The Question: To Adopt or Shop  

By Nupur Kudapkar 

Around 6.3 million animals enter shelters every year. Among those animals, approximately 920,000 are euthanized while 4.1 million find their forever homes, and about 810,000 are returned back to their owners after becoming lost. Astonishingly, thirty-four percent of dogs are obtained through a breeder which begs the question, to adopt or shop? The answer? To adopt. 

Adopting your new best friend from a shelter or rescue offers more advantages than most realize. Saving the pet’s life, greater affordability, and a wide range of ages and breeds just scratch the surface of the many benefits. With the number of dogs euthanized each year, a person has the satisfaction of knowing that they may have rescued a dog from an untimely death. The dog you adopt will now have a home, a fresh lease on life, and a loving home with a family who genuinely loves them; this compassion is gratifying and unmatched. A dog from a shelter or rescue costs around $300 on average, making them quite inexpensive in comparison to breeders. Furthermore, before being matched with prospective pet owners, shelter animals undergo necessary sterilization, behavior testing, vaccinations, neutering, and microchipping; all of these procedures are included in the adoption fee, so you do not need to set aside money for all of those extra expenses. Although you will still need to pay for your pet’s monthly exams, food, and supplies, adopting can help you save money from the beginning. Shelter dogs are claimed to be untrained, poorly mannered, aggressive, and traumatized. While this may be true in a small number of circumstances, it is not always the case; there is nothing that cannot be mended with time, patience, help, and love. 

Another alternative is to purchase a dog from a breeder, which can be hit or miss. In fact, most breeders only provide purebred puppies. This means, not only will you know your puppy’s breed and health, but you will also get to meet its parents. Furthermore, you may meet your new puppy’s parents and learn about their medical history, and the breeder will always be available to you if you need assistance with your dog at any moment during its lifespan. Knowing your puppy’s medical history might help you avoid future health problems.  However, while there are many trustworthy breeders, there are those who are more concerned with quantity than quality. Backyard breeders are an excellent illustration of this; backyard breeding is a word used to describe animal breeding that is reckless. It is oftentimes difficult to locate a reliable breeder. Not only that, but breeders are quite costly, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000+. 

Although breeders may appear to be a better alternative, adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue is clearly superior.