In deciding to get a dog, you will undoubtedly reach the question of “Should I adopt or buy a dog?” The answer to that question ultimately comes down to you, but below are five reasons to adopt a shelter dog instead of buying from a breeder.
1. You’re saving a life!
Smatterist (Before Adoption and After!)
By adopting from a shelter, you’re saving a dog from living out the rest of their life there. The difference is noticeable (see above). Anywhere from 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters every year and you can help add to the millions of pets that are adopted each year (via The Human Society).
2. You don’t contribute to puppy mills.
It’s unfortunate, but many pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills. You may be asking yourself “What is a puppy mill?”. Unfortunately, there is no nice way to answer the question. They’re mass breeding facilities that are often inhumane and focused more on profit than the well-being of their animals. By choosing to adopt, you would not support those puppy mills.
3. You help control pet overpopulation.
Remember how Bob Barker on would remind everyone at the end of the show to “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”? He made this reminder for an important reason. Every year there are 2.4 million dogs and cats that were completely healthy and adoptable that have to be put down (via The Humane Society). Often those pets are the offspring of family pets that have not been spayed or neutered and are sent to the shelter. By adopting, you help save those healthy offspring from living in the shelter.
4. You save money.
It’s not uncommon for people involved in dog shows or agility competitions to want a purebred dog to train and groom. That said, most pet parents tend to not fall into that category. One could argue that there is little reason to pay incredible amounts of money for a purebred dog instead of adopting. Not including the time spent trying to differentiate between a reputable breeder and a backyard breeder, the upfront cost is already much more than for a rescue dog. A shelter dog is a fraction of the cost and their fee often covers medical care, food, transportation, vaccines, and more (via Petfinder).
5. There are also purebreds in shelters!
Still not convinced that you should adopt instead of shop in order to get a purebred dog? Approximately 25% of animals in shelters are purebred (via The Humane Society)! Even if you’re not sure you want to risk going to a shelter and not finding the specific breed that you want, there are also plenty of Breed Rescues out there. Petfinder offers a helpful article on how to go about locating a breed rescue -> here. The AKC Rescue Network also has a website where you can look up rescues for the specific breed you are searching for -> here. The American Kennel Club Rescue Network is the largest network in the USA for dog rescue groups.