This post topic isn’t related to my usual blog topic, but being assigned to write on a social issue I decided to choose one that many people can relate to, pets.
Many people have pets, and whether to buy from a pet shop, breeder, or to adopt is often a big decision. Though it may be tempting to get that cute kitten from the pet store or to go with a breeder because you prefer a certain breed of dog, adoption from a shelter or rescue is always the best choice. It is the best option in terms of pet health and helping control the pet population.
Health is often a concern for people looking to add a new furry family member. Today more people know that pets at pet stores often come from puppy or kitten mills that are only interested in creating a profit. As a result of this and the fact that pet store conditions tend not to allow animals the space they need to exercise, many pets from pet stores tend to have health problems. Due to this reputation some pet stores have stopped selling animals.
Few people tend to be concerned with the health of a dog purchased from a breeder, but with the popularity of the internet as a way of selling pets, what you are getting is anything but certain. It’s much easier for anyone to pass themselves off as a reputable breeder, particularly since there are no regulations regarding who can breed animals. The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) cites the case of a puppy named Charlie on their website.
When Charlie’s owners found him online, it seemed they were getting a healthy puppy, from a reputable breeder who offered them a certificate as proof of vaccination. What they got, however, was anything but. Charlie as it turned out had not been vaccinated, his owners only found this out when taking him to the vet for a case of worms, at which time the vet informed them the certificate was a fake. Soon after test confirmed that Charlie had Parvo virus, which unfortunately has no cure. Though vets at the VHS treated his symptoms in an attempt to save his life, Charlie died at just 12 weeks old.
Even with a reputable breeder, purebred animals tend to have more health problems due to the small population of animals being bred. As a result purebred pets tend to have shorter lives than mix breeds and the health problems they develop can often be costly.
By buying a pet from a pet shop or breeder you are encouraging them to produce more and there will be an animal in a shelter who has no home as a result. When you adopt you help control the populations of cats and dogs, because if purebreds were not in demand fewer would be produced. Adoption also helps to control the number of homeless pets as most shelters spay or neuter the animals up for adoption, so that they do not contribute to the problem in the future.
If you are truly interested in a specific breed you can try tools like Pet Finder, which can help you find what you are looking for at a rescue nearby.
For more information about why adopting a pet is the best choice check out my referenced material: The Vancouver Humane Society, Pet MD’s Where to Get a Puppy and Why Breeding Pets is Irresponsible on Green Planet or visit the website of your local pet shelter.