Adopt Don’t Shop


Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption. There are many good reasons to adopt rather than buy a pet. Adopting a pet saves more than just a life; it will save you money.

Buying a pet from a pet store can easily cost between $500-$1,000, or more. Adoption costs range from $50-$250, depending on whether the pet comes from the city shelter or a rescue group that has spent money on boarding, vets and grooming. Usually, when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up front costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the animal, you may also save on housebreaking and training expenses, as most are already trained.

When buying a dog from a shelter, they are likely going to be a mixed-breed. Mixed breeds can be healthier than purebreds. A mixed-breed animal is likely to live longer and cost less in vet bills than a purebred. The main problem with purebreds stems from the simple fact that to create a purebred puppy you need two dogs from the exact same gene pool. This gene pool is already limited, but many breeders will use dogs from the same family gene pool to create more dogs (inbreeding). Defects include a higher risk of cancer and tumors; eye and heart disease; joint and bone disorders; skin, immune system and neurological diseases; and even epilepsy. There is no need to panic, though. You just need to be aware of the risk of defects. When you adopt, especially from a rescue group, you know what you are getting because the group has a history on the animal. The rescue group will also help you through the familiarization period because they are invested in providing a good home for that animal.

Yes, animals need food and water and medicine, but the most important thing you could give a rescued dog is love, which they’ll give you in return. If you are looking for a rescue dog (or cat), you can go to the Shelter Pet Project to find pets near you of every size, color, temperament and breed. Purebred and mixed breed animals alike are waiting for their forever homes!