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Adopt, Don’t Shop

Recently, I’ve made the decision to get a dog; however, I decided since I’m still in school I would take this time before summer break to save up and do some research. I had already decided that my next dog would be from a local shelter and from what I found through research really cemented this. Now,  ‘Adopt don’t Shop’ is a common phrase heard when people are looking to adopt, but why should you take the plunge and gamble on a shelter dog/cat over your choice of select breeds? Here are some of the key reasons but trust me there are so so many more.

1. Adopting from the shelter saves lives.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (ASPCA) approximately 1.5 million shelter animals (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized (put down) each year; HOWEVER, this number has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011 and this decline can be partially attributed to the rise in adoptions!!! There are numbers supporting the fact that when you adopt your new fuzzy friend from a shelter, you are contributing to the decline in euthanizations.

2. Adopting from your local animal shelters helps combat puppy mills.

First off, what is a puppy mill? A puppy mill is a commercial dog breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit, meaning, the welfare of the animals is not a priority. According to dosomething.org there are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. By making the choice to adopt from an animal shelter, you are taking support away from puppy mills.

3. Adopting from a shelter can oftentimes be the more cost effective option.

A majority of animal shelters have a one time adoptions cost that includes a ton of benefits for new owners. For example, at the Animal Service Center of Mesilla Valley, it is $75.00 for Dogs and Puppies and $50.00 Cats and Kittens. While it seems pricey, this includes spay/neuter, appropriate vaccinations, rabies, microchips, heartworm tests for dogs and a feline leukemia test for cats. When you purchase an animal from other locations, these procedures, which are imperative to your pets health, are often expensive and never come in such an affordable package.

4. It’s close to home

Looking for a breeder or a certain breed of dog can lead to having to travel to see the dogs; however, there are animal shelters in almost every city, including Las Cruces. This eliminates the money and time it takes to travel to find the “perfect” dog. Your dream dog is waiting for you at the local shelter, close and easily accessible.

Okay, so you have all the facts but there is still a certain breed you’ve been wanting since you were a child. The good news is that there is still an alternative to buying from a breeder. There are often rescues and groups that cater to a certain breed. For example, say you’ve been wanting a corgi and you know that is the dog you want, simply look up ‘corgi rescues’. If that doesn’t work, browse social media for groups that rescue and share info on where to adopt certain breeds. The only downside to this method is that it may require travelling to a different city or state.

Ultimately, if you are in the market for a new furry addition to your family, do the research and consider adopting from a local animal shelter as the benefits greatly outweigh buying from a breeder. If you are looking to adopt in the Las Cruces area, visit the Las Cruces Animal Service center website at http://www.las-cruces.org/departments/ascmv or pay a visit to the shelter located at 3551 Bataan Memorial, Las Cruces, NM 88012. Below are some example of some amazing rescued pups!

This is Phantom, a pit-bull terrier mix. My brother adopted him from the Animal Services of Mesilla Valley a year ago. At first a shy pup he is now bursting with energy and love.

This is Patches, a Chihuahua/Papillon mix. He came from an abusive household but is now in a loving family that will only shower him with the love he deserves.

This is Biscuit, a Chihuahua/Papillon mix and Patches son! He is with his dad in a loving home

The ASPCA website: https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics



Student at NMSU double majoring in Journalism and Government. 
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