3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
I won’t lie, when Molly and I see a human who chose to buy a dog instead of adopt, it’s frustrating. We want to tell them how important adoption is over and over again. It can be easy to get upset when humans don’t see your point of view, but we’ve realized that shaming someone else won’t help them see your point of view. So, there’s a better way to discuss dog adoption.
Why Shouldn’t You Shame People for Buying Dogs?
If someone has purchased a puppy from a breeder or a pet store, then they already have the dog. No matter how much you tell them that adopting is better than shopping won’t matter to them at that point. After all, they’re not going to return their new puppy. What good would that even do?
You should only encourage dog adoption if a person is in the process of finding a dog. You can try to steer them toward adoption before they’ve made a final decision. But once they bring a dog home, that dog is part of their family. They might later learn that adopting a dog is the better option, but that won’t change where they got their dog from.
So, if someone says they purchased their dog, please don’t be rude to them. Please don’t shame them. Odds are, they’ve heard it before. Many people who have bought dogs in the past regret not adopting later on. So, shaming them for their past decisions will only make them feel worse.
You never know what’s going on in someone else’s head, so as important as adoption is, you need to present it in a kind, welcoming manner, not a judgmental one.
How to Educate Them Instead
The best way to educate someone about dog adoption is to simply tell them about it. Don’t give them snarky comments about how they should’ve gone to a shelter first because that will only upset them. No one wants to learn from someone that they’re angry with.
I’ve noticed that a great way to spread the word is to tell stories about your own experiences with rescue dogs. Tell them about the day you adopted your dog and how that experience could’ve saved your dog’s life. Then, if they have any questions about rescue dogs, you can have a mature conversation with them about it. There’s no need to point fingers and blame others. Most people don’t adopt because they just don’t know the severity of the situation.
Most humans will ask things like, ‘what if I want a specific breed?’ or ‘don’t rescue dogs have behavioral problems?’ These questions might come off as rude, but many people have just heard rumors their whole lives. This is your chance to show them that rescue dogs are no different than other dogs. They’re just in more desperate need of a home.
You can’t change a person’s past actions, but you can prevent them from making mistakes in the future. If you talk to them and listen to their opinions, you can help open their eyes to the importance of rescue. Then, hopefully, they will choose to adopt their next dog.
Even if they aren’t getting another dog anytime soon, there are still ways that they can help dogs. Donating, volunteering, and fostering are all great ways to help if you’re not in a place to adopt a new dog just yet. And, of course, spreading the word is always the best and easiest way to get more people to adopt.
Not every human will have the same opinions and experiences as you, and that’s okay! Instead of arguing with them about where they got their dog, please be kind to them. It’s easier to convince humans to adopt instead of shop if you’re friendly and educational with them rather than rude and judgmental. This mentality goes for all types of conversations, not just about dogs. So, please be kind to other humans. You know your dogs would be.
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2 thoughts on “Educate Dog Parents, But Please Don’t Be Rude”
And sometimes people just can’t find the dog that is right for them at the rescues, where I am the majority of dogs in rescues are large breed working or hunting crosses so not the right dog for everyone, especially if they have never had a dog before. We now have two rescues in our household and I wouldn’t have anything else but I know they are not for everyone. Great post.
I often forget that other places don’t have as many adoptable dogs. Here, we have dogs of all sizes and breeds, and if you’re patient, I believe you can easily find the dog you’re looking for here. So, I don’t see an excuse to not adopt where I live. However, I don’t know much about other places around the world – I’m sure there are plenty of places that have a better control over the dog overpopulation problem, which would make breeding dogs more understandable in those places.