Updated November 5, 2020
Statistics show that there are 6.5 million pets in 14,000 animal shelters in the US in 2020. If you are thinking of getting a dog or other kind of pet, this is a good reason to consider adopting one from an animal shelter rather than buying from a pet shop. Let’s talk about it. There are a number of good reasons why adopting a rescue dog is a better option than getting one from a pet shop. Here are six of best reasons why.
1. You will be saving a dog’s life
Actually, you will probably be saving more than one: the dog you adopt and the dog that gets an available berth. In the U.S alone, millions of dogs are euthanized every year, mainly because there are too many dogs in shelters and not enough people that want to adopt them. If you choose to adopt one of these dogs, not only are you saving the dog you adopt from getting euthanized; you are also saving another dog who will now take your newly adopted dog’s place in the shelter. The shelter can now give this new dog the care it needs and hope that another person like you will adopt them.
2. They are generally great pets
Many of you will probably find this hard to believe because of the myths you hear from the media. Many have the misconception that rescue dogs are mostly abandoned or abused dogs and as such are problematic and hard to take care of. This is not true at all.
Although there are some abandoned and abused dogs in shelters, most are there due to other reasons. Most end up in shelters because their owners can no longer take care of them for one of several reasons. This could be moving to a place where pets aren’t allowed, being financially unable to take care of a pet, or someone in the family having health issues from having a dog, such as allergies. Many of the dogs in shelters are actually trained, disciplined and happy dogs that their previous owners had to leave. They already know how it feels to be loved and to love, so they won’t find it hard to show you their love when you give them yours.
3. It is usually cheaper
When getting a puppy from a pet store, spaying/neutering, vaccination shots and other services are added costs. When getting a dog from a shelter, these are usually already included in the overall cost of adopting. Some even include a microchipping service. If you are lucky, you may even get a dog that has already been properly trained and disciplined by its previous owner, which saves you on housebreaking and training costs.
4. You help put puppy mills out of business
If you opt not to adopt from a shelter you will probably get one from a pet store. Although it may not be true for all cases, dogs in pet stores usually come from so-called puppy mills. These puppy mills are like factories that churn out puppies for sale. Like most factories their goal is to make as much profit as possible by selling as many puppies as possible. As you can imagine, the conditions in these places are not in the best interest of the animals. The dogs typically live in very poor conditions with minimal or no medical care. In these puppy mills,dogs are just commodities to be sold. By buying from pet stores, you are unintentionally propagating this puppy mill trade.
5. It may be safer
Most shelters take a lot of time and effort to find out as much as they can about the rescue dogs in their care. The goal of animal shelters is to rescue and help dogs in need. They are able to do a better job of taking care of the dogs if they have enough background information.
This means when you go to these shelters to adopt a dog to adopt, the staff can give you a lot of information about these dogs than a pet shop owner would have on hand. You know what you are getting yourself into even before you commit. There are fewer surprises for you and your family. Additionally, you will also be able to take better care of the dog. Of course, the information will not always be precise but you will at least have a better idea of your adopted dog’s personality.
6. You will appreciate it more
Getting a puppy from the pet store is nice, but nothing beats the feeling of rescuing a homeless dog and giving it a new home. This is even truer if you rescue a disabled dog or a dog with special needs. You and your family will immediately feel a sense of fulfillment and bond with your newly adopted companion. This is something you can never buy from a pet store.