*If you're looking for a new family pet, please read this first!
Today, I want to discuss the subject of pet adoption.
|Lucky Dog: Diamond, Available for adoption|
Since the term "adoption" is often misused, let me clarify:
By "pet adoption," I'm referring to the act of adopting a dog, cat, or other pet from an animal shelter or animal rescue group... versus buying a pet from a breeder.
Now, you may be asking: What's the difference?
Well, I'll tell you...
Purchasing a pet from a breeder is not "adopting." It's buying. And while I'm NOT here to judge or condemn everyone who has ever made the decision to buy a pet versus adopting, I do want you to understand the difference between the two. It's an enlightening distinction, so please keep reading...
First, you need to understand the difference between an animal shelter or animal rescue group... and an animal breeder. Here's a general overview:
Animal shelters and rescues are organizations that take-in the pets who have no where else to go. These agencies obtain their animals from many different sources: other shelters, owner surrenders, seizing of pets, strays, unwanted puppy/kitten litters, breeders, puppy mills, hoarders, etc.
The most basic goal of shelters/rescues is to find loving homes for the pets in their care, while also focusing on efforts such as spay/neuter, which help control the pet population... reducing the number of animals euthanized each year (Millions of beautiful, loving, deserving, healthy animals die in shelters each year, due to the pet overpopulation).
Conversely... breeders bring more pets into the world. In short, irresponsible breeders breed their animals, in order to sell the offspring for profit. (Distinctions between different types of breeders will be made in another post.)
|Clyde, available for adoption with Lucky Dog Rescue|
Shelters and rescues work to reduce/control the pet population through spay/neuter, with focus on finding adoptive homes for as many animals as they can.
Irresponsible breeders work to bring more animals into the world, increasing the pet population, with primary focus on making a profit.
Adopt a pet; save a life.
Buy a pet; contribute to the problem.
Got it? Good. Let's keep going...
While breeders are bringing millions of new puppies and kittens into existence... millions and millions of OTHER puppies, kittens, and adult animals are being killed in shelters each year. Why?? Because there are just too many animals waiting for families... and not enough families adopting them.
Yet, there ARE many families out there who are looking for a new pet... but so many of those families choose to buy their new pet from a breeder, instead of adopting from a shelter or rescue.
So... let's talk about WHY this choice is made... and what happens as a result of that choice. Then, most importantly... the alternatives to that decision.
Obviously, there isn't just ONE reason why people buy pets from breeders. There are many. But common sense tells me that the most important factor for the buyer is: the breed.
|Reece, Choc Lab, Lucky Dog Rescue|
But here's the issue with that... and the part that Joe may not realize: there are sooo many Labs, and puppies/dogs of every breed you can imagine, who are living --and dying-- in shelters across the country.
Many of those dogs are "purebred" dogs (same goes for cats). While the term "purebred" means nothing special to me... I do realize that it does matter to some people, especially those people who buy from breeders. And that's why it's important for me to talk about it.
So, if you're one of those "purebred" people, then let's talk about what it is you really want in a dog. When searching for a "purebred" dog of a particular breed... what you're really drawn to --at least, initially-- is the look of that breed, right? Meaning the size, the color, the face, ears, body type, etc. And then... secondly, you're probably interested in the perceived character traits, intelligence, energy level, etc of that specific breed, correct?
So then, ask yourself: if I found a puppy/dog (or cat) who had the "look" I desire, with the character traits I seek, would it really matter if the dog had "papers" to prove those things to be true? Does the "purebred" label really matter to me... if the dog looks, acts, and most likely IS --or is pretty-damn-close-to-being-- a "purebred" dog of the breed I want?
If your answer to those questions was: "Yes. Papers matter to me; the purebred label matters to me; I'm buying from a breeder" ... then... sorry, I can't help you. Not even a little.
