CP Editorial: Open your heart to a shelter pet before purchasing from a breeder

More than 3 million dogs and cats are adopted from shelters every year in the U.S., according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). However when looking only at dogs, a survey by the American Pet Products Association showed that the majority of dogs—34 percent—are bought from breeders.When a person makes the choice to buy a dog from a breeder, is that the same as making the choice to leave a dog abandoned in a shelter? The ASPCA says 1.2 million dogs are euthanized every year for reasons such as lack of space.

The dogs and cats that come to shelters are usually found or brought in because they have nowhere to call home. After a local shelter takes them in and cares for them, they will put the animal up for adoption. This animal will then wait until they are adopted, which can be up to a couple of months, according to the Central Missouri Humane Society. If the pet still hasn’t been adopted they will usually be transferred to a foster home to relieve their stress from the shelter, receive some one-on-one time, and special attention attention. Shelter animals are in need of a home and a loving family. Some of these animals grew up on the streets, were used for fighting or were from abusive or neglectful homes.

I think it is important to adopt from a shelter or the local humane society because of the past these animals could have endured. Their only hope is to be adopted and start new lives with loving owners.

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), in breeding facilities, animals are more likely to endure poor living conditions, be forced to breed their whole lives and/or be abused. Breeders are looking to make a profit, and sometimes they do not actually care about the animals’ well-being. Unlike bred animals, shelter pets are brought in to be saved from death or sustaining terrible injuries. Breeders contribute to animal overpopulation because for every bred animal that is purchased, a shelter animal could have been saved. Then the breeders keep breeding to continue to make a profit, which leads to more and more unwanted and helpless animals.

In addition to the “Heinz 57” mixed breeds found in shelters and humane societies, one can often find purebred dogs that have been abandoned for various reasons. No matter the breed, all cats and dogs have their own unique characteristics and are all grateful to be adopted. Adoption is also drastically cheaper than buying from a breeder. According to an article on Vet Street, adopting can be from $50 -$200 dollars while purchasing from a breeder can cost anywhere from $500 and up. Adoptive pets are also usually already spayed or neutered and have their required vaccinations. With a bred pet there is the purchase fee along with all of the medical requirements, which can become extremely costly. Adopting saves so many helpless pets and provides them with a better lives.

The next time you plan to add a four-legged friend to your family, consider visiting your local animal shelter or rescue organization. Knowing you saved your pet by adopting them is just the first reward to owning an animal.