Last week I had the honor to meet a dog named Major. Major is a two year old pit bull mix from the Cleveland County Animal Shelter. The day his owner adopted him he was scheduled to be killed in a gas chamber because there wasn’t enough room. Luckily his new owner was able to get there in time to save him. Unfortunately, not many dogs and cats at the shelter have this same luck.
There are so many reasons why someone should adopt a new pet rather than buy from a pet store, most importantly when you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you save a life. 4 million cats and dogs will be euthanized this year in the United States because there is not enough room for all of them in community shelters. Shelter animals are being euthanized right away if they are ill or behave aggressively (even though in most cases this behavior is because they are just scared. Many shelters have a policy to euthanize immediately if the dog is a certain breed, regardless of behavior, if the dog is a breed with a bad reputation (like a pit bull).
You will save money adopting a pet rather than buying one. Adoption fees generally include vaccinations and a spay/neuter surgery. And your pet will most likely be healthy. It’s a common myth that animals arrive at the shelter because they’ve been abused or done something wrong. In most cases pets are surrendered because of a move, a divorce, or for financial reasons. Many shelter animals are family-ready pets looking for companionship.
If you adopt from the shelter you won’t be supporting puppy mills and pet stores. Pet stores often purchase from puppy mills. Puppy mills raise their dogs in horrible conditions to produce as many puppies as possible. Generally these dogs are not given adequate medical care. Many potential pet owners think that they are saving a life when they buy a dog from a pet store. But what is really happening is that they are giving puppymills an income and supporting a horrible industry.
Shelter pets deserve a second chance. It’s not their fault that they live in a disposable society. If you are thinking about getting a new friend – please please please consider adopting from your local shelter.
-Alex, PR Intern