As the year draws to an end, many families welcome new pets into the home for the Holidays. It is such a treat to celebrate with a new furry family member, and spend the Holidays spoiling them rotten. While many dog breeders are surely responsible and use safe, humane breeding practices, there are just as many, and even more despicable puppy mills and commercial dog breeders that focus solely on profit and not the welfare of animals. “Adopt Don’t Shop” is a campaign slogan used to promote adopting pets from shelters, rather than buying them from sketchy pet stores or breeders. Have you ever adopted from a shelter before? Would you like to but aren’t sure if it is a good idea? Before you seek out other options, consider the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy. It may be more beneficial for you (and your future dog) than you think.
Raise Awareness for “Adopt Don’t Shop”
“Adopt, Don’t Shop” is a national campaign launched by Los Angeles-based non-profit animal organization, Last Chance for Animals to raise awareness about the benefits of adopting. The animal advocacy organization is dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and media attention.
Spreading the word about animal rescue and adoption is the first step to making change. Letting others know about the history of your adopted pet and being an advocate yourself is a way to raise awareness and shine a light on the importance of giving shelter pets the respect and humane treatment they deserve. Word of mouth continues to be one of the most powerful vehicles for change today, and with the power of social media, spreading the word is easier than ever before. Becoming an advocate for adoption in your local community is a powerful step in creating change and erasing stigma about animal adoption.
Adopting a pet from an ethical source is not only a moral obligation, but it is a big financial commitment too. While a pet shop front is convenient and outwardly affordable, the abhorrent conditions of most puppy mills are typically breeding grounds for disease and illness. Without ethical breeding practices, you may be unknowingly adopting inbred dogs with genetic abnormalities or lack of proper puppy healthcare. While it may seem like a good idea, purchasing from a puppy shop could equal higher vet bills for you down the road as your pup ages and potentially develops complicated health issues. Adopt Don’t Shop sounds pretty appealing now, doesn’t it? Proper care of a dog does require the financial commitment, and should not be taken lightly.
A shelter dog can be adopted for very reasonable adoption fees that tend to range from $50 to $300. These fees however already typically include the pet’s spay/neuter surgery, vaccine fees, microchips, and treatments received upon arriving at the shelter such as deworming or flea treatments. Adoption fees may also support the shelter and their efforts to continue providing these services such as the costs of operating a facility. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research, and be aware of who you are getting a puppy from.
Adopting a dog from a shelter not only means that you’re giving your pup a chance at a loving and happy life, but it also provides a kennel to another dog in need. Most shelters have extremely high turnover rates, and once a dog is adopted out, another quickly takes its place. Shelters around the country face overcrowding, particularly in areas that lack education and awareness about spay and neutering.
According to Best Friends Animal Society, every year in the US, approximately 2 million shelter pets are euthanized because there is no room for them in municipal shelters. Adopting a shelter dog provides a bed to another dog which could otherwise end up euthanized due to overcrowding. Your adoption gives another dog an extra chance at finding their forever home too. The more we as a society support animal adoption, the less dogs will have to pay the ultimate price. We can make a change by taking a stand!
Adopt a Shelter Dog, Receive Support
When you adopt through a shelter or non-profit organization, you may be eligible to receive ongoing support in a variety of ways. Building a relationship with your local shelters allows for a network of people who care about your dog. Should you need advice or tips, the dog loving folks at the rescues are always more than willing to help. Shelters are well-connected in their communities and can provide resources for top notch training, vetted pet sitters, quality veterinarians, or specialty animal healthcare.
Advocacy organizations like Kennel to Couch (K2C) work exclusively to incentivize adoption by providing pet owners with a special adoption package. K2C is a Maryland-based Pit Bull Advocacy non-profit that provides families with the Pibble Package upon adoption. By partnering with other organizations, K2C provides the Pibble Package at no extra cost to the adopting party. This package includes a training session and equipment from Sit Means Sit, a discount on pet insurance from Embrace Pet Insurance, and a check up at Banfield
If you are ready to open your home to a new pet, we ask you to consider the Adopt Don’t Shop philosophy and check out your local shelters or humane society before purchasing from unknown breeders.