Shelter Vs. Pet Shop | Teen Ink

Shelter Vs. Pet Shop

September 11, 2011
By Annaklusmos BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
Annaklusmos BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
3 articles 2 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Make it work." - Tim Gunn, Project runway,

Every one loves getting a new pet, but before you head down to the pet store stop and consider this, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 5 to 7 million pets go into animal shelters nationwide each year! It’s a pretty staggering statistic. Most animals from shelters are adoring and lovable pets. A lot of puppies and other pets from stores come from places called “mills”. Often, shelter pets are less expensive that ones from pet store. Given these facts, it only makes sense to adopt from a shelter instead of a pet store.

Contrary to popular belief, animals in a shelter weren’t put there because they were bad pets. Most of them are there because of bad owners. These animals have been starved, beaten, caged, hoarded, and even just plain ignored! The unlucky ones aren’t saved in time and die before they could be put in a shelter. All these pets ever wanted was someone to love them, they are in the shelter so they can find that person. All animals brought into the ASPCA shelters are spayed or neutered, and are also brought up to date on shots and vaccines. By the time they are ready to be put up for adoption they are strong, healthy, and just itching to be adopted!

The animals in pet stores may seem nice at first look. Adorable puppies and kittens falling over themselves to greet you in the window, but take a look closer. There are a lot of animals in pet stores. This is because many of them come from terrible places called “mills”. Mills are like animal factories. They make as many babies as they can and they don’t care about taking care of them, all they want is money. Let’s take puppies for an example. Dogs kept in puppy mills are often stuffed together in harsh metal cages. Sometimes these cages are stacked up high and since the dogs are never out of the cages waste sometimes falls from one cage into the cage below. And these dogs are never groomed, seldom fed, and never socialized. The females that can’t breed anymore and the breeds that aren’t quite as popular are killed to make room for more puppies. They become so inbred that many of them end up with hereditary diseases like epilepsy, diabetes, and heart and kidney disease. Many of them die. Potential buyers don’t learn of these until the papers are already signed and they get the puppies home. That doesn’t seem fair to the puppy or the owner and it’s becoming quite a problem. Even buying pet food in a store like this supports the puppy mill!

Al lot of people might be thinking this, “well I want a purebred dog not some mutt and the pet stores are cheaper anyway.” This is not true. According to the ASPCA website, approