Adopt, don’t shop

Jahmeelah Wilson, Centurion Staff

Who doesn’t love going to a pet shop, and looking at all the cute two- and four-legged friends as they come running up to the glass window to greet you as you walk by. All of the animals are irresistibly cute and you will do almost anything to take one of them home. Unfortunately, most of the puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.
According to the ASPCA, there are 7.6 million potential pets that enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and only 2.7 million of those actually get adopted.
“Purchasing pet store animals means not only supporting the cruel puppy mill industry but also taking a home away from one of the “4 to 5 million unwanted shelter animals killed each year.” Because of the inbreeding and filthy conditions common to puppy mills, they often produce animals with serious health problems which typically result in hefty vet fees. On top of this, pet stores generally do not socialize their animals. The puppies may consequently develop behavioral problems which do not make them ideal as pets. Pet shops dispose of unsold animals in, at times, unscrupulous ways,” according to
Juno the pitbull is a prime example of when shelters succeed in saving an animal’s life. The description of the pitbull read, “Must leave shelter before 8 p.m. on 12/20/15.” It is 5 p.m. If the dog does not get adopted, she will be euthanized. She is a six-month-old pit bull, merely a puppy. She has been given a death sentence before she even gets a chance to live. At shelters, such as Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT), they receive many dogs and cats that are abused, found as strays, or are owner surrenders. This particular puppy was a stray. Growing up on the streets is much different from being in a cage. She hid in the back of her kennel as potential adopters passed by. Luckily, before 8 p.m. the Philadelphia SPCA saved her.
The brown and white puppy went to another shelter, put in another cage, in hopes of finding a home. Within a month, she was adopted and given the name Juno. Though timid, Juno went to a new home and warmed up within a couple of days.
There is also a problem with overpopulation at shelters. Perfectly good dogs and cats are euthanized because they are overlooked, for being too old, or sick. Juno is one of the lucky ones. Let’s hope this encourages all who want a pet to adopt, not shop.
Nine Reasons to Adopt a Pet

1. Because you’ll save a life
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save your animal and open up shelter space for another animal who might need it.
2. Because you’ll get a great animal.
Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets ended up there because of a human problem like a move or a divorce, not because the animal did anything wrong.
3. Because you’ll get a great bargain.
When you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations and sometimes microchipping is usually included in the adoption price, which means you’ve scored a major deal—a fuzzy deal who will thank you with kisses or purrs for years to come.
4. Because of the bragging rights.
No one needs to see another selfie—unless it’s a selfie of you with the adorable cat you just adopted, like the hero you are! Adopt a pet, post the pictures and let the love (likes) roll in.
5. Because it’s one way to fight puppy mills.
You’re too smart to get a dog from a pet store or online seller—you might as well buy direct from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are “factory style” breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result.
6. Because your decor will thank you.
Many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already housetrained, which means you’re not only saving a pet’s life, you may be saving your rug.
7. Because all pets are good for your health, but an adopted pet is good for your self-esteem.
Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial.
8. Because you’re environmentally responsible.
You recycle your paper and plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfills, and you know that recycled materials make all sorts of things. A “recycled” pet can make something even better.
9. You’ll change a homeless animal’s whole world.
And get a new best friend in the bargain. Seriously, what could be better than that?

*Courtesy of the Humane Society.Org