Adopt, Don’t Shop

Baphomet Photos Scott Lakeram Baphomet Photos Scott Lakeram Recently I became the pet parent of two female cats, a classic tabby, Baphomet and a white & grey named Molok. I adopted these two girls at my local animal shelter and they have been the sweetest cats I have ever met. Like many new pet owners I was faced with the task of choosing to adopt or to buy from a breeder. Sometimes it is difficult to make a decision when we know exactly the breed or look of a companion we want. Here are some reasons why you should adopt instead of buying.

Animals in shelters are often already microchipped, neutered/spayed and up to date on their shots for a reasonable adoption fee. Most animals that come from a breeder have to be taken to the vet to be fixed and get up to date on their shots. In addition to the purchase price, this adds a lot to the cost, especially if you are on a budget. Shelters are able to keep the adoption fee fairly low due to donations and support from the local government. In most cases an adoption fee can range from $25 to $100, depending on the animal’s breed and age.

Molok Molok All animals in shelters have a story and many times that story is not a happy one. A majority of animals that end up in the shelter are found on the streets and are taken in to have the opportunity for a better life. Many of these animals had a rough life and are seeking a nice warm home in which to take refuge. However this does not mean that shelter animals won’t make good pets. On the contrary, every animal that is put up for adoption is assessed by the shelter to assure that they will make a great companion.

A majority of animals from sellers have been bred in puppy or pet mills also known as a puppy farms. These commercial breeding facilities leave animals in horrendous condition. Pet mills can include cats and bunnies. Many animals from pet mills suffer long-term illness due to poor care during the early stages of life or inbreeding. Buying a pet from a pet mill supports the industry and drives their production.

Many shelters take in more animals than they have room for and as a result a majority of them are not able to find homes. Because of this many innocent animals are euthanized before they have a chance to find a forever home. But you can help: instead of purchasing a pet from a breed, consider an adoption. The ASPCA is always sponsoring adoption events. There are many rescue organizations that also run adoption events. You only need to google to find them. Or just drop in to any shelter. And if you can get a bonded pair, so much the better. We find that siblings seem to feel the need to compete for mom/dad’s love, and try harder to make you happy. They also have each other to play with while you’re at work.

So please do adopt, don’t shop! And if you can’t adopt, consider donating.

—Scott Lakeram

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2019-03-01 digital edition