It's a well-known fact that the majority of puppies purchased from a pet store are received from puppy mills; puppy mills being run solely for profit and not the love and well-being of the dog. Puppy mills offer inhumane conditions and cruel treatment to the dogs, making the majority of them socially challenged and in ill-health throughout their lifespan. Yes, we want to love and care for those poor animals being bred in mills, but by negating the purchase of those pet store/online seller/flea market dogs, we are putting an end to their business tactics.
As you read on, you will discover all the benefits that come from adopting a dog; the most important being the unconditional love you are bringing into your household and the life you are saving. Adopt, don't shop.
In the United States, Roughly:
These are current calculations listed on the ASPCA website.
In Canada, Roughly:
These numbers are based on the CFHS/FSCAA published shelter statistics of 2015.
Reasons To Adopt And Not Shop
You Will Be Saving A Life And Stopping Overpopulation
Many dogs are continually put up for adoption, as you can see from the stats shown above. For decades, there have been more dogs than available homes. They come from all over the world and can have a positive or negative experience with their life thus far. By choosing to adopt, you have total control over the type of dog you bring into your home. Before adopting you will learn of the dog's breed, temperament, health background, past living conditions, and personality traits. You have the opportunity to show them the love they have been missing and longing for. You are giving a homeless dog a home and in turn, freeing up space in the shelter for a another dog that may need a temporary home.
You Can Skip The House Training
Many dogs who are looking for their forever home are older in age and have already been house trained. Since you have the ability to choose which dog you adopt, you can decided how well trained you want your new furbaby to be. You will be informed on their strengths and weaknesses around the home.
Vaccinations Are Up To Date
When you purchase a puppy from a pet store, you are pretty much on your own once you walk out that door. You will need to find a vet, get their vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchip, etc... When you adopt a dog, all the testing, vaccinations, health checks, and spay/neuter is already completed for you. So not only are you saving money on those expenses, but you also have the peace of mind knowing your new pal was well taken care of. You will also be given their health records to back it all up.
The Choice Is Up To You
When you adopt, you can choose any aged dog. If you aren't a fan of those puppy training days, you can go with an older dog who is already trained. If you prefer a puppy and want to experience their lives with them from the very start, there are plenty that need a home. You also have the choice of breed.
Offering A Second Chance
Shelter and rescue dogs are adoptable dogs. They are not all received from a broken home with a rough past. Many dogs are surrendered based on an issue with their previous owner. Commonly, dogs are surrendered because of a divorce, change in living conditions, they weren't ready for the responsibility of owning a dog, a new baby, given up by a relative if the owner passed away, the puppy grew up, stray dog/runaway, etc... The list is endless. It's not the dogs fault they are where they are, it's often times their human. You will be giving that dog a second chance at a life they should have had the first time around.
Knowing Their Traits And Habits
When choosing your furry pal, as earlier mentioned, you will be given their medical history along with their previous living conditions; you will also be advised of their traits and habits. knowing if they are well behaved around children, strangers, dogs/cats, if they are timid or aggressive, playful or lethargic, and what their overall temperament is like will play a large role on how they transition into your family. In most cases, you will also get to meet the dog first, so you can gage how well the two of you get along.
When you purchase from a pet store/breeder/flea market, you could be paying thousands of dollars. When you buy from a pet shelter, your costs could range from $50 - $350. Shelter and rescue organization costs vary based on location and how much money has been spent on vets, shelter, grooming, etc... However much, the costs will never exceed the purchase price at a retailer.
The Gift Of Rehabilitation
In some cases, shelter dogs have been severely mistreated. They will come in with trust issues, anxiety, depression, and other life diminishing qualities. You can be the person who shows them the brighter side of life; the love, cuddles, joys, TREATS!, and most importantly, companionship.
Keep in mind that not all shelter dogs have suffered and you certainly don't need to adopt one who has. But if you are that person who can handle the hardships in order to make their life better, you have the ability to do so.
Shelter dogs normally spend their days assigned to a crate with minimal play time and cuddles. So rest assured that when you bring your new pal into your home and show them the love they have been missing, you will be getting more cuddles than you could have prepared for.
You Will Be Promoting Adoption To Your Family and Friends
When you bring a new family member into your home, it's natural to be over the moon excited with a strong desire to show them off. Whether it be through social media or direct communication, it will spark the "Where did you get your adorable dog from?" conversation. Telling people that you adopted your pal may encourage them to do the same, or have them spread that information to someone else.
Where Can I Adopt?
These days, there are so many local shelters, humane societies, and rescue groups that you can contact for adoption purposes. Any major city will have one of the above mentioned available to assist in the process. This is also where Google becomes your friend. If you are unaware of any nearby organizations, all it takes is a quick local search:
Here are a few popular adoption sites nationwide:
Petsmart does not sell dogs nor cats, however, they often set up adoption clinics in store and offer an excellent adoption site that caters to Canada and the United States. The adoption search will narrow down local pets looking to be adopted. Online you can decide the type of animal you are looking for, their gender, age, distance, and breed.
ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
The ASPCA has a great resource page dedicated to finding local animal shelters throughout Canada and the United States. They too provide a search that you can narrow down to best suit your requirements.
This website offers a populated database of all local animal shelters relevant to your zip/postal code for each state/province. A truly incredible search tool. Be sure to check them out.
To have your shelter or organization group listed directly on our site, feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide information and links regarding your organization. Thank you!