2 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Most pet parents have heard the sayings “Adopt, Don’t Shop” and “Adopt or Shop Responsibly” at some point in their lives. These words are often used as hashtags on social media, and they’re sayings that I strongly support. However, I recently learned that there’s some controversy around them.
“Adopt, Don’t Shop” is the more common of the two phrases, but some humans don’t like it. Some people believe it’s sending the wrong message and that’s why they use “Adopt or Shop Responsibly” instead. To us, the two phrases get the same message across, and I think both are equally great. Here’s why!
What “Adopt, Don’t Shop” Means to Us
Whenever Molly and I say, “Adopt, Don’t Shop,” we use it as a way to say “adoption is a priority.” To us, the phrase means that if you’re able, you should consider shelters and rescues above a breeder. There are so many dogs at risk of euthanasia, so we believe that it’s a good idea to meet rescue dogs first before encouraging breeders to bring more dogs into this world.
If adopting ends up not being the best choice for your family, it’s a little disappointing to us, but we don’t judge as long as you’re cautious and responsible when finding a breeder.
Why Do People Prefer “Adopt or Shop Responsibly”?
A lot of people mistake the phrase “Adopt, Don’t Shop” for “Adopt, Never Shop.” While some humans mean the latter, that’s not the saying. Like all phrases, it’s not always cut and dry, so it’s up to the person (or dog!) using it to decide what it means to them.
Even though we do think everyone should consider adoption first, we know that won’t always be the case. If no one went to breeders, some good breeds might go extinct. So, it’s okay for some people to go to reputable breeders, as long as they aren’t the significant majority. I once heard that if half of the people planning to go to breeders adopted instead, we wouldn’t have to euthanize dogs in shelters anymore, so that’s why we encourage adoption as a priority so much.
For those reasons, we don’t say “Adopt, Never Shop” because that wouldn’t be accurate to our beliefs. (Although you should never buy from breeders that get their puppies from puppy mills, such as puppy websites and puppy-selling stores).
Choose the Phrase That You’re Comfortable with!
To us, “Adopt, Don’t Shop” and “Adopt or Shop Responsibly” are just different wordings of the same message. So, we don’t care which one you use in your hashtags. Choose which one sounds better to you, and don’t let people criticize you for what you believe in. Humans who stand up for dogs in need are wonderful, so thank you to anyone that donates, volunteers, fosters, adopts, and advocates!
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