NOTICE: Adopt, don’t buy | Opinion
One of my favorite places to visit in Raleigh is the Village District. Although the atmosphere here smacks of both overpriced food and privilege, it offers an escape from college life – as well as some great antique shops. Due to its pedestrian disposition, I often see many dogs strutting the sidewalks, and almost always these are purebred dogs.
I have nothing against purebred dogs themselves. I believe all dogs deserve a loving home, and I’m not suggesting that all purebred dog owners don’t provide that. However, when someone decides to pay thousands of dollars for a purebred animal instead of spending that money supporting the lives of animals in need, I start having a problem.
When you choose to buy a purebred dog, it often means going to a breeder. Buying from breeders not only hurts your bank account, but also contributes to animal overpopulation. About 70 million cats and dogs are homeless in the United States alone. Only about 10% of these animals end up in shelters, where they have the chance to go to a loving home.
Although some breeders are better than others, shelters generally care more about animal welfare than profitability. Most puppies supplied to pet stores and breeders come from puppy mills, which are large-scale breeding operations. Often these places subject the animals to cruel conditions, as the goal is to produce as many puppies as possible. When you choose to adopt from a shelter, you are helping to eliminate unethical breeding practices.
Some people are reluctant to support shelters that euthanize their animals. However, shelters often resort to this measure due to lack of space and funding. When you adopt from a shelter, you not only free up space for another animal, but you also save the lives of other animals in the shelter.
If the idea of adopting an animal from one of these shelters still puts you off, don’t worry. Another option is a “no-kill” shelter like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County, where animals are not euthanized unless they are too ill or injured. to fully recover, or if they cause a problem. serious threat to human security.
Plus, shelters aren’t the only places to adopt animals — there are rescues, too. Often these organizations are made up of dedicated volunteers who take steps to ensure that their pets end up in the right home. Rescues are usually made up of foster families or people who temporarily care for certain animals during the rescue.
There is a common misconception that shelter animals are less healthy than purebred animals. However, this is not necessarily the case. Many decent shelters almost always provide veterinary care upon an animal’s arrival, such as vaccinations, as well as consistent, healthy nutrition.
Also, purebreds have a higher case of health disorders. Due to the growing popularity of dog shows over the past two centuries, the selection of desirable traits through inbreeding has increased. This resulted in purebreds not only having a higher incidence of genetic disorders, but also greater health problems due to their body shapes. For example, a Boston Terrier’s squashed nose – while very cute – makes it more prone to respiratory problems than other dog breeds.
But if you’re determined to get a thoroughbred, consider a rescue before going to a breeder. That’s right – there are breed specific rescues! From corgis to ragdoll cats, there are a plethora of organizations dedicated to ensuring the welfare of your favorite breeds.
No matter where you choose to get your loyal friend, make sure you’re prepared to take on the heavy responsibility of caring for an animal. Many of the animals that end up in shelters and rescues are surrenders. As Deputy Opinion Editor Mari Fabian wrote, most of us have so much to do and so little time to do it – owning a pet might not be the best choice right now.
Pets can make wonderful additions to our lives, brighten our days, and give us something to look forward to when we return home. However, almost any pet can provide these benefits without a high price tag or aesthetic appeal. When you choose to adopt over shopping, your new friend won’t be the only one given a new chance at life, but you might too.