Adopt Don’t Shop!

Rufus, Jane and Sophia Hilger

Stella Johnson, Writer

There are millions of animals, ranging from cats to dogs to birds to horses, in rescues across the country and across the world waiting to be adopted. However, many buyers still turn to pet stores or breeders when bringing new animals into their family.

Hazel, Stella Johnson

According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million cats and dogs enter shelters in the United States annually, whether they are found as strays, abandoned, or brought in by owners who no longer want them. Out of all the dogs entering shelters, 35% are adopted and 31% are euthanized. For cats entering shelters, 37% are adopted and 41% are euthanized. The rest are likely strays who are returned to their owner. Many of these animals euthanized could be granted the life they deserve if people would look first to adoption compared to purchasing from a pet store or from a breeder. Sometimes, people turn to pet stores or breeders so they can buy a specific breed or a pet of a specific age. However, there are many breed-specific rescues as well as many purebreds in regular shelters. Rescues often have newborns or very young animals as well, available for adoption. There is no reason to turn to a pet store or breeder when the animal you are looking for is available in a shelter.

Gracie, Hope Kahn

Most pet stores receive their animals from breeding mills, which are large-scale breeders that keep their animals in incredibly unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Animals from mills are often kept in uncomfortable and tight spaces, often unclean. They are also not properly taken care of and usually malnourished or ill. Sometimes, animals kept in mills do not have the opportunity to see sunlight for most of their life. By purchasing an animal from a pet store, you are supporting the terrible organizations that are breeding mills.

Cassidy, Ben Hobby

Professional breeders who take good care of their animals are not as bad as the breeding mills. However, it is unnecessary to turn to a breeder to adopt, when animals in shelters are just as loving as purebreds. You would also be saving an animal that deserves a good life and a loving home by adopting them out of a shelter. Too many animals are suffering in shelters, sometimes in overcrowded situations. Many, still, are  euthanized, because there is not enough room and they are not being adopted. This is an incredibly devastating situation, because these animals do not deserve to die or live in a shelter for too long because there is not room for them.

Harry and Louis, Stella Johnson

My family has adopted five animals from different rescues now, four cats and one dog. These rescue animals have made my life so much better, and we got them for only a fraction of the price a dog or cat would have cost from a pet store. I am so glad to have given my rescued animals the life they deserve in a good home and out of the shelter or off the street. You should be inclined to do the same when deciding to bring a new pet into your family.