Why It's Better to Adopt Than Shop

The Sad Truth About Animal Mills

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ― Karen Davison On November 11, 2017 

I went to Petco for their monthly adoption event. I was hoping to find a companion that day. Since it was the end of the day, the last remaining dogs ranged from 3 months to 10 years. These are the ones I hear many people call “too old” to adopt. I wanted to rescue all of them but, sadly, I could only rescue one. When I was about to give up and leave puppy-less one of them caught my eye. There was a 3-month-old black lab mixed with Pitbull by the exit. Everyone would pet him and say how cute he was, get his hopes up, and then leave. It was 10 minutes until he and the rest of the animals were going to go back to the pound. He gave the biggest puppy eyes ever imagined. I rescued him soon after and named him Koa Jones Blancas. As I was leaving the store, Koa attacked me with kisses as if he was thanking me for saving him. This is when I knew for a fact I made the right choice. I’ve never regretted rescuing an animal from a shelter. Never have and never will. For the next several minutes, I would like to explain why rescuing an animal is better than shopping for one.

To begin…

When I think about shopping for animals the first thing that comes to mind are puppy mills, the most common of the animal selling industry. Many think puppies are the only animals being bred and sold when in fact cats and rabbits are very popular as well. What exactly are animal mills? Animal mills are basically legal establishments that breed out animals for profit most of the time in horrible in-humane disease-ridden conditions. “Puppy Mills” an article written by PETA, that I acquired on April 28, 2018, states that "Dogs often had no bedding or protection from the cold or heat and no regular veterinary care even when they were ill. Health conditions such as crusty, oozing eyes, raging ear infections, mange that turned their skin into a mass of red scabs, and abscessed feet from the unforgiving wire floors all were ignored or inadequately treated.” Almost all animals of the “buying” industry go through the same upbring and conditions. The United States Department of Agriculture published a powerpoint "Introductory course For Commercial Dog Breeders” which I acquired on April 26, 2018. It states that if a cage is the length of the animal plus 6, the cage is deemed as livable. The USDA fails to make laws on how many animals a facility may have which causes overpopulation. There are also no laws in how long an animal may be kept in the cage. The only thing the owners of these establishments take accountablity for and are passionate about are the profits they are going to make instead of animals' well being. As stated on Animal Rescue Corps.org, “Puppy Mills” an article I acquired on April 28, 2018, since dogs are the most popular animal to buy there are over 15,000 puppy mills in the United States. On September 14, 2017, California became the first state to ban pet stores from the sale of puppies from puppy mills. This also included the sale of kittens and rabbits, a law I hope that will pass throughout the US and eventually ban animal mills once in for all. Because of the use of this institutions, America’s demand for mill animals is what is killing millions of innocent lives.

To continue that thought…

Individuals that shop for animals are responsible for the deaths of shelter and animal mill animals. For example, my eldest brother Tony bought both of his Beagles from a puppy mill. He spent over $1500 for both since one was purebred and the other mixed with Hound-dog. I conducted a personal Interview with Tony on April 29, 2018. We sat and discussed the process of buying an animal from a mill. He began telling me how his dogs' mill was not bad since they came from a high-quality breeder. Before going to that mill he went to one that was your typical puppy mill. Four dogs in one cage, no protection from heat or rain, poor diet, hygiene, never seeing the light of day until they are bought and their mothers bred again and again after each heat which makes them infertile which means little to no production of animals, thus the end of their life. He found it quite sad but when I asked him why he didn’t just adopt an animal from the shelter, he told me it was more of a convenience to go to a puppy mill with exact cash and buy his pet. No strings attached whatsoever. This is the reason millions upon millions of animals die in shelters yearly. When people buy animals from these facilities they expect the highest quality when in reality, they just bought an animal infected with diseases that could have been prevented or cured with prior proper care. By bringing an animal from a mill home you pose a threat to other animals you have. You’re are also bringing an animal that has most likely been psychologically damaged. Most animals that come from these facilities have had little to no human interaction, abusive behavior, do not know how to act towards other pets and or people, and even have a hard time with everyday tasks. By not giving that animal the proper care and time to adjust to their surroundings, they tend to become more aggressive.

In reality…

We as a nation have the ability to close down and ban all animal mills nationwide. By adopting rescue animals, you will be able to save two lives at once. As recorded by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) which I came across on May 4 2018, there are more surrenders of animals than adoption. With shelters becoming overfilled, many animals get euthanized to make room for incoming animals. As stated on ASPCA's website. “Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats).” All because many would rather shop than adopt. By rescuing your next fur baby, you are fighting for animals all over and giving them a second chance at life. They may be only part of your life, but for them, you are their whole life. By adopting an animal you reduce the overpopulation of their species. The ability to have it controlled and monitored would reduce the number of homeless animals there are in the US. As reported and published on Onegreenplanet.org I came by on May 3, 2018, there are over 70 million stray animals living in our country. Most of them are adoptable but no one likes to take care of something with “baggage” People who are against rescuing animals need to step back and see how their selfish choice are killing millions of innocent lives. As for the individuals that want to put a stop to animal mills once in for all, we need to band together and fight for those who can not fight. Although California banned the use of puppy mill animals being sold in pet stores, puppy mills are still legal in America. By adopting your next pet, not buying animals online, and writing your legislator about the need to stop animal mills once in for all.

Now to wrap this up…

I have spent the last several minutes explaining why rescuing your next pet is better than shopping for one. From the moment you sign those papers and take your furbaby home, he will give you unconditional love for the rest of his life. Once we bought Koa home within 24 hours we rushed him to an emergency vet in Riverside. Spent $400 on medications he “needed” but I had no business giving him since all he really needed was 24/7 fluids but they failed to tell me so I would spend more money. When treating an animal for parvo, the biggest threat for smaller dogs is starvation since they do not want to eat, where with bigger dogs it’s dehydration. Since this vet was an emergency vet and had someone on call 24/7, they would have charged me $8000 for his stay. I decided to take him home and nurse him back to health myself. He refused to take his medication and stopped drinking water. Since I was beyond frustrated and did not want my dog to die me and my boyfriend made the choice to have him stay at our local vet even if it cost more money. We looked into pulling out loans and applying to credit cards. Many people thought we were crazy because Koa’s chances of living were 50/50. When arriving with Koa to the vet, 10 other dogs came in with Parvo, all from the adoption event at Petco. The vet techs told me how instead of sticking by their animal through the virus, many of them took them back for another at the pound. I stood by Koa, visiting him daily. My boyfriend would drive home every day from Orange County to see him. He knew mom and dad were there for him and did not want him to give up the fight of the virus. The vets said he had one of the worst cases of Parvo they have ever seen and told us to prepare for death. We took that chance, spent over $1000 to save our dogs, and fight for the local shelter to check and immunize shelter animals before adoption. They could not promise that so instead they paid for Koa’s two weeks, 24-hour care at the Vet which came out to $2000. I am beyond blessed my local shelter was able to take responsibility and accommodate the owners that decided to put their animals through treatment. Koa is now 8-months-old, 56 pounds, and almost full grown. Every morning I wake up I get attacked with kisses and cuddles all night. Although I did save his life, he saved mine as well.

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