When you decide to add a pet to your home, there are many decisions that you must make. Do you want a cat or a dog? Puppy or kitten? What breed and size are best for your needs and living space? What pet characteristics will suit your lifestyle best? Perhaps the most important decision you will be faced with is whether to purchase a pet from a pet store or adopt from a shelter or rescue. There are many valid reasons to adopt a pet. The following information may help make the decision easier for you.
When you purchase a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store, you may help to perpetuate a cycle of pet abuse. Many, but not all breeders keep their breeding dogs and cats in cramped wire cages. These dogs and cats don't get adequate fresh food and water or proper veterinary care. They also aren't socialized, praised or shown any love. They are simply bred over and over and are puppy and kitten making machines. By adopting instead of buying a pet, you send a message to irresponsible breeders that this is unwanted and unacceptable behavior. In many cases, it is impossible to know where the dogs and cats that are being sold at a pet store have come from. It's best to steer clear and find a shelter or rescue to adopt a pet from.
When you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, you save a life. Nearly four million adoptable companion animals are killed each year in the United States for a simple lack of enough homes to go around. These pets have sweet, loving dispositions, are fully vetted and perfectly healthy, but are still euthanized because they have no homes to go to. When you choose to adopt a pet in need, you save the life of that pet, and a needy pet that will take its place in the shelter in the kennel that it vacated.
When you adopt a pet, you get a pet that is usually fully vetted. Most shelters and rescues also have pets spayed or neutered as well, to help fight the pet over-population epidemic. If you adopt an older pet, your new furry friend will most likely also have some basic training down, such as potty-training and basic commands. The hard work is out of the way and you can focus on bonding with your new pet and expanding upon the knowledge that your new dog or cat already possesses.
When you buy a pet from a pet store or breeder, you are generally on your own once you leave with your pet. If there are any problems with your new friend, it's up to you to find help. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, they will work with you in the event of medical or behavioral issues. Most rescues will take your pet back and rehome it if there are ever any circumstances that cause you to not be able to keep your pet at any time in the future. These organizations provide support to you and your pet for the life of your pet.
There are many reasons to adopt a pet. The best reason to adopt a pet is to find a friend for you that will always be there whenever you are happy, sad or need someone to share a secret with. Don't breed or buy while shelter pets die; adopt a pet and save a life!