Imagine you are walking down the stores at the mall when you approach a puppy store that has the cute little puppy playing in the news paper shreddings. Petting and taking pictures with it you never really come to ask yourself the question of where these dogs come from. As innocent as it may appear on the outside many of these puppies come from puppy mills in which they breed dogs in large amounts and live in horrible conditions. As an owner of two beautiful dogs I have the experience to be able to give you both sides of the story and why ultimately you should adopt. Adopting from an animal shelter has many benefits that only makes this experience even more exciting which include the costs, different breeds and what puppy mills are.
Now when shopping for your furry friend whether it be for yourself or your child looking at all the different breeds it can be overwhelming and the prices only add that much more pressure. Coming form BestFriends.org it says “Buying a pet can easily cost $500 to $1,000 or more. Adoption costs range from $50 to $200, depending on whether the pet comes from the city shelter or a rescue group that has spent money on boarding, vets and grooming.”(Francis Battista). Just by adopting your animal you are nearly saving half the coast which means more money in your
pocket and possible trips you can be taking with your new dog. In addition from personal experience when my sister and I adopted our Jack russell terrier Chester he came fully vaccinated and neutered ready to take home. Which means the only money you will be coming out of pocket for is just the adoption fee and you are on your way to becoming a dog parent.
Although the costs are low many may argue that they pay the price for the breed they want. Which to a certain extent I can agree and relate to the people since I myself have also purchased a purebred dog as well. Yet when doing further research it opened my eyes to see that buying a beautiful purebred dog can come with a few consequences along with a hefty price tag. It states here on Peninsula Humane society & SPCA.org that “Simply put, mixed-breed dogs are, in general, healthier than their purebred cousins and typically require fewer visits to the veterinarian.”(Benefits of Mixed Breeds). So it’s great to not only see you are saving more costs as I stated in the last point but your dog will be there for all the amazing memories life has to bring to you. In addition when going to shelters you are seeing a wide range of different breed of dogs which can open your mind to certain breeds that you may have never expected to see. Which brings up the question of where do these shelter dogs even come from and the trustworthiness of it.
Shelter dogs often times are strays, rescue from abuse or the family of the dog simply could not take care of it. Although it may seem like these dogs are in bad health it is quite the opposite since they are now being cared for by the people at the adoption centers. As for purebred dogs one article from The Humane Society of the United States says this “Most pet stores do not disclose the true origins of their puppies, instead using deceptive sales pitches about USDA licensed or”professional breeders”(The Humane Society of the United States). Which often times means that you most likely will not know where your pup is coming from and that draws up a big concern of whereter they were breeded from trustworthy people or ones who run puppy mills. To fully understand retail dog’s stores and people who sell purebred animals we have to look at what puppy mills are and how they affect the pups life.
The true definition of a puppy mill is a “commercial farming operation in which purebred dogs are raised in large numbers and often in substandard or poor conditions (Merriam-Webster). For example think of farmers and how they have chickens bunched up in a coop and the more eggs the chickens lay the more space that is occupied. This can create great health concerns not only in the pups themselves but as well as the mothers of these puppies, it can also bring serious stress to their bodies. Puppy mills laws failing states in the newspaper article that “They talk of 12-year-old blind dogs held in cages and giving birth to puppies that they cannot properly care for, piles of manure on concrete floors inside sheds, cages pile on top of each other, each containing a bitch with puppies.”(Brian williams). The pups have no choice but to live in these conditions simply because the market for pure breed animals is very high. Even though the animals in the shelter may have had a bad past as well it is really good to know that we are not contributing to that market that supports these horrible puppy mills.
Therefore which makes adopting from a shelter just that more special you are able to save these animals and know there is one less animal who is hurting. Not only that but for those who have children it is a great learning experience for them and makes them feel better knowing they saved a dog. It even says from CA-Shelter-Me-PBS that “an estimated 6 to 8 million animals enter the nation’s shelters annually” (PR Newswire). However, since we do not live in a perfect world it is pretty impossible to get everyone on board yet even just a slight percent of that could help to at least decrease the rate of stray dogs that are left out on the street As humans we are all drawn to the luxuries in life but with our animals this comes at a cost to them and their health on both sides of the spectrum. We have the choice to choose whether or not we buy from puppy mills and add to their suffering or help to save a life and create a new one for the animal that may have thought a shelter was their last stop. So the main question is do you want to help to create a better life for our animals or simply add to the market of animals being abused in puppy mills.
“Benefits of Mixed Breeds.” Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, phs-spca.org/adopt/mixed-breeds/.
“Fact Sheets & Resources.” The Humane Society of the United States, http://www.humanesociety.org/resources/fact-sheets-resources.
“Puppy Mill.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppy mill.
PR Newswire. “Shelter Me Launches National PBS Series Highlighting The Extraordinary Lives and Benefits of Adopting Shelter Pets.” 4 Apr. 2013. Ebsco Host.
“Reasons to Adopt a Pet.” Resources, resources.bestfriends.org/article/reasons-adopt-pet.
Williams, Brian. “Puppy Mill Laws Failing – Horrific Conditions Stun RSPCA .” 26 June 2010. Ensconced Host.