#AdoptDontShop: What Does it Really Mean?

Isn’t the question – why not adopt a rescue pet!?  Although there are many types of animals available for adoption – rabbits, turtles, iguanas, birds, guinea pigs – this brief article only focuses on the canine and feline types and why you should #adoptdontshop.

When you adopt a rescue, you are literally saving a life.  Buying from pet stores or online websites mean one less animal in a shelter will get a chance at finding a loving home.  Buying a pet promotes puppy and kitten mills, an industry whose only purpose is to make a profit — which they do by churning out litter after litter after litter.  Most of these mills keep the animals in deplorable conditions; the female dogs are bred as frequently as possible, never receive any human contact, rarely set a paw outside of a small cage for their entire lives and are killed when they are no longer profitable.  The puppies and kittens also often develop illness and have genetic defects.  Adopting a pet (some of who have been rescued from puppy and kitten mills) is a way to fight this inhumane industry.

dogs shelteredshelter kitten

Millions of adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized (killed) at shelters each year. When adopting directly from a shelter, it means that the cat or dog will not be killed in that building.  When adopting from a rescue group, it enables that rescue group to save another life from the shelter system.  When you adopt, you give that dog or cat a second chance. Either way, you will be changing their life and, most likely, they will change yours!

You get a best friend for life when you adopt. And, who doesn’t want a best friend!? Your pet will be so grateful for being rescued, give you unconditional love and will bring you incredible adventures. And, don’t forget about the health advantages of having a pet – they provide psychological, emotional and physical benefits. When you adopt, you can choose from a great selection of animals that come in all shapes and sizes. You want a senior pet who is not that active? No problem!  You are looking for two 10-week old kittens? Easily done! Set on a purebred cat or dog? You can find him/her!  

A pet purchased online or from a pet store is a complete unknown and typically, you are on your own after the sale is made.  On the contrary, rescue groups have specific information about the animal’s behavior along with medical conditions, and will help you find the pet that fits into your family and lifestyle.  Moreover, the rescue group will always be there to help with the familiarization and socialization process, provide advice about diet, playtime and vet care, and have references for all resources.  

Owning a pet can be expensive, especially when you purchase one.  Notwithstanding the cost of buying a cat or dog, there are vast medical costs for spaying/neutering, vaccinations and microchipping.  Most of these expenses are covered by the rescue groups so that you can spend all of your money on toys for your new playmate!!  

Adopting from a rescue group or shelter helps support that non-profit organization and, in turn, is supporting the community.  Each animal adopted creates space for a new rescue.  Each animal adopted means that a new rescue will be saved. Your adoption will send a message to your friends, your family, your community – that pets should be adopted. AND, that it’s not just the right thing to do – it’s a really cool thing to do!

When you decide you want a cat, dog, kitten or puppy – do not buy from a pet store or on the internet.  Instead, contact your local rescue group or go to your local shelter and adopt your new family member! You will be giving that canine or feline a second chance — and receive that much more love in return for your heartfelt actions.