When most people think of companion animals, they have a specific species and breed in mind. Take dogs, for example. Any dog lover will admit to having a special place in their heart for a certain breed. Most breeders are counting on this. This mindset, however, does more harm than good to the companion animal population. Here are some reasons you should start looking through shelters and rescue organizations to adopt your next family member!
Almost all puppies you find in stores are the products of puppy mills. My family adopted a Papillon breed dog that was used to produce pure breed puppies, and her state of health was pitiful. A majority of her teeth were rotting out of her mouth. In total, the vet needed to pull all but three of her teeth and amputate part of her jaw. She now requires a specific brand of food and suffers from a loss of hearing and cataracts in both eyes. This quality of life is common in rescue dogs from puppy mills; by buying store puppies, you could be contributing to this cycle of abuse.
Breed obsession is not just present in mills, but also in specific breed and dog show standards themselves. Many people focus on aesthetics, even if it is detrimental to the breed’s overall health! This leads to inbreeding and the passing down of bad genes that contribute to a companion animal’s poor quality of health. By mixing the gene pool, these traits are more likely to be cycled out, leaving you with fewer vet visits and a healthier family companion.
Why adopt a mutt? Well, buying purebred animals is expensive, usually in the thousands. For a small fee (normally around $75), you can adopt an animal from a shelter that is usually spayed/neutered, microchipped, and potty-trained. Plus, most of these animals come with a personality synopsis. When buying from a breeder, not only are you spending more money, but you also have no idea what type of personality your new family member might have. Say you have cats; what happens if your new puppy considers your 11-year-old cat a fluffy chew toy?
Because most people have no idea what they’re getting into when they buy, many of those new purebred friends end up in shelters. Six to eight million animals are already waiting in shelters and rescue organizations for the chance to be the perfect fit for your new family. Why wouldn’t you choose to adopt instead?
Animals have been documented to be emotionally, psychologically, and physically beneficial. By adopting a new friend from a shelter or rescue organization, not only are you saving a life and insuring their unconditional love, but you will also feel proud that you helped an innocent animal in need.