But... if you thought to yourself: "You know what... the DOG is what's important to me, not the papers or label. And if the dog looks like a [insert breed] and acts like a [do it again], then he's probably a [you get the picture], and that's good enough for me!" ...then keep reading :)
|Mimi, Available for adoption, Lucky Dog Rescue|
So... if you want a Lab, I can promise you... there's a gorgeous, loving, amazing Lab waiting for you in a shelter. If you want a Yorkie, English Bulldog, Pit Bull, Pug, Shih Tzu, or Peeka-Poma-Peter-Piper-Poo, they've probably got those too. But if that shelter doesn't... then guess what? Another shelter or rescue does.
Why is adoption so important? Because... when the families who are looking for a new pet choose to buy from breeders, instead of adopting from a shelter or rescue, a couple of things happen...
Each and every pet purchase provides the irresponsible breeder with an incentive to keep breeding. This means: bringing even more animals into the world, when there are already too many. Therefore... whether or not the buyer realizes it, their purchase has directly contributed toward the already out-of-control pet population, and ultimately, the massive killing of perfectly healthy shelter pets each year. How so? Well, each time a pet is purchased from a breeder, a shelter pet who could've been adopted by that family... dies.
|Missy, Available for adoption, Lucky Dog Rescue|
But why would the shelters do this? Well... if no one is willing to adopt the many, many pets in their care... what other choice do they have? Should pets be forced to live in shelter cages forever, while people purchase dogs from breeders instead of adopting? Are YOU willing to help... by changing your "new pet" decision, from buy to adopt?
Trust me... every single "new pet" decision --including YOURS-- matters. Because every single "new pet" decision is a life-or-death decision. Even if you don't realize it... even if you refuse to acknowledge it... purchasing from irresponsible breeders contributes toward the overpopulation and the deaths of innocent pets; adoption works toward resolution, while saving lives. It's really that simple.
Okay... so... at this point, you may be thinking: "But if no one buys from breeders, what would happen to all those puppies?!"
Good question. Let's talk about that for a sec.
Breeding is a business (for at least 90% of breeders). For the VAST majority, profit is the goal. Without profit, most breeders would be forced to go out of business. Therefore, the majority would stop breeding, which would lead to a much-needed decrease in the pet overpopulation. What about the leftover puppies, you ask? Well, the puppies and breeder dogs would go to shelters and rescues, where they'd be placed up for adoption.
|Warren, Available for adoption|
If you don't believe me, then you haven't experienced the joy of adoption for yourself. And if you haven't, you're truly missing out on the experience of a lifetime. So... maybe it's time you learned what it feels like... to save a life.
Please don't buy from breeders and pet shops.
Please don't contribute to this massive, heartbreaking, deadly problem.
Please adopt from shelters and rescues.
Please save a life.
Please do the right thing... now that you know what the right thing is.
Of course... even as I say all of this, I do realize that today's post won't "change the world" ... and that's okay with me. I don't need to change the world today... I just need to change one person's perception today. Or at least... plant the seed...
If I can do that much, then maybe one more shelter dog will have a shot at hope. Because right now... that very dog... doesn't stand a chance.
And for those of you who think: "She's wasting her time. People aren't going to listen, because people just don't care." Well, here's my response to that:
In my heart, I have to believe that people don't want innocent animals to die in shelters. I have to believe that most people buy from breeders... simply because they don't know the alternatives. I have to believe that people are capable of listening, caring, and changing their behaviors to prove it.
|Roscoe, Available for adoption, Lucky Dog Rescue|
Maybe it's not that they "just don't care" ... maybe they just don't know.
And maybe now... they will.
It's worth a shot anyway. Shelter pets are dying as I type...
[Note: if you're aware of this information, but you still choose to buy from irresponsible breeders, then maybe you don't truly understand the impact of your decisions. Or maybe... you just don't care. But for the sake of my sanity, I'll choose to believe the former... and I'll hope to one day change your mind. Innocent animals are dying, people! YOU could save them! Wake up!]
If you'd like to help my rescue dogs, please click the link below to donate: