Why adopting a shelter pet is the better option 

Megan Josephs, Social Media Manager

The lonely, hopeless look in Grace’s eyes at the animal rescue is a look I will never forget. The sheer trauma and lack of tranquility she had experienced in her days as a stray in South Carolina was all she knew the first few years of her life. After being brought to a shelter, Grace was luckily chosen as the last spot on the transport from the kill shelter and was brought to a local rescue in my area. After further examination, it was discovered that Grace had heartworm, ringworm, kennel cough, trauma to her spine from being beaten, a skin disease and even a shotgun pellet lodged in her ribs. Yet, after all that pain that humans had inflicted on her, Grace still ran up to my family and I at the rescue, with a wagging tail, just wanting to be loved. This is when we knew Grace was meant to be ours.   


Grace is now the most spoiled, loving dog that one could have, and I could tell she was grateful for her new life with us. After having her for a few months, I decided to volunteer at my local animal shelter to help dogs like Grace who were just waiting for a second chance at life. Seeing firsthand how overcrowded and desperate for love these animals were broke my heart. However, seeing them get adopted was what made volunteering all worth it, knowing they finally found their forever home after all they had been through. By adopting a dog, a life is saved, and a spot in the shelter is opened for another dog to hopefully find their new family.  


Many dogs get adopted each day, but because of the constant overcrowding of shelters due to irresponsible breeders and owners, many animals unfortunately do not make it out. Puppy mills are the root of the problem. Many parent dogs are abused and neglected for a sheer profit while their litter gets sold at ridiculous prices. Many times, parent dogs are kept in cages and do not know the feeling of human touch. Irresponsible breeders and puppy mills are a supply and demand business, so if more people adopted opposed to buying, these horrid practices would eventually be put out of business.   


Additionally, many people are looking for a certain purebred or a certain “designer” dog look. An example of a designer dog would be a goldendoodle or a cockapoo, which are usually not found in animal shelters. The lust for these breeds generates fast and easy income for puppy mills, and people pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for a specific dog. Because of the fast turnover of these dogs getting bought, many unethical breeders will not provide adequate living conditions for the parent dogs. They are forced to have litter after litter with often limited veterinarian care, resulting in developing health issues later in the puppy’s life. They are looked at as money-making products. Meanwhile, adoption fees at the shelters go right back into helping the animals that reside there. These fees can range anywhere from $30 to $400 depending on the shelter and which animal you are adopting, just a fraction of the price of a dog from a breeder.  


By adopting a dog, you are saving a life. Shelters are overcrowded with animals just waiting for the day their forever families decide to take a chance on them, just like my family did with Grace. Be the difference for a dog who has been through so much, rather than just another paycheck for a puppy mill.