Adopt don’t shop

Annabelle Stewart, Staff Writer

As winter approaches, many animal shelters will begin to be overflowing with new rescues. This is the season when many stray animals come out of hiding in search of warmth, only to be found and brought to an animal shelter in hopes of adoption. 

Along with it being stray season, Christmas is also coming around the corner. Thousands of people will wish for a pet to call their own. Many people will fulfill that wish by going to a pet store or dog breeder, purchasing a puppy or a kitten for hundreds of dollars, completely forgetting about the hundreds of animals that are residing in shelters. But, purchasing from a pet store is one of the worst options when it comes to adding a furry friend to your family.

What makes purchasing from a pet store so bad? Well, many pet stores utilize something called “puppy mills”. These are large-scale breeding facilities that do not care about the well being of the animals they both breed and produce. The dogs are often unhealthy and unsocialized, which only creates even sicker puppies. Purchasing animals from such situations only supports such ill practices, while adopting from shelters supports a system that is put in place for animals to thrive.

Adopting animals that are already residing in shelters will always be the better option. Rachel Worthington from Livingston Animal Shelter and Control says, “Shelters for the most part are almost always full. Animals that come from there are already spayed and neutered. By adopting you are saving an animal from a shelter and possible euthenesia”. Worthingtonalso stressed that shelter animals are often some of the most healthy animals you can find, they are treated and cared for by some of the most compassionate people on the planet.

By adopting, you are saving more than just one life. You are taking home a new member of your family, but you are also creating room in the shelter for it to accept more animals who could need greater care. By boycotting purchasing from animal shelters, you are also boycotting places like puppy mills and therefore saving the lives of the 2 million puppies that are born through them in just a year.

If you are looking to adopt, there are plenty of loving animals that are currently residing at Livingston County Animal Shelter and Control who are in search of new homes. The resident who has currently been there the longest is a sweet cat named Winston. 

He has been living at the shelter since early August. He is one of the sweetest cats to ever step into the shelter, he is FIV positive which tends to scare possible owners away. However, cats who are FIV positive can live lives that are just as long as cats who test negative. His ailments just make him unique.

Kittens and puppies also often are at the shelter. If you are looking to add a pet that is on the younger side to your family, there are almost always options as the shelter. Currently, one of the showcase kittens is Jack O’ Lantern. He is a shy little boy who is only about 8 weeks old. The best part about animal shelters is that if you come in with a specific animal in mind, there are always other animals there that are just as ready to steal your heart, like Jack.

If you are considering adding a furry friend to your family, please look at your local shelters before you look into purchasing an animal from a breeder or puppy mill.