Five Reasons You Should #AdoptDontShop

Posted by Katherine Ripley
Robert McNicholas/Flickr

There are millions of shelter animals that need loving homes.

Thinking of getting a pet? The most important question you need to ask yourself--after deciding what kind of pet you want--is whether you will purchase a pet from a pet store or a breeder, or adopt a pet from a shelter.

Here are five reasons to adopt a pet, rather than buying:

1. Shelters are overcrowded.

reasons to adopt a pet
"Paturo"/Flickr

About 7.6 animals enter shelters every year in the United States. Less than one million of those are returned to their owners who lost them before they became strays, so that leaves an awful lot of animals that need to find loving homes.

2. Shelters euthanize for space.

reasons to adopt a pet
Allen Park/Flickr

About one third of the animals that enter shelters each year are euthanized. The ones that are sick are the first to go, but shelters also euthanize healthy animals simply because they need the space.

By adopting a pet, you have the potential to save a life.

3. Adoption is cheaper.

shelter pets 4
Ali Crehan/Flickr

The fee for adopting a pet from a shelter will probably be much lower than the price you would pay to buy a pet.

Many shelters have lower fees for adopting older pets, and they sometimes run promotional offers where the adoption fee is completely waived.

4. Puppy mills hurt dogs.

shelter pets 3
jeffreyw/Flickr

Pet stores that sell puppies usually get them from puppy mills, where dogs live in cages that are far too small, and the mothers are kept constantly pregnant until they're too frail to breed, at which time they're put down.

Buying a puppy from a pet store only encourages these inhumane practices.

5. Shelter animals are overflowing with love.

Georgette Tan/Flickr
Georgette Tan/Flickr

Despite living as strays or being abused, or both, shelter animals have plenty of love to give, and they need love in order to recover from their traumas.

A bond between a human and a shelter animal is particularly special.

So if you you are thinking about bringing home another family member, please #adoptdontshop.

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Five Reasons You Should #AdoptDontShop