[Opinion] People should consider the phrase ‘adopt, don’t shop’ when searching for a pet

Bailey Carter, Writer

If you were to look around an average family’s house, there is a strong likelihood you will see a common pet, such as a cat or a dog. With the unbeatable popularity of these animals, the immense size of the market is no surprise.

Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, puppy mills and even local shelters are only a few places in which you could easily purchase or adopt an animal through the simple click of a button. With the wide range of markets, it can be difficult for people to find a trustworthy, sustainable place to adopt a pet. 

The common phrase, “adopt, don’t shop,” holds great significance that people should consider when searching for a pet. People do not fully recognize the damage they are doing when purchasing a pet instead of adopting one.

Puppies at local pet shops have a high chance of coming from a puppy mill, establishments where dogs are bred solely for money and raised under inhumane conditions. When people buy from these shops, they are essentially feeding into a cruel scheme, causing puppy mills to grow and continue breeding animals. Not to mention, the price of puppies in pet stores are extremely high, ranging anywhere between $1,000 to $7,000 depending on the breed.

Someone can easily fall victim to an online scam on social media for pet adoption marketplaces. Not knowing the background of a seller on the internet is akin to walking into a dangerous scenario blindfolded.

For example, in 2018 a woman bought a dog off of a Craigslist ad in which the dog given was sick and in poor condition without any form of past medical treatment. There was no way to contact the seller as they could not be traced through Craigslist. This type of online dog scamming is unfortunately not uncommon.

There is an easy way to avoid cruel puppy mills, overpriced pets and online scams, and that is to adopt a pet from your local shelter. Thousands of dogs each year end up in a shelter from abandonment, abusement or neglection. Not only is adopting way cheaper, but rescuing saves a pet’s life. 

Unfortunately, due to the excessive amount of people shopping instead of adopting, shelters frequently become overcrowded leading to high-kill shelters. These shelters are forced to euthanize animals to create more space. Buying from puppy mills causes the inflation in animals left in a shelter. 

With all points considered, adopting a pet from a local shelter is far more humane and beneficial than buying one from a pet store. Hopefully, more people will come to consider the phrase “adopt, don’t shop” and come to recognize the effect that this idea has on millions of animals.