It’s that time of the year again—when the leaves turn colors, the weather gets cooler, and shelters are full of dogs just waiting for adoption. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, making it a great time to find a new furry friend.
Many people don’t get their dogs from shelters, and that’s a problem. When you buy from a breeder or a pet store, you often don’t get an animal that’s been well-cared for, for starters. Shelter dogs have had shots, are spayed or neutered, and are treated for worms or any other health issues they may have. Many of them are even microchipped so if they become lost, they can be scanned and returned to their home. Spaying and neutering pets is vital for the welfare of animals, because there are so many already alive that are in need of care that allowing them to further breed only furthers the overpopulation problem.
My sister’s dog was from a breeder, and she was confused as to why a shelter dog is better, since hers was a purebred. I told her the shelter dogs need to be adopted because they’ve been rescued and may be put to sleep; bred dogs will be retained until someone with lots of money will come to buy them. Shelter dogs are the average dogs that you find homeless, wandering around or abandoned and in need of the most care.
And when you buy from a shelter you know you are funding a legitimate rescue operation that will continue to save lives. Your adoption fees are going to help save other dogs and pay for their health scanning, care, and spaying or neutering. It’s a beautiful cycle of care that anyone can take part in. If you purchase from a breeder, you have no idea what that money is going to—and you don’t know if a puppy mill could be involved, either. You are also paying for someone to continue breeding dogs and overpopulating the community with them, which is harmful rather than helpful.
So please consider adopting your pet from a shelter this month, or whenever you decide to adopt. Your local shelter will likely have an adoption fair or similar promotion going on; check with them before you adopt your pet. Just be sure that you are ready for the responsibility that comes with pet ownership; be sure to look up dog care information if you’ve never had one before.