Where to Adopt a Pet and Why

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Where to Adopt a Pet and Why

Siamese Snowshoe 'Lady Fae' stares into the sunlight entering through an above window. She was adopted in April of 2018 from a shelter sponsored by Pet Smart.

Siamese Snowshoe 'Lady Fae' stares into the sunlight entering through an above window. She was adopted in April of 2018 from a shelter sponsored by Pet Smart.

Siamese Snowshoe 'Lady Fae' stares into the sunlight entering through an above window. She was adopted in April of 2018 from a shelter sponsored by Pet Smart.

Siamese Snowshoe 'Lady Fae' stares into the sunlight entering through an above window. She was adopted in April of 2018 from a shelter sponsored by Pet Smart.

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Owning an animal has many benefits for both the pet and the owner. By adopting, not only is the life of the pet being saved, but that of the owner as well. French poet Anatole France even went as far as saying,

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Animals have several health benefits, including help with stress.

Health Magazine composed a list of four ways owning a pet can alleviate stress.

Pets lower stress hormones.

By simply interacting with an animal after a stressful or even traumatic event, the high levels of cortisol (the body’s main stress hormone) can be brought down.

Pets can lower blood pressure.

Since stress is commonly associated with an accelerated heart rate and higher blood pressure, relaxation with a dog or cat can exhibit immediate, calming results.

Pets keep stressed minds off of their problems.

Taking a walk outside with an animal and breathing in fresh air is a simple way to de-stress. Animals treasure the little things in life, and seeing them do so may help people do the same, rather than worrying about their problems.

Pets provide therapy.

Dogs and cats can be certified as emotional support animals for those dealing with anxiety, depression or other health problems.

Though pets may have these benefits, where they should be adopted from seems to be a trending controversy.

An animal shelter can be defined as an establishment, especially one supported by charitable contributions, that provides a temporary home for dogs, cats and other animals that are offered for adoption.

A puppy mill, on the other hand, is a facility where animals are forced to breed their whole lives until they are physically incapable. The offspring of the animals breeding is then put up for adoption.

While animal shelters and humane societies rescue/take in animals that can no longer be cared for, puppy mills are, in a sense, factories where animals are produced as quickly and often as possible.

The Humane Society of America outlined several reasons why every person should adopt a pet from a shelter, one being that adopting saves lives. Each year, over two million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized due to overpopulation in shelters. According to Pets for Patriots, adopting an animal also leaves space in shelters for the next animal in need to be held.

Sophomore Valeria Caro noted that she prefers adopting pets from shelters/humane societies because “the benefits of what the animals come with are better.”

Adopting an animal from a shelter or humane society guarantees shots/vaccines and all paperwork. At most animal facilities, the pet can be adopted for between $50-$150 (unless bought from a non-local breeder). Considering all of the shots that animals receive prior to adoption, and all other services given, this price is exceptionally low.

Shelters/humane societies also promote the fair and healthy treatment of all their animals.

Compared to this, puppy mills are on the odd end of the spectrum.

Puppy mill animals aren’t limited to the breeding facility–pet stores and online vendors almost always sell their animals from puppy mills.

According to Animal Law, puppy mills are known for their small cages where animals spend 24 hours a day seven days a week with little to no contact with people. These “housing” areas are usually deplorable and unsanitary to an extreme point. Also, the documentation and veterinary papers in many puppy mills have been found to be false. This means that whether or not animals have been properly vaccinated is unknown.

Adding to this, puppy mills are often associated with crime. The latest case occurred in New York, where over 30 animals were seized for inhumane conditions, two still remaining hospitalized (A/O January 29, 2019).

The main problem with puppy mills, however, is money. Animals purchased from puppy mills rather than shelters can cost twice as much without vaccinations. Unlike shelters and humane societies, the bigger portion of money earned from the distribution of animals goes towards the seller with a minimal amount going towards food. This prevents the animals from receiving the proper care they need, in most cases.

In humane societies/shelters, the money animals are purchased with goes towards their shots/vaccines, food, and other care. In some cases, the money is even donated to organizations supporting animals.

In the end, the benefits of purchasing an animals from a shelter/humane society outweigh those coming out of purchasing from a puppy mill or any store selling from a puppy mill.

By clicking here, a pledge can be taken to stop puppy mills.

Note: Although this article strictly opposes puppy mills, the intention isn’t to degrade every breeder. There ARE good breeders in the world. The best breeders don’t operate only to make money and will make sure their animals go to an appropriate home. For help with finding responsible dog breeders, click here.

American Kennel Club listed the following most popular dog breeds in America (2017):

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepard
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Bulldog

Oscar Sutton
Brown Golden Retriever gazes into the woods. Image labeled for reuse on Unsplash.

This is Insider composed the following list of the most popular cat breeds in America (2018):

  1. Exotic
  2. Ragdoll
  3. British Shorthair
  4. Persian
  5. Maine Coon

Bee Felten-Leidel
A fluffy Maine Coon named Ben poses in the forest. Image labeled for reuse on Unsplash.

Five of Care.com‘s activities to do with a dog:

  1. Take a trip to the pet store and pick out some toys!
  2. Go on a hike. Think beyond the neighborhood!
  3. Have a mini photo-shoot! Find an interesting location such as Garden of the Gods or Yule Valley.
  4. Invite some friends with dogs over, and throw a puppy party!
  5. Relax. Turn on the T.V., tune in to Netflix and enjoy cuddling.

Five of R2ppet‘s activities to do with a cat:

  1. Wave a feather wand and engage in some ferocious fun!
  2. Grab a cardboard box or paper bag and prepare for hours of entertainment.
  3. Dress up! Imagine how cute (insert your cat’s name here) would look dressed up as a dragon!
  4. Lay out a picnic blanket (on a warm day, of course), and sun bathe while getting some bird-watching in!
  5. Catnip. Does much more need to be said?
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