Ever heard the term “adopt don’t shop”? You probably have, but why is adoption better than buying a pet from a breeder or pet store?
There are many answers to this question, the biggest of which being that the world is already full of animals who want nothing but a home with a loving family. By purposefully breeding dogs and cats, homes are taken away from animals who already exist and it contributes to the problem of strays.
It’s not so much a problem with breeders, but if you buy a dog from a pet store, you run the risk of getting a dog or puppy that was raised in a puppy mill – a place where they breed possibly hundreds of dogs for profit. These puppies can have all sorts of health issues that you may not know about until it is too late, not to mention the terrible conditions the parents are forced to live in (think small wire cages, unclean water, etc.)
Purebred animals are also more likely to have health issues down the line then mixed breeds are, the reason being that health conditions associated with specific breeds are often canceled out by another breed when the genes mix (yay for natural selection!)
Also, it’s no secret that purebreds are expensive. There’s no reason to drop $500+ on a new family member when you can adopt for a fraction of the price and give a homeless pet a new life.
In my experience, I have found shelter animals to be more affectionate than purebreds from a breeder. When I was young, before I knew better, I bought a cat, Kiara, from a breeder. I still have her and I love her to pieces, but I adopted another cat, Simon, last year and he is sweeter and more friendly than Kiara ever was. This, of course, may be more of a coincidence or perhaps a gender thing, but I like to think that shelter animals are more sensitive due to their upbringing and have at least some idea of the better life you provided by adopting them.
Now that you’ve got the facts, head on over to your local shelter and meet your new family member! Or, if a permanent pet is too much for you right now, you could always foster. (Read my post on fostering here!)