Hello! You can probably tell from my posts that I love animals.
All animals (common and exotic, dogs, cats, turtles, reptiles, bugs and creepy crawlies) make me tongue-tied with awe and giddy with joy.
You know that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when you hold a baby? I get that feeling from watching civets expertly peeling mangoes, and from having my rescued pugs nibble on my ear. I’m so deep in pet fur all the time, my family calls me an honorary animal.
As you can also see, I’m strongly against buying animals and breeding them irresponsibly, when there are so many homeless animals being abandoned by people who can’t take care of them.
The mention of a ‘pedigree’ drives me wild with indignation. I have nothing against dogs and cats with illustrious and celebrity ancestors. I just don’t believe a ‘pedigree’ is what defines an animal’s worth. It’s elitist and disgusting, given the circumstances many ‘pedigree’ animals come from.
Of course, there’s good reason for ‘pedigree’ – it means that the dog or cat has been bred without genetic illnesses, from parents with good genes. But the demand for ‘pedigree’ pets is often misused by puppy mills who care about profit more than about the animals they breed.
Why I Strongly Advocate Adoption
As long as I can remember, I’ve been an advocate for animal adoption. That’s the reason I’m writing this blog.
Every year, 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized, simply because too many animals come into shelters and there are not enough people taking them in. So where do many pet owners bring home their kittens, puppies, and rabbits from?
from Mass Breeding Facilities
The cruelty that goes on in these breeding facilities is unbelievable. Did you know that thousands of commercial breeding facilities and backyard breeders keep their female dogs in lonely cages and constantly get them pregnant?
You didn’t know that did you? Most people don’t know this, or they wouldn’t buy pets from pet stores that source their animals from these commercial breeding facilities. I’m not saying all do. But who’s to know which ones are okay and which are not? (Note: if you do ever buy a pet from a breeder, always make sure they take you to where the puppies are kept. Don’t fall for the ‘my place is hard to find, I’ll meet you in the parking lot’ trick.)
The government can’t shut down puppy mills because they’re not really doing anything illegal. Yes, it’s not illegal even when they’re keeping animals in cramped quarters, with little access to vet care and not enough exercise and attention. It’s funny, isn’t it? There are many shady USDA-licensed breeders that call themselves ‘responsible’ but barely meet the license cut.
This is only possible because, despite the Animal Welfare Act and its good intentions of protecting animals from cruelty, there are loopholes that facilities exploit. In other words, the USDA doesn’t always manage to protect animals it has made laws to protect.
Why Adoption Centers are Different
What does ‘responsible’ pet care really mean? Many adoption shelters will tell you. These are adoption centers run by people that love animals. I know, I’ve worked in several of them all over the country. They rescue animals that are found sick and helpless, unwanted and abandoned. These animals are voiceless creatures. It would be so easy to euthanize a sick animal and send the healthy ones out for adoption if it were about the adoption fees.
But good animal shelters run on bare minimum funding from animal lovers. They provide sick animals with their time. They vaccinate the animals, pay for the vet’s services, pay for the staff (who are often mostly unpaid volunteers or earning minimum wage). Sometimes they even manage to get expensive medical treatment for really sick animals.
There may be some bad-egg adoption centers and rescues, but there are a lot more legitimate ones.
- When you buy a kitten or a puppy from a pet store, you’re supporting animal cruelty. I don’t believe you’d do that, would you?
- When you adopt an animal, you’re saving a life from euthanasia. How’s that for feeling good about yourself?
Animals in adoption centers are well cared for, spayed and neutered. Adults are often house-trained. And when you adopt from a shelter, you get to choose from several wonderful animals of all temperaments. Maybe there’s one a little crazy just like you!
Adoption changes lives – yours and that of the animal you adopt.
I’d love to change more animal lives. Wouldn’t you?