I saw the hashtag #adoptdontshop while scrolling through my Instagram feed. I've always been an advocate of shelter and rescue animals. To be honest, I'll judge a little bit anyone who buys a pet, or anyone who is focused on getting a purebred animal. (You can find purebred animals in shelters too, but please don't overlook the mixed breeds for that one reason. Genetic diseases and puppy mills are some of the major reasons to not get a purebred animal. Check out this Huffington Post article to read more about them. And if there was no demand for purebred animals, there would be no supply.) And I'll seriously judge anyone who gets a pet irresponsibly and then gives it up (or wants to put it to sleep) because it doesn't fit in their lifestyle. A pet is not an accessory, it is a friend.
There are tons of reasons to adopt a pet. A loving animal wants a forever home. You'll (hopefully) give it a better, happy life. You'll have a best friend for life. You'll change the life of that animal. And there are more.
Here are a few links to different pet adoption websites.
- Adopt a Pet - A non-profit where you can search for your future dog, cat, horse, rabbit, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish, farm-type animal, or small animal. You can also search for shelters in your area. There is also a lot of information about adoption, pet care, and pet health.
- Petfinder - A website where you can search for your future dog, cat, rabbit, small & furry, horse, bird, pig, barnyard animal, animal with scales, fins, and others. There's also information about pet care, shelters and rescues, helping pets, and more.
- ASPCA - You can use their website to search for dogs and cats in shelters, find shelters in your area, and to find resources regarding animals.
- The Humane Society - They have resources for animals and animal adoption. They're big advocates of spaying and neutering to keep the animal population down.
- IDAWG - We've picked up some of our best friends from IDAWG in Idaho so I thought I'd mention it here.
Our cats were both strays that were brought to our vet. One was found in a garage and brought in because of a hurt leg that had to be removed. And the other had lain unmoving by the side of the road for 2-3 days before lifting up her head when the right person drove by. The person then stopped and brought the poor emaciated cat into the vet where she was able to be saved. I don't know that all vets are like ours, taking in some of the animals and finding the right homes for them themselves, but yours might have something similar. Our vet will also sometimes have a shelter cat or two by the front desk. The cat will usually get adopted and it brings awareness to that shelter.
I'm a firm believer in rescuing animals and in rescuing older ones. Everyone wants a puppy or a kitten but that leaves the older ones a little out of luck. (That puppy or kitten will grow up pretty soon and will you still want it?)
So if you're thinking about getting a new friend, please adopt, don't shop. And consider getting that six year old with life wisdom instead of the baby. Although someone needs to take the baby animal so it's not a bad thing to do; but please think about getting that older animal.