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Don't Buy Your Next Pet, Adopt Instead!
Don't Buy a Pet, Adopt One Instead!
You're in the mall and pass a pet shop. The cute kitten or puppy catches your eye and you decide you want a pet. You can go into the shop and pay a lot for the puppy or kitten, and not really get much support as well. And, the shop may get it's animals from breeders, who breed specifically for pet shops, inadvertently adding to the animal population.
There are many animals out there that have been abandoned, or turned in to shelters and animal protection and care groups. Many never get to adoption groups and, in the case of dogs and cats, many end up out in the street due to overpopulation and neglect, or end up euthanized in shelters. For this reason, and others, it is best to adopt your next pet. No, you will often not get kittens or puppies, but you will get a lifetime friend and companion.
My folks and I adopted ex racing greyhounds starting about 10 years ago. Average age at adoption was about 3 1/2 years old. And they fit into our family quite well, being very gentile and loving. For awhile, we were also volunteers for the adoption group, doing what are called 'show-and-tells', where several people bring their dogs to a public place or business establishment, and tell people about the dogs and how to adopt dogs of their own. We also attended adoption fairs where animal adoption groups for all kinds of animals were present.
In addition to providing an animal 'orphan' a home, adopting provides other advantages as well.
First, whatever fees you pay, goes to the upkeep of remaining animals that the group has, and for the initial shots and neutering/spaying of the dog or cat that you are adopting. These are non-profit groups and the vast majority of the people working for them are volunteers, most of whom have adopted pets themselves.
Which brings up the next advantage to adopting. Because the other volunteers have adopted pets themselves, they provide a great support network for you, including educating you beforehand. They can even tell you if the animal you want to adopt will get along with your current pets if you have any. The volunteers are very careful about who they let adopt. Most pet shops won't do this.
You also tend to know more of what your getting, as many animals are 'fostered' before getting adopted and, in the case of ex-racing greyhounds, groups often work with a particular track and often know some history of some of the dogs.
Another advantage is that, if you don't want to go through puppyhood or kittenhood, you often don't have to when you adopt a pet, as many, depending on the type of animal, are acquired by the groups as adults.
Now, while my experience is with ex-racing greyhounds, there are adoption groups for just about all breeds of dogs, cats, and many other types of animals. At these 'adoption fairs', I've seen groups that deal with llamas, pot bellied pigs, and even snakes.
So, if you're looking for a pet, please, do consider adopting. It'll be worth your while, and you'll save a loving animal as well!