“Adopt, Don’t Shop” is a saying that many of us have heard at one time or another. It refers to adopting pets from shelters rather than right out buying them from retailers. But why? Have you ever stopped to think why this saying is so commonplace, and why it even matters in the first place? Adopting an animal from a shelter has a wide variety of benefits, that go beyond just owning an animal.
Adopting a pet means saving a life. According to The Humane Society of the United States, each year 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized in the U.S. This is because there are far too many pets that are coming into shelters without enough owners coming in to adopt them. By adopting a pet rather than buying one, you are clearing up space in the shelter for another lovable animal to find a home.
Further, when you adopt your pet, you’re putting a huge roadblock in the way for puppy and kitten mills. These mills, which sell to stores, raise animals in very unsanitary and overcrowded conditions exclusively for profits. This means the breading animals spend the entirety of their lives in cages, and the health of all the animals is almost entirely neglected. To learn more, check out The Puppy Mill Project who aim to end puppy mill cruelty with education, outreach, and advocacy.
Not only does adoption save a life, but it is substantially cheaper than buying an animal. Adoption prices usually cover initial medical costs for the animal, including their first vaccinations. Also, a lot of adopted animals have already been house trained, which will end up saving you a lot of time and energy.
Adoption also allows you to find the animal that is just right for you. Whether you’re looking for an older or younger pet, high energy or low energy, or if you’re simply looking for an animal that runs up to you the first time you see it: you’ll find it. There are so many different animals that need to be adopted, and maybe you’ll end up taking home a friend that you didn’t expect to simply because they won your heart.
Not only will adopting a pet change your life, but it may even make you physically and mentally healthier. Having an animal has shown to have significant health benefits. According to the CDC, having a pet can lead to decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness, increased exercise and increased socialization. So there’s a lot to feel good about.
But let’s not forget the heart of having an animal. You’re not just adopting a pet, you’re making a best friend and adding a new family member to your home. Someone who you’ll love and cherish despite them constantly waking you up in the middle of the night, or barking out the window at each and every dog that passes by. And they’ll love you more than you would’ve ever expected. They’ll change your life as much as you’ll change theirs. You will make incredible memories that will last you the rest of your life.
If you’re looking to help a furry friend in need, check out one of the many amazing shelters and pet adoption agencies in the Buffalo Area. Or, if you’re not ready to adopt yet, volunteer! Pet shelters need all the help they can get.
By: Ashley Dressig