Adopting Your Next Pet


Mabel Ra

Adopt, don’t shop! Photo taken at the Yorba Linda PoochMatch Animal Rescue.

Most people have a special fond of animals, especially as pets. However, the fact that most people are not fully aware of is that there is an enormous difference between adopting from rescues and shelters and buying from breeders and pet stores.


One of the main things to note is the main interests for shelters and breeders. For breeders, their main intention is to sell, make profit, and breed more to make a larger profit. For shelters, they take the adoption fee and return the money back into the cause: to rescue and shelter an additional animal. For every purchase that is made with a breeder or a pet store, consumers give their money– often an incredibly large amount– into a cause that does not put the animals first. Sure, there are some breeders who do care about their animals, but if they really cared about animals, they would be advocating for adoptions from shelters to prevent more needless deaths.


Just in the United States, there are about 70 million stray animals living on the streets (One Green Planet). With this in mind, it’s impossible for shelters to take in every single stray; thus, this ultimately leads to several million strays left in the streets with the danger of cars, starvation, and medical issues. On an additional note, Megan Teeling (11) sees adopting as “necessary,” especially since “there are so many kill-shelters” that are unable to care for all of the animals. Many shelters across the US are named as “kill-shelters,” because after a certain time period of animals staying in the shelter without any adopters, shelters cannot afford to continue housing them– they would rather give a chance to another stray. Euthanizing animals because they haven’t been adopted in a short time period is incredibly unethical, especially knowing the fact that while these animals are being forced to die, breeders are relentlessly bringing in new animals into the world.


Moreover, while purchasing a pet from a breeder or pet store may “help” one animal, adopting from a shelter or rescue saves two animals. This is due to the fact that after a pet adoption from a shelter or a rescue, the shelters and rescues are then able to rescue an additional animal from the streets since they now have the space to do so.


When there are millions of strays, millions of animals in rescues and shelters, and millions being euthanized for a lack of home, it becomes incredibly unjustifiable to purchase a pet from a breeder. There are so many animals awaiting forever homes in shelters and rescues, already making it a problem since there won’t be enough families and homes to each adopt and give a home to these animals. However, breeders only contribute to this dilemma since they are constantly bringing in more animals into the world. When overpopulation is already such a prevalent issue, what is the justification in bringing in additional animals? Each purchase with a breeder results in a homeless shelter animal losing its chance at finding a forever home.


Ultimately, it all comes down to whether you would like save a rescue or shelter animal’s life (and the following animals it consequently allows) or a luxuriously bred animal. It’s a difficult feat for the entire world to learn to adopt, but each person can make an incredible contribution to the world, since every adoption made makes an incredible impact on the animal’s life, the animal that takes its place, and surely, your life.