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Looking to Get a Pet? Here’s Why You Should Adopt, Not Shop

Getting a pet can be a very fun and exciting time in your life, but there is also a great amount of responsibility that comes with this decision. One of the most important factors involved in getting a pet is where, or how, you choose to obtain your pet. Adopting from an animal shelter or rescue is one of the best and most effective ways to get a pet that you will form a strong relationship with. Here’s why you should opt to adopt your pet instead of shopping.


You’re Saving a Life

According to the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), 2.7 million of the animals that enter animal shelters each year are euthanized, and many more are never adopted. By choosing to adopt a pet, you are not only saving the life of that animal, but also opening up a space in the shelter for another animal to be rescued. 

Breeders and Pet Shops are Often Inhumane

Many breeders and pet shops promote the overpopulation of animals, making it even more difficult for these animals to find homes. They fail to provide their animals with appropriate and safe living conditions, and they often sell their animals to just about anyone. This promotes animal abuse and cruelty.


There’s More Diversity

In a shelter, you will find animals of all ages, breeds, backgrounds, and personalities, making it easier to find the animal that is the perfect fit for you and your situation. This context also allows you to focus more on your bond with the animal and whether or not you are a fit for each other. This increases your chances of a successful owner and pet match.

It’s Less Expensive

Although it depends on where you decide to adopt your pet from and what kind of pet you are choosing to adopt, adopting from shelters and rescues generally costs hundreds of dollars less than it does to buy a pet. Most shelters and rescues are also nonprofit, which means that all the money you spend to adopt your pet will go to helping the other pets at the shelter. Pet stores and breeders collect all profits from the money you spent that help continue the cycle of their unethical practices.


Pre-Owned Pets Will Already be House-Trained

A lot of the animals that enter shelters and rescues have already been owned at one point or another, meaning that they are probably already house-trained. Many shelters also make an effort to train the animals during their stay to make for an easier transition into home-life. This can reduce a great amount of the responsibility that comes with a new pet and can be very beneficial to certain demographics of owners, such as families with small children.

Adopted Pets are More Likely to End Up in a Safe Home

Unlike most pet stores and breeders, shelters and rescues put potential owners through a rigorous background check and greatly consider their economic and living circumstances to ensure that they truly have the capability to care for the animal and provide them with a safe environment. Shelters and rescues may even turn people down if there are significant incompatibilities between the animal and the possible owner. For example, if the  owner has small children and the animal does not interact well with small children, to make sure that everyone leaves the situation happy and safely.


After learning these facts about the reality of breeders and pet stores, you can make a more well-informed decision on whether or not rescuing your next pet is the best option for you! You may have the chance to take home a life-long friend that you bring into a better life!


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Hannah Rousseau

U Mass Amherst '23

Hannah is currently a freshman at UMass Amherst majoring in biology. She is passionate about wildlife, the environment, music, and photography.
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