When I began telling others that I was planning on getting a dog, along with a lot of beneficial advice, I kept being told "adopt don't shop". At the time, I didn't really understand the reason everyone kept telling me this. Obviously I am going to adopt a dog. My family has always adopted our dogs, and I'm a broke college student. Unfortunately, I don't have hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase a pure breed dog. However, I realized that's not the case for everyone. Since I adopted my dog, Moa, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of fellow dog parents. Although the majority of individuals I met have me have adopted, or found their dog as a stray, there are a lot more people than I expected that purchased their dogs, rather than adopting.
Thus, here I am to say that though you may have your ideal dog in mind, adoption is a lot more than just a cheaper option. First of all, when you adopt a dog, you are basically saving a life. Though most shelters try their best to keep the conditions as clean and positive as possible for the animals, it can be a very anxious time for them. There are new animals constantly coming in and out. As well, the dogs interact with various different people everyday, so they never get the chance to develop a connection. When I first adopted Moa, I knew he was a good dog. He was very calm, not too energetic, and seemed like he just wanted to sleep everywhere. Well, I was wrong. Turns out Moa is a good boy, but he is also extremely energetic, more energetic than I ever would have believed the first week I adopted him. Eventually, I realized I threw him into a new, better but new environment, and he had to distress before he really began to be himself. Honestly, I should have known better, he's only a baby.
Additionally, the shelter provides a lot more benefits than most breeder. Granted, you may not be able to find that perfect pure breed dog, but I assure you, you will find the perfect dog for you. A lot of the dogs at the shelters had to be given up by their families' for some reason. Therefore, a lot of the dogs at the shelter are already house-trained and do well with other animals or children. House-training was my biggest fear with Moa, but thankfully he was house-trained by his last owner, so I did not have to worry about getting a dog walker, or leaving work early to walk him. He just waits patiently for mommy to get home.
If you are interested in adopting a pet, I definitely recommend the Pet Resource Center. They provided me with a complete medical history of Moa, as well as with plenty of coupons and resources too, like a free bag of food and a free vet visit! Doesn't hurt that adoptions are only $20 ($5 for cats).
Adopt Don't Shop!