Adopt don't shop illustration

The phrase “adopt, don’t shop” has existed for many years. With the newfound freedom in college, it can be tempting to get a pet, but one should understand the significance of this phrase before doing so.

Shelters nationwide can put animals down due to overcrowding. In 2021, 61,245 dogs and cats were killed in Texas shelters alone. Though the three significant shelters in Hays County are no-kill, this only means they struggle more with overcrowding. By adopting a pet, you could be saving a life.

Cat and puppy mills are commercial facilities that mass-produce animals. These animals are then sold to pet stores or directly to consumers. Because breeders choose profit over the well-being of the animals, they are typically inbred, don’t receive proper veterinary care and can suffer from malnutrition or starvation.

Most often with dogs, pet breeders prioritize “pure bloodlines” because it makes the dogs sound more appealing. Because of this, the breeders can charge thousands of dollars for just one puppy. Despite this label being seen as positive, it only leads to detrimental problems. Purebred dogs, for example, are at higher risk for cancer, joint disorders and neurological diseases.

Breeders take the attention away from the mistreatment of the animals by selling desirable breeds, such as golden doodles. Because of the mass production of “designer” breeds, the animals left in shelters can be forgotten and lose the opportunity to live in real homes.

When looking for a pet, it is imperative to do proper research on any facility you plan to buy from. Supporting puppy mills is also supporting cage stackinggrid flooring in cages and veterinary problems. We should do whatever possible to abolish puppy and cat mills because of the cruel treatment they inflict upon innocent animals.

Buying from a breeder is often expensive, so adopting is much more sensible, especially for college students. According to The Animal Humane Society, purchasing an animal can range into the thousands, while adoption costs are usually only in the hundreds with vaccinations and spaying or neutering included.

In addition to this, when you buy an animal from a breeder, it is possible that you will not hear from them again once the transaction is complete. This is because they leave you without resources and information. On the other hand, shelter and rescue groups are always willing to help to ensure the animal gets the best treatment possible.

Another perk of adopting an animal is that you get many different age options meaning the animal may already have training. Most breeders only sell puppies; while cute, they’re a lot of work. With a busy college life, students often don’t have time to house break and train puppies or other young animals. Buying an older animal relieves some of this stress and is just as cute.

If you’re considering getting a pet, make the right choice and adopt from a local shelter. You’ll give a deserving animal some much-needed love and might even find your best friend.

- Rhian Davis is a journalism freshman

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