In Fall of 2007, our family dog, Cinder, unexpectedly became pregnant from a stray lab that had been sneaking into our backyard, and days before Halloween, she had eight puppies who we instantly fell in love with. My sisters' and I were young, and having this excitement in our backyard was so special for us. So when my mom took the litter of eight to get fixed, she at first said no to the suggestion that Cinder gets fixed too. Our vet mentioned how many rescue shelters need help with fostering, and all the strays that need homes.
This led us to foster for the Houston SPCA, which became such a positive part of my childhood. By becoming a foster home, we were able to keep the excitement of puppies, and kitties, in our home, as well as being a safe haven for hundreds of animals that were either rescued from abusive homes, picked up off the streets, or surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them.
With that being said, I have developed a strong passion for pet adoption and stomping out breeding and puppy mills that only increase our stray animal problem.
So, here are five reasons why you should adopt, not shop.
1. You decrease sales in breeding and puppy mills
According to The Humane Society, there are over 10,000 legal and illegal puppy mills across the US, which includes over 100,000 female dogs being used as tools for profit. Over ONE MILLION puppies are produced from these breeders per year, where 25% of the time, these dogs end up in shelters.
With pet adoption, you can hinder the profit of puppy mills and breeders, decreasing their output of dogs and those being brought into this world that have a good chance of ending up homeless.
Shelters are also adamant on spaying/neutering the animals that come through their facilities, whereas breeders leave that option up to the owner, which leaves the possibility of even MORE animals coming out of the shopping process.
2. Adoption is SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive
I have many friends who have purebred dogs or cats, all of which paid a LOT of money for their pets (I'm talking like over a thousand dollars). Adoption fees can range from $50 to a few hundred, where a lot of the money goes into the care and shelter of new animals coming in.
3. You are helping so many people
Animal shelters are always full with critters, especially in the last two years with so many major hurricanes coming through. By adopting, you are giving these shelters more room for new animals coming in, as well as a lower demand for supplies!
4. Less work than training a new pet
A huge plus to adopting is that most of the animals in shelters are already house trained. From years of volunteering with the HSPCA, we learned that majority of the furry visitors that came through our house were either surrenders from owners who couldn't keep them any longer or ones that had been released onto the street instead of being brought to an animal center. And if that isn't the case, most shelters will put their animals into fostering before placing them into a new home, therefore your new furry friend will have some experience with potty training and the norms of how to behave in a house.
5. You would be saving a life
With pet adoption, you are taking a pet's old life and giving it a new one. Whether your pet comes from a breeder, a shelter, or your mom's friend whose cat randomly had kittens, they are going to love you just the same. Give adoption a try, and if you are not in a financial place where you can't have a pet, try fostering, where you would be providing a temporary home with all food, litter, bedding, and whatnot is provided.