I am a huge dog lover. I want dogs around me at all times. I want to cuddle them and pet them and play ball with them and frolic through fields of wildflowers with them. Dogs live in the moment, they love unconditionally, and they are just such great companions! If you’re thinking of getting a dog, I’m super jealous. I just don’t have the means (finances, space, time, etc.) to give a dog a good home at this point in my life. But one day I will adopt – not buy – and you should, too! Here’s why:
- Adopting a dog (or any other animal) means that you’re giving him a fur-ever home. Imagine spending your life with no stability, in a kennel with no one to call your own. Dogs in shelters aren’t necessarily mistreated, but a life that is constantly up in the air is stressful on an animal!
- When you buy a dog from a pet store, you’re directly supporting puppy mills. I am so surprised by the number of people who don’t know this. Dogs who are sold in pet stores are treated as products, not living, breathing creatures capable of feeling love, sadness, and a whole range of emotions. They are bred in factory-like settings, and most of them never get to see the light of day or feel grass beneath their paws. I won’t go into the gory details, but I encourage you to do your research. I’ll get you started with a first-hand account from someone who worked for a puppy mill and a list of the worst puppy mills in the United States.
- An estimated 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year because they are not adopted. Three million! You can adopt from a no-kill shelter to help prevent this, but whatever you do, adopt! One of my favorite thoughts on this: Every time you adopt, you save two lives, because every animal adopted makes room for another!
There are a million other reasons. You’ll have a best friend who loves you unconditionally. If you’re concerned about getting a pure-bred dog, an estimated 25% of dogs in shelters are pure-bred. Many shelters include spay/neutering fees and initial vet visits in their adoption fees. I could go on and on. But just take a look at these before and after shots of dogs before they made it to a shelter and after rehabilitation (courtesy of onepicturesaves.com). They speak for themselves!
But what if you can’t have a dog right now? For me, I don’t have one because I know I wouldn’t be able to financially support a dog, I wouldn’t be able to give him enough time, and I wouldn’t want him penned up in my apartment by himself all day (not to mention that I’m not allowed dogs at my current place). One day I will give a pup a loving home, but I want that to be a responsible and well thought out decision. Here are some ways you can help without adopting:
- Volunteer at your local shelter. You can walk dogs, scoop poop, or even just work in the office!
- Spread the news about the horrors of puppy mills and encourage people to adopt, not shop.
- Donate money or goods to your local shelter. Some shelters are overrun with dog food but are in desperate need of cleaning supplies. Reach out to them and ask what they need right now! Here’s a tip: clip coupons for these items so you can get them at a cheaper price before donating. Then you can give even more!
Woof woof! xo Sara