importantly, adoption saves lives. 2.7 million perfectly healthy dogs and cats are euthanized annually solely because shelters become too full. Even adopting a single animal can spare the life of another waiting to fill a vacancy in the shelter.

Giving an animal a second chance for a life they truly deserve is extremely fulfilling. All these animals need are people to open their hearts and homes to them.