Adopting a pet from a shelter instead of from a pet store is the right thing to do!
Shelters across the country are overcrowded and innocent, wonderful pets face being euthanized simply for space. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that six to eight million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year. Only half of those animals are adopted. Millions of dogs are euthanized each year because they have no homes.
Adopting a shelter dog is saving a life. Buying a puppy from the pet store is perpetuating the growth of the puppy mill industry.
A puppy mill is a very large, commercial dog breeding facility where the emphasis is on profit over the well-being of the dogs. Puppy mills breed puppies with no consideration for genetic quality, causing dogs to be born with serious hereditary defects. Puppies from puppy mills are typically sold to pet shops and often suffer severe health issues. Puppy mills do not remove sick dogs from breeding pools, resulting in dogs who have a much higher than usual incidence of diseases such as epilepsy, heart disease, kidney disease, deafness, blindness and more.
Puppy mills house dogs in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions without adequate socialization, food, water and veterinary care. Female dogs are bred at every conceivable opportunity and then killed when they can no longer breed. There is no consideration for the life of the dogs at puppy mills. Conversely, animal shelters and pounds take in homeless dogs and attempt to find them a home. Their last recourse is euthanizing, and this is often only a response to overcrowding. Shelter dogs are often friendlier, trained, better socialized and perfect pets from the very beginning.
With the hard economic times our country has been facing, many shelter dogs are wonderful family pets who have been given up because of hard times (not that I believe this to be a valid reason). They are housebroken, friendly, funny, healthy animals who want nothing more than a good home and a family to call their own. Puppy mills, on the other hand, contribute to genocide of certain breeds as they become rife with health problems from the unsanitary and unscrupulous breeding practices.
Help stop puppy mills and adopt a shelter dog today – the number of lives you save from that one act are untold.