If you have a heart, you will adopt

It is mind boggling that people would prefer to get a purebred dog instead of rescuing one from death row at a shelter.

When you are considering adopting your next dog, please go to a shelter or rescue instead of a pet store. Wouldn’t you want to save a life?

Not all dogs wind up in shelters because they are bad or misbehave. Oftentimes, it is because their former family can no longer care for them, whether for financial reasons, a move to a place that would not allow dogs, or the death of a caretaker.

Also, it is very common for dogs to end up in a shelter because of abuse. A shelter dog should not be punished for the failings of its previous humans, but every puppy that is bought from a store instead of adopted from a shelter increases the likelihood for a shelter dog to become one of the millions of unwanted dogs that are destroyed in the U.S. every year.

It is also very difficult to tell whether a pet store dog came from a legitimate, licensed breeder, or was the product of a puppy mill, because even the pet stores can be deceived about the source of a puppy.

All animals at shelters are in need of a second chance. They have been lost, given up or abandoned. They are all unwanted and helpless. You are giving them a new life in a loving home. There are not enough homes for all the animals that are born every year. Adopting from a shelter helps weaken the pet overpopulation cycle.

Throughout the country, thousands of commercial pet-breeding facilities and backyard breeders produce millions of animals for sale in pet stores and through newspaper ads. These puppy-mill facilities repeatedly impregnate female dogs that spend their entire lives in cages without human companionship.

These unfortunate animals are often in intolerable environments, forced to produce litter upon litter, and are destroyed after they become unprofitable assets. Adopting a shelter animal means you don’t support such cruel practices.

Another advantage is when your friends ask where you got your amazing pet, you can tell them “at the shelter,” and your adoption may encourage others to do the same.