Too many Oklahomans are still shopping for a new pet instead of considering adoption. But thankfully, more and more of us are turning to city shelters, rescues, and organizations to find our next family member.
Right now, about 70 percent of the dogs and cats at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter are leaving alive. That’s a lot of animals finding loving homes, but there’s still room for improvement. Here are some great reasons to adopt, not shop:
- You could save a life. Three million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States before they find homes. Talk about changing a pet’s entire world: From being on a list to die to being in a loving home, you can create the best moment in a pet’s life!
- You’ll find a great pet. There’s a stigma that shelter pets aren’t as desirable, skilled, or as high-quality as a purchased pet. But this is simply not true. Purebred pets with great personalities fill our rescues and shelters every day. Many of these animals are in a shelter because their owner’s living situation changed, or they got out of their fence—not because the animal is bad. There is also a multitude of mixed breed dogs and cats and it’s been proven that mixed breeds are generally healthier because they are less likely to have genetic issues that plague some breeds, such as allergies and hip dysplasia.
- You’ll get a bargain. Anyone who owns a pet knows the expenses of vet care and responsible pet ownership. Many rescues like the Central Oklahoma Humane Society include spay or neuter surgeries, microchip, vaccines, and flea, tick, and heartworm preventative with their fees, making adoption much more affordable.
- You could jump on the rescue bandwagon. That’s right—bragging rights. It feels good to change a pet’s life. Once you’ve adopted one, it’s hard to ever buy again. The love you receive from a shelter pet will have you asking others to jump on the adoption bandwagon with you!
- You can help stop unkind and inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are breeding facilities who put profit over the welfare of their dogs. There are poor conditions, improper medical care, and dogs kept in cages for a majority of their lives with little interaction or love. Because the breeder is breeding for quantity rather than quality, puppy mills puppies can also have a higher rate of congenital diseases such as sight and hearing impairment. Oklahoma is listed as one of the largest puppy mill states in the nation. These mills make money because people are buying from a pet store or online. If we stop shopping and adopt, they simply don’t exist.
If these reasons haven’t convinced you that adopting is far better than shopping, go to your favorite social media account and search “#adoptdontshop” to see for yourself. You’ll find no end of heartwarming tales—and lots of pictures of happy tails.