Lassie, Beethoven, Toto, and Marley. Man's best friend. Dogs,in my humble opinion, are one of the most loyal of animals, and adding a dog as a member of your family is an absolute honor and a great blessing. Sadly, there are over 3-4 million dogs being euthanized in shelters every single year. Over 2.7 million healthy pets are not adopted, and only about 30 percent of pets that are adopted come from shelters. Instead, many people are resorting to puppy mills and pet stores to buy their dogs, and I strongly urge everybody to adopt a dog rather than buy.

Puppy mills and pet stores, to put it bluntly, are cruel. The puppies in the mills are produced in factory-like environments and often are not given proper nutrition nor proper care. Female dogs barely have any recovery time in their bearing of puppies! These dogs are treated like merchandise instead of the loving animals that they truly are. A lot of the puppies for sale at the pet store come from these mills, and many puppies are separated from their mother as young as six weeks old!

Puppies at a pet store can be expensive; $500 is the cheapest price you'll get for a purebred dog. At a shelter, you can adopt a dog for a small fee, which will include vaccinations, a microchip, and a spay/neuter surgery. Most dogs for adoption are already house trained, and despite all the hardships that these animals have faced, will love you unconditionally. My best friend, Cassandra, can attest to this. A few years ago she adopted two Greyhounds, Star and Angel, that have changed her life forever. "They just make me really happy honestly. It's just great to wake up and be able to see them or get greeted by them when they're running around." Star and Angel, her "crazies" as she calls them, are two of the sweetest dogs I've ever had the joy of meeting, and it's almost as if they know that Cassandra and her family saved their lives.

Every day, dogs are admitted into shelters, and every day, dogs are euthanized. By adopting, not only are you adding unconditional love into your life, but you are saving the life of an animal. Adopting a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have. "Money doesn't buy happiness, but an adoption fee can."