Trust me, I understand the desire to want a particular breed of dog. There are some that are just so cute! However, I also understand something far more important, something that some people choose to ignore. When someone decides to “buy” a purebred dog, they are essentially killing a dog in a shelter. Sorry, but there is no sugar coating it. It’s a harsh reality. When a person/family goes to the pet store, or newspaper ad, or online, they are not only encouraging the seller to keep doing what they’re doing (breeding dogs), but they are also filling a spot in their home that could have been used to save a shelter dog.
Let me break it down for you. According to the Humane Society of the United States, only about 30% of pets currently in homes are from shelters or rescues. (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/pet_ownership_statistics.html).
30 percent!!!? Come on people! This results in MILLIONS of healthy, innocent pets being euthanized each year because there are simply not enough homes for them. Can you imagine the difference that the other 70% of people could make if they chose to adopt instead of buy? The thought that 4 years ago, I contributed to the problem is something I often struggle with. What was I thinking? Is it really about how a dog looks? I take full responsibility for my uneducated decision, but never again will I EVER even consider buying a dog, until every single shelter dog has a home. This, if nothing else, is what I hope people will come to understand. These animals are not subpar because they are shelter dogs. In fact, many purebred dogs are surrendered to the SPCA and other shelters every day. There are also rescues for almost every breed out there.
Adopting from a shelter is not only the right thing to do but it’s also the most economical. Think about it: your adopted dog comes spayed/neutered, and fully vetted for the low price of approximately $100-$200 (in my area). Not to mention how grateful the homeless dog will be when you save him from that noisy, stressful shelter. Conversely, a local breeder in the newspaper is charging $400 for a chihuahua puppy, who is not spayed/neutered and who has only had its first set of puppy shots. That means that the next 2 rounds of puppy shots and wormings are your responsibility. You could easily spend close to $1,000 by the time it’s all said and done. Kinda crazy huh?
Places to avoid when looking for a new furry friend:
-Backyard Breeders (ads in the newspaper or alongside the road)- most of these people are in it for the money and have no concern who they sell their pups to.
-Pet stores- First off, the prices that these stores charge are astronomical and most of the puppies in them come from puppy mill situations.
-Craigslist- Don’t even get me started.
So please, please, I’m begging you. The millions of shelter dogs in the world are begging you. DO NOT SHOP, ADOPT!!