4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Today Molly came across some Facebook comments that drove her crazy. As some of you may know, she volunteers for an organization called Bailing Out Benji, who spreads awareness about puppy mills. Recently, they shared a post saying something along the lines of “puppy mills exist because the public keeps funding them.” For anyone who knows the sad reality of the puppy industry, this is a very true statement. Yet, Molly was surprised to see many comments disagreeing with what the organization stands for.
Several people argued that the term “adopt don’t shop” is toxic. Their point of view was that adopting is shopping because you’re still paying for a dog. When Molly and I hear people who disagree with us on any topic, we always try to understand their point of view and see where they’re coming from. But sadly, this opinion was very hard for us to fully understand because that mindset is the reason so many dogs die in shelters.
Why Adopting is NOT Shopping
It’s true that you’re paying for a dog whether you adopt from a shelter or buy from a breeder. But adopting and shopping are not the same. The main reason is because of where the money is going. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, that money goes toward the organization you adopt them from. That money can be used to rescue more dogs and support the dogs in their care. But when you buy a puppy from a breeder, than money simply goes to a business rather than a good cause. And an even worse scenario is buying from a pet store, where the money is used to support puppy mills.
Another reason adopting is not a form of shopping is because of where the dogs come form. Rescue dogs at shelters come from all kinds of different situations. Some are surrendered, some are transferred from high-kill shelters, some are saved from abuse situations, and some are even rescued from puppy mills. But they all have one thing in common: they don’t have a home. And many of them are at risk of euthanasia if they don’t find a home in time.
Puppies from breeders and pet stores are not in the same situation. They were brought into this world with the intent of being purchased. They’re being sold for profit rather than for animal welfare. Buying a puppy instead of rescuing one could potentially cause a dog to be euthanized. So, no matter how you spin it, “adopt don’t shop” isn’t toxic in our eyes. Choosing to adopt can save the lives of many dogs.
But What About the Puppies at Pet Stores?
While she’s not proud to admit it, Molly could not take her eyes away from these hurtful comments. Eventually, she came across people who were essentially defending pet stores that sell puppies. Their reasoning was that if no one bought the puppies from pet stores, those puppies would just be given up at shelters. After all, those puppies are innocent and don’t know they’re part of a horrid business. While all those points are true, I still don’t believe they justify buying a puppy, especially not from a place supporting puppy mills.
Sure, the puppies who don’t get purchased will likely be abandoned or surrendered, but that means there are already thousands of puppies who are already alone and needing a home. Instead of “saving” a pet store puppy, adopt one who is already waiting patiently at a shelter. Buying from a pet store might give that individual puppy a good home, but then you’re only supporting that business and encouraging them to breed more dogs.
Puppies at pet stores (and even puppies at reputable breeders) were bred for profit. So, you’re not “rescuing” them, you’re buying them. And when you adopt a dog, you’re not “buying” them because the money is going toward a good cause and the dog is there to find the perfect home, not just to turn into profit. So, please don’t argue with someone when they say “adopt, don’t shop” because they’re saying it to save lives.
I’m sorry if this post sounds harsh, but this is the reality we live in. I wish breeding puppies could become a normal and more humane action, but more people need to care before that can happen. There are too many dogs dying in shelters and too many people running inhumane breeding businesses. So, please adopt a dog. The more people that choose to adopt, the less dogs that will have to die due to overpopulation. Let’s help the world see how important the lives of dogs are.
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