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Stop Kill Shelters by Adopting Rather Than Shopping For Animals

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

We have all seen the heartwrenching “In The Arms Of An Angel” ASPCA commercial that leaves us all in tears by the time its over. We all wish it wouldn’t play, becasue its just SO sad. But what if I told you that you could minimize its run time by adopting a pet rather than buying one? 

Deciding to add a pet to your family is a huge decision, but deciding where to get that pet shouldn’t be––unless you are choosing between shelters. Every year, a large amount of animals end up in shelters because they can no longer remain in the homes that adopted them, or they are rescued from the streets. These animals are all looking for a FUR-ever home to spend their lives in.

According to the No Kill Advocacy Center, as many as 30 million families choose to add a furry friend to their home each year, yet, out of the 6 million animals that end up in shelters, 2 million are euthanized for not being adopted. These numbers are staggering, and if people decided to adopt animals instead of shopping for them, we could save the lives of every abandoned or rescued animal that ended up in a shelter. Every animal adopted from a shelter helps save not one, but two lives, since every time you adopt a furry family member, you leave a vacancy in the shelter.

Ultimately, shelters choose to euthanize animals because they need the space to take in more animals. Obviously, we all think that this is a tragic occurrence, however, people have been turning a blind eye to this for years. Realistically, it happens far too frequently for us to continue ignoring the problem, especially when so many people add pets to their family, and the movement toward adoption over shopping with breeders could solve the entire issue. 

On top of the fact that animals are being put down for waiting too long for their forever home, these animals are still healthy, or relatively healthy (animals with treatable illnesses). They are euthanized for taking up space in a shelter where they should be safe. These animals were not kept in their home, and now, they can’t stay at the place that was supposed to be a temporary stop to their forever home. 

I’ve adopted all three of my kittens, whom I love more than most things on this planet, and if you want to pretend like the animals in shelters are not the perfect animals, or that they are not full of love, you are dead wrong. I am sorry to be blunt, but it is the truth. I have never in the years I have spent with my kittens (eight, seven, and four respectively), questioned their love for me, nor my love for them. They are truly three of the best things to happen to me, and the thought that I might not have met them because it took me too long to find them is absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t imagine my life without their little personalities making me smile (see their photos right under this paragraph).

I’ll admit, my little loves are a quirky bunch, but to say that they aren’t “special” or “pure” because they came from shelters is as untrue as it gets. While people usually think of shelter animals as mangy mutts and mixes, purebred animals end up in shelters just as frequently. And while my cats are pretty much as common as they come, they are by no means less loving because they are not purebreds (maybe they are purebreds, but what does it matter? Love is love is love, right?). 

If you are getting an animal for aesthetic purposes, meaning that the love of any animal that is not a purebred is not the unconditional love you want, you may want to reconsider getting an animal. They are not toys or accessories, they are loving little beans who want nothing more than to be with you for their whole lives, no matter how long that might be.

 They require unconditional love, and if you would love a cute little fluff-face less because they are not “pure,” then your reason for seeking an animal’s companionship and love are all wrong. I know it is harsh for me to say, but essentially, by not adopting an animal from a shelter for this reason, means you are deeming them less lovable because of their background. No animal is going to be perfect, but if you give them unconditional love and learn their personalities and quirks, I guarantee that that animal will give you all the love they can hold in their little heart. I’ve experienced that three times, and I get to experience that love every day from my fur babies. 

Not only are the animals in shelters just as loving, but the adoption fees are minimal compared to the outrageous prices of animals that come from breeders. Especially or the fact that purebred animals can still end up in shelters and not adopted. Instead of paying a grand or more for your animal, head down to your local shelter and adopt one for a fraction of the cost. Again, I guarantee that if you learn that animal’s personality and love it unconditionally, it will reciprocate those feelings tenfold. 

Adopting can help save a lot of lives, and in caring about the wellbeing of helpless animals, I couldn’t write an actovacy piece about anything other than the experience that changed me. I never thought that it mattered, and I always thought that those “Who saved who?” bumper stickers were silly, but it is true. As corny as it sounds, I know my little beans will love me no matter what, and that no matter what they do, I’ll love them right on back. 

I do recognize that there are some people who are unable to adopt for whatever reason, but that doesn’t mean that you should disregard the wellbeing of these little critters either. If you are not looking to adopt a furry friend, but still want to help, you can work with local shelters to capture animals and bring them in to be spayed/neutered. Additionally, if you have an animal that is not spayed or neutered, make sure to get that done, especially if you are not planning on keeping the offspring should your animal have them. 

When you are ready to add a loving, quirky soul to your life, you can always visit PetFinder to be connected with animals near you, or just head on down to your local shelter! 


Talia is the Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Emerson. Talia is also a Chapter Advisor, Region Leader, and HSA Advisor. She has previously worked as an intern for the national headquarters of Her Campus in the community management department. Talia is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College in a 4+1 combined bachelor's and master's program in publishing. She is an aspiring writer and publisher. Talia is known for living life with her journal, a pen, and three lovely cats.