Adopt don’t shop


The large swinging doors loomed before us as we left the cheerful lobby behind. Through those doors, rows of concrete walls formed a maze of dingy, dirty cells. Walking through the labyrinth was terrifying–ferocious dogs gnashed their teeth against the grates and howled as we marched by. We came to adopt a dog, but now I was seriously reconsidering running out the door for my own safety. My mom came up to me and pointed out the dog, “Mozart,” that suited her fancy. A powerful lab mix pulled her down the halls, me trailing far behind. After about fifteen minutes outside, Mozart had settled down and later that weekend we took him home. The ferocious lab we thought was a crazy idea became “our little baby” as my sister nicknamed him.

From this experience we learned that a kennel is a stressful environment and it is not a good example for how they will act if you take them home. I’m not saying that everyone has to get a dog from the shelter or a stray that comes their way, because not all dogs are for everybody, but one could be. You might not find the right dog as quickly as you want but one is sure to come along.

The next issue that occurs is that if you buy from pet stores, you could be supporting puppy mills. There are around 10,000 licensed and unlicensed puppy mills in the U.S. Not only are all the animals in a horrible environment, but an estimated 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized by shelters every year according to the Humane Society’s website, Now let’s be real, that’s a lot, and think of how many of those animals could have been the best pet you ever had.

Puppies are great because you can bond with them and they will be bonded to you from a very young age. With older dogs however, you know what you’re getting. Puppies are also a huge commitment and if you don’t have the time to train them properly right away, they can be more than you can handle. All in all, you should adopt, not shop, meaning that dogs from animal shelters, or pounds are just as good as dogs from breeders and pet stores.