Many cats and dogs sit in shelters waiting for their forever home, some get lucky and some don't. Out of the ones who don't, many are euthanized. Don't buy a puppy or a kitten. Adopt an animal who is lonely and in need of a companion. There are many perks of adopting as opposed to buying a brand new puppy or kitten.
1. Puppies and kittens are expensive.
Sometimes you can get puppies and kittens cheap, but that's not always the case. You usually have to pay for a puppy or a kitten and for ones that are pure breed you can be spending up to $1,000 maybe more. At shelters you can sometimes find pure breeds or close to pure breeds. Many dogs, for example huskies, get too big and hard to manage, so they get dropped off at shelters. Depending on the shelter you will pay a fee around $60 to a $150 to adopt an animal. Shelters even host adoption events, which is how I adopted my cat and because of the event the adoption fee was cut in half.
2. No immediate medical expenses or treatments.
Puppies and kittens have a lot of shots they have to receive and you will be in and out of the vet for months. Not to mention they need to be spayed or neutered. Meanwhile, shelter animals have had all their shots and have been treated for any disease or injury. They have also already been spayed and neutered. For instance, my cat didn't need shots for almost a full year after I adopted her. You already have to pay for food, toys, beds, and other miscellaneous objects for your pet. Adopting cuts down on the amount of expenses.
3. Puppy mills and inhumane treatment.
Many puppies that are pure breeds and very expensive are products of puppy mills. Dogs live in small cages and are forced to breed. Usually there is a lot of interbreeding of a single litter, which produces birth defects from the incest. Pure breeds are extremely unhealthy because of the interbreeding and dogs who have birth defects are most often killed by the people who run the puppy mills. You may be supporting these unlawful practices when you buy pure breed puppies.
4. Bad habits and house breaking.
Puppies teethe and will chew through anything they can find. Kittens will scratch up your walls and furniture. Animal shelters try to break dogs and cats bad behavior, and if they get the animals when they are young they make sure it doesn't start. This is not always the case, but prior treatment of their bad behavior will help you reinforce good behavior when you adopt. It is also hard to house break puppies and litter box train kittens. You end up with stains on the carpet and have to keep a constant eye out so you don't step on anything. The dogs and cats at shelters have already been house broken, so you don't have to worry about doing it yourself. This means a lot less work as an owner.
5. Not all shelters are free to live.
A good amount of shelters are kill shelters that euthanize the animals when they haven't been adopted after a certain duration of time. Keeping animals is expensive and there is not always room, so to make room they euthanize them. These poor dogs and cats die without ever finding their forever home. They wait for a companion that will never come and die alone. You can save these animals from being euthanized by adopting before they meet their deadline.
6. Fostering is available.
Animal shelters will let people foster animals until they find their forever home. If you don't want to or can't commit to 12 years or more of taking care of an animal, this is a good option. You can take one in until someone decides they want to adopt. It isn't long term and you can still enjoy living with a dog or cat. You can also save animals from being euthanized this way because you allow them more time for adoption.
Many animals are in shelters and some become euthanized. Others live their whole life in shelters waiting for a companion. Help these sweet dogs and cats find their forever home. Adopt, don't shop.