Shopping Vs. Adopting Companion Animals



At some point in one’s life, getting a companion animal is fairly common. But when the decision of raising a cat or dog is risen, a lot of people question whether to shop or adopt. Well, think of it this way: would you rather buy or adopt a child? When you put the words into a different circumstance the answer becomes pretty clear, doesn’t it? If you were purchasing a child form the slave trade, would that be a good thing to do? Morally, no, but if you were adopting a child from a foster care system, of course it would be great. 
Some may wonder, well either way you’re saving their lives, correct? Well yes, that is true, but what else are you really doing? You’re supporting the service which you gave your money to. In this case, either the slave trade or the foster care system. The same sort of thoughts can go into adopting a companion animal. Now, the conditions of puppy or kitten mills and breeders may be unknown to many and wonder why they would be different from adopting, but if you think about how these animals were treated and their sole purpose, the answer becomes vivid; similar to how slaves are treated vs. foster children.

 Besides the obvious costs of buying from breeders and puppy and kitten mills vs. animal sanctuaries, adopting an animal not only saves a life by providing an already alive animal with a home rather than supporting a breeder to breed pets unnaturally. As we know, the population of cat and dogs is far too many for shelters to hold. And unfortunately, these animals who can not find a home may be taken to no kill shelters in which euthanize them. Specifically, these statistics prove that adopting an animal rather than buying, not only saves the life of that animal, but animals that will now have a spot in a non-kill shelter, and animals of breeders who will be less and less breeded from thanks to supply and demand.  “One of the sadest of all dog facts – Roughly 8 million animals enter shelters every year. Even sadder, about 4 million dogs and cats will be killed in pounds and shelters each year. About 3 million of them were killed because a new home was not found for them.Statistics gathered by the No Kill Advocacy Center show that there are as many as 23 million people who are planning to get an animal next year. 17 million of those have not decided WHERE to get their animal. Even if 80% of those people ultimately decide to get their animal from somewhere else there would still be more than enough people to adopt the 3 million animals being put down in shelters. The No Kill Advocacy Center has suggested 10 steps for a shelter to change from a kill shelter to a No Kill Animal Shelter.

With that being said, although saving lives is crucial, it’s not the only reason. Best Friends Animal Society does a great job of listing others:

“There are lots of good reasons to adopt rather than buy a pet. Here are a few of them:

• Buying a pet can easily cost $500 to $1,000 or more. Adoption costs range from $50 to $200, depending on whether the pet comes from the city shelter or a rescue group that has spent money on boarding, vets and grooming.

• You’re getting more for your money if you get a mixed breed. Based on the well-established principle of “hybrid vigor,” a mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a pure breed. Many purebred dogs are prone to developing health problems ranging from breathing difficulties to hip dysplasia to an enlarged heart.

• A pet purchased from a pet store is a complete unknown. And, once you walk out of the store, you are on your own – most pet stores don’t provide any support if you have questions or problems with your new pet. When you adopt, especially from a rescue group, you know what you are getting because the group has a history on the animal. The rescue group will also help you through the familiarization period because they are invested in providing a good home for that animal.

• When you adopt a pet, you are saving a life. When you buy a pet, you not only deny a homeless pet a home, you are supporting an industry that thrives on shortchanging the welfare of animals. Puppy and kitten mills (which sell to pet stores) are in business to make a profit, so they churn out puppies and kittens as fast as they can. These animals are often in ill health and have problems like poor socialization skills due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding.

• If you adopt, you get your choice of any age. Though puppies and kittens are cute and cuddly, they can also be a handful. An adult or older pet may be a better “fit” for you. For example, adopting an adult dog who’s already house-trained and knows basic commands is often much easier than adopting a puppy, who must be taught these things.

• You get just as much love (if not more). An adopted pet is every bit as loving, intelligent and loyal as a purchased pet, even if you get an adult or older animal.”


The only important thing they didn’t mention was the cruelty of puppy or kitten mills. By buying from a pet shop or breeder, you are supporting cruelty. These animals at mills are bred over and over in a cage, and it sounds just as bad as it is. They are treated as objects, not living beings. Besides this, the conditions are horrific!

Now don’t get me wrong, not all breeders mistreat their animals, but is this something that is necessary – spend a lot of money just to get a certain breed of dog or cat by forcing it to breed with specific animals? It just doesn’t seem to make since in any situation. These animals are not things. Would it be fair to say you wouldn’t buy a child from someone who forced to people to produce him or her because of their genetic makeup?

This cruel cycle is what is leading to animal overpopulation, resulting in suffering of so many animals. The Human Society if the United States explains that “Puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor conditions. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are often killed, abandoned or sold cheaply to another mill to try and get “one more litter” out of the dog. The annual result of all this breeding is millions of puppies, many with behavior and/or health problems.”

Clearly, the health problems associated with not only the animal being breeded but the poor mother which usually has malnutrition with the lack of veterinary care, just doesn’t seem worth it. 

Now, in case you don’t get the full picture of the neglect and inhumane treatment of these animals from pet stores, breeders, or mills, take a peak at the video below and see for yourself of the ‘behind the bars’ life and learn how to help. 
Warning, this is graphic and may cause extreme discomfort, especially to young audiences.

Also, if you’re still interested in the benefits of adopting as opposed to buying, this is a great resource