If you’ve been wanting a faithful companion in your home, you might automatically think of visiting the pet store. However, there’s something you should know about the puppies you’ll find there. Unfortunately, 99% of them are born in puppy mills, and to put it mildly, they don’t start life receiving the love and care they need to grow into healthy adult dogs. And because of the numerous health problems suffered by puppy mill dogs, you’re doing yourself and a homeless animal a better deed by adopting a dog from your local shelter.
The Truth About Puppy Mills
You’ve probably heard a lot of fuss over puppy mills, but you might not know what it’s all about. The truth is, they’re often billed as reputable breeders but typically produce puppies in a factory-style method. These puppies are usually born to mothers who have been caged, and they’re frequently separated from Momma Doggie way too soon. This leads to behavioral problems, as they lack the necessary bonding time to become psychologically healthy. Also, vaccines and other needful veterinary care are often overlooked, leading to increased rates of disease in the young pups. And since puppy mill owners are in it for profit and not for the genuine love of dogs, they have no incentive to change their ways. The only way to stop them is not patronizing their businesses, and avoid purchasing pet shop doggies.
So, I Still Want a Dog. What Can I Do?
Thankfully, your local animal shelter is a great alternative from which you can adopt a dog. A good percentage of canines who end up in shelters are brought in because of reasons related to their human owners. Usually, this means the person is unable to care for them due to age or illness, or a divorce was involved or the person moved to a residence that does not allow pets. In either case, these dogs are already acclimated to human companionship and house-trained. And if you have your heart set on a puppy, then you’re just as likely to find one, because of newborn litters from animals that were not neutered or spayed.
How Do I Adopt a Dog from a Shelter?
It’s wise to call the establishment ahead of time, or visit their website. They’ll usually have their public hours posted, and you’ll be able to find out more information about their adoption procedures as well as fees. What you’ll pay to them usually covers vaccinations, spaying or neutering and microchipping (for shelters that offer it). Depending on the establishment, this ranges anywhere from $30 to $150 — much less expensive that the hundreds or even thousands of dollars you’d pay for a pet store dog.
Do Yourself and a Doggie Some Good
When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you’re helping cut back on the 1.2 million dogs who are euthanized annually. You’re also not contributing to the financial success of the puppy mills, which turn out 2 million dogs each year. Your new doggie gets a loving home, and you enjoy a loveable companion. Adopting a dog is a win-win scenario, for both you and your canine pal.