“Adopt, don’t shop!” is a popular phrase in the world of rescue. This phrase urges you to adopt a rescue animal, instead of buying an animal from a pet store or breeder. The question is, why should a person adopt, and not shop? For someone who is not familiar with rescue, what do they need to know so that they really take this phrase to heart?
If you shop for an animal at a pet store, it is likely that you will have no idea of that animal’s background. Generally, pet store puppies come from puppy mills – and while this hardly means that a dog from a puppy mill doesn’t deserve a home, it does mean that you could be perpetuating a truly horrid cycle by purchasing one.
Breeders are different. You must be particularly careful about staying away from backyard breeders, who tend to be dishonest about the animals they try to sell to you. It is true, however, that there are many legitimate, caring breeders who provide healthy, purebred pets. But it is important to note that there are purebreds in shelters on death row. There are dogs about to die that need a good home, so why shop for one if you could actually adopt and save one?
There are two main perks to adopting; there are many more reasons to adopt an animal, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on just two.
The first perk in adopting an animal is that you are getting a fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and usually microchipped pet. What does this mean for you? If you were to get a pet from a store, or a breeder, you would have to take that animal into the veterinarian for all of those things – possibly more vetting would be required if you were sold an unhealthy animal. When you adopt, all of this has already been taken care of and is included in the adoption fee. You can rest assured that this rescued animal has been properly cared for and ready to begin a new life with you.
The second perk in adopting an animal is the rewarding feeling of saving a life. Not only do you save a life by adopting a rescued animal, but you also save a life by paying the adoption fee, which is immediately used to provide care for another rescued animal. It may seem small, but by adopting an animal, you become a rescuer yourself, and a hero to an animal that will be forever grateful to you.
There is a furry, forever friend waiting for you at your local rescue. Take the time to adopt, and not shop. You’ll be glad you did.