Every pet that has come into my life has been a stray or a pet that was left at a shelter. For me, this has proven to be a wonderful thing, as I think these pets know the life they had before me wasn’t desirable and they can see the kind of life and love that I provide them.
But if you are shopping for a pet, please think twice about doing so. Many of those pet store pets come from puppy mills (warning: the pictures are very hard to look at) where dogs never get to stand on grass or sold ground, their feet are on a wire floor, which causes joint problems and health issues. There is a great article here about where the pet store dog comes from.
Also, buying a pure breed dog can sometimes create more problems. Many breeders are reputable, but many are not and do it just for the money. A friend of mine wanted a German Shepherd dog. She went to a breeder in her city and put down a $200 deposit for a $750 dog. This only included their first shots and removal of their dew claws, nothing else. Once she picked up the puppy, and a month later, she noticed the dog was just not herself. She took the dog to the vet and found out the dog had several health issues including bloat and in order to save the dog, it would cost approximately $5000 for surgery, medication, and rehabilitation. She contacted the breeder immediately, and found that the whole litter except for one dog had the same issues. She was refunded only $500 and spent well over $1000 getting the dog diagnosed. It was a horrible situation that I would never wish on anyone. She now only adopts from shelters and she does speeches within her city to talk about the benefits of adopting over shopping.
That’s not to say that all breeders are this way, but your research should be done thoroughly before deciding on getting a pure bred dog and who you are getting it from. Ask your vet, get word of mouth, anything to prove that the breeder is doing their job correctly.
Let’s look at the pros of adopting a dog from a shelter. Most cases a dog has had all their shots, been spayed or neutered, been heart worm tested and treated if they are treatable, and has been vet checked to ensure that they are adoptable. Also, because of the economy, there are many pure bred dogs in shelters, as people are no longer able to afford a dog. Let’s break down the cost:
Getting a dog from a breeder:
Rabies/Parvo/Distemper shots $90*
Vet check (wellness exam) $60*
Cost of dog from breeder $500*
*Approximate amounts, it may vary depending on the vet, and the price of the dog from the breeder.
Getting a dog from a shelter:
Adopting the dog anywhere from $50-$200*
*Approximate value, depending on what the shelter charges.
As you can see, there is quite a difference in the amount to pay. I find that my adopted animals are extremely loving, silly, sweet and it feels good to know that I saved a life. You are not only saving the life of one animal, you are saving the life of two, the one you adopted, and you are making room for another animal to live in the shelter.
There are some wonderful commercials from the Shelter Pet Project on youtube that show what a wonderful thing you are doing by adopting. It’s also getting close to Christmas, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a pet share the holidays with you?
Where do you look to adopt a pet? Well, you can go to your local animal shelter, and you can look on a great site called Petfinder. In the top left corner it says “Adopt/Find a Pet”. Start there. You will find there are many wonderful fur babies just looking to find their forever home. Help them find true bliss. You will feel good about doing it as well. Save a life, don’t shop…Adopt!