With the millions of animals euthanized yearly and overburdened shelters, ‘adopt, not shop’ becomes more prevalent

Photos by Courtesy of FEMA

Jankhna Sura, Staff Writer

Over 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year, only confirmation to overpopulated animal shelters and few people willing to adopt across the nation. By adopting, the life of an animal can be potentially spared, the pet is given a second chance and the new owner is also repaid collectively.

Pet adoption not only aids an animal, it also rewards the owner financially and with time. When adopting, pets come with vaccinations, neutering and often microchipping that can be costly for one to get on their own. Additionally, most animals found in shelters are already house trained meaning financially one can save on housebreaking, training and furniture expenses. For many pets, being adopted gives them a second chance at a life and after staying at an animal shelter, they will adapt better to a new family.

Dogs sold at pet stores come from puppy mills which are abonimable “factory-style breeding mills” that profit off of exploiting animals. These horrendous mills disregard ethics as well as the animal’s health or wellbeing. Animals bred in puppy mills have ill-advised medical care, live in filthy and improper conditions and are often sick and disturbed. Female dogs at puppy mills are kept in cages and are constantly forced to be bred year after year. When no longer suitable for the needs of the mill, the dogs are killed, abandoned or sold. Puppy mills continue to be of business through deceit of pet stores, websites and classified ads. By adopting a dog at a rescue or animal shelter, one is not funding these sickening puppy mills.

Many people shy away from pet adoption in spite of the animal’s enigmatic history that may include mental and behavioral issues. What is not recognized is that with a pet from a breeder, there is no certainty that they will not have psychological problems. Additionally, if concerned about an animal’s behavior, one can always ask the shelter about their performance. The shelter staff generally want to help an potential buyer find a pet of their preference as they do not want the pet to return back to the shelter.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) also supports pet adoption and claims that animals are “psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions.” Taking care of a pet in need gives owners a sense of pride in helping an underprivileged animal and takes owners out of a solitary life.

Populous shelters across the nation allow over 6.5 million stray, lost and mistreated animals in every year. With new animals entering shelters everyday, there is simply not enough space available for all of them to stay. This causes over 2.7 million animals every year to be put to death, or euthanized, only for not having a family. Alongside the deaths of millions of innocent animals from overpopulation, buying a pet from a store is not coherent when so many shelter animals lack a loving home.

By buying a pet, one is contributing to abusive puppy mills and to the overpopulation of animals in shelters. With millions of dogs and cats left homeless every year, there is no need to buy a pet. Adoption is the easiest, most ethical and the best way to save and change a life.

“There’s nothing better than looking at your pet every day and knowing that you saved its life,” said Inga Fricke, Director of Sheltering Initiatives of the HSUS to Animal Planet.