This is a hashtag that has been blowing up around social media over the past few months, helping to bring awareness on why it is so necessary to adopt your furry friend. Breeding dogs isn't a new thing; there have been breeders around for decades and there are many differences between dogs from a breeder and dogs from a shelter.

First off, when you get a dog from a breeder, you don't leave their house without a puppy and think, "well, that dog is going to die now," but that is the chilling reality for many shelter dogs. Case and point, a breeder isn't going to throw one of their puppies out on the street or put it down if it doesn't get bought. However, almost four million dogs ALONE are put down each year in shelters nationwide. Some of this could be due to the dogs just being sick, but the majority is due to the lack of adoption.

Thousands of animals are rescued each month and the shelters don't have enough space to keep all of them. The result is the euthanization of the animals that haven't been adopted so the new animals can take their place, in hopes of them finding a home instead. Also, when you adopt, you don't pay for the animal like you do if you go to a breeder. When I adopted my puppy, I had to pay $300, but it wasn’t to “purchase” him, it was to cover all his shots and his neutering because he was only five months old.

When you adopt a pet from a shelter, they do all the shots and neutering for you because they want to take full precaution that your newfound friend is as healthy as can be. When you buy from a breeder, not only do you have to pay an obscene amount just to get an animal, but then, on top of that, you have to pay for all the necessary shots if the breeder neglected to do it themselves. In addition to not having to pay high amounts for your dog, shelter dogs are often healthier than bred dogs. The majority of shelter dogs are mutts (a dog with many different breeds in its DNA not just a single breed). Mutts are proven to be healthier dogs because they have all the benefits of multiple breeds. Example, purebred German Shepherds are prone to Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is an abnormality in the hip that over time can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.

Now, say you adopt a dog that has German Shepherd in it, but then it also has Golden Retriever and Whippet and Lab. Now, one breed starts to cancel out another breed and then you have a pool of different advantages and disadvantages in the dog's DNA that overall make it a more healthy dog, like a hybrid.

At the end of the day, adopting your pet is just a more morally right thing to do, like adopting a child! Now thanks to the internet you can look at animals up for adoption from the comfort of your own couch. Petfinder is one of the biggest nationwide websites that allows people to look at pets for adoption in their area just by putting in their zip code. Adopting a pet has never been more easy!

Now, next time you’re looking to make an addition to your family, I urge you to look into adopting. Take your kids to a shelter one weekend and look and play with the animals. A pet just might be a small portion of someone's life, but to them that person is their whole life. Shelter pets have so much love to give and they can’t give you that affection from sitting in a cage with a cement floor. So please #adoptdontshop and give these wonderful creatures a second chance and a forever home!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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