We see animals as part of our family and generally treat our animals with love and respect. Nevertheless, consumers are often unaware of the breeding conditions or physical and psychological health that come from unknown breeders. There are approximately 12,000 pet stores in the United States that have a demand for these pets. However, instead of buying cats and dogs from pet stores, adopting helps save lives and lowers the number of animal deaths in the United States.
There are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in the United States that are licensed, but an unknown number in Minnesota are unlicensed because the state does not require breeders to have licenses. The intention of puppy and kitten mills is to mass-produce cute puppies and kittens for more impulse sales in pet stores. They often put profit ahead of the animals well being.
According to the Humane Society, it is estimated that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year, and approximately 3-4 million are euthanized. Although shelters play a role in taking, animals off the streets, shelters become over whelmed. They cannot find homes fast enough for cats and dogs. Most shelters have no set holding period for their animals and most animals won’t get a week in shelter. What determines the length of stay is the animal’s demeanor, health, and the facility’s available space. We need to help lower the kill rate of cats and dogs in shelters by adopting animals from local animal shelters and rescues.
Some rescues are foster-based and some have facilities. Foster based shelters and rescues rely on fosters parents/caregivers to take the dogs into their homes to familiarize the animals with the home environment and human interaction. The housing facilities or shelters provides the animal with some interaction but they are mostly housed in cages until a adoption can be made. No-kill foster-based rescues can only help as many animals as they have foster homes for. By helping expose these cats and dogs to the public, they stand a better chance of being adopted. Almost all animals that go through a rescue organization receive proper and full vetting, such as medical procedures, vaccines, microchip, deworming, heartworm tests, neutering, and more. These animals are healthy before they are made available for adoption. Another benefit from adopting versus buying an animal from a pet store is that you are able to learn the background, temperament, and demeanor of that animal before you make the commitment to add her to your family. Shelter staff or foster parents that look over the animals are able to tell you the pros and cons of the animal so you can make the best-informed decision before making a big commitment.
Adopting animals from your local animal shelter and rescues rather than buying from breeds or pets stores will help save the lives of more of these cats and dogs that only want your love, and can lower the kill rate of some of the shelters in the process! “Don’t Shop, ADOPT!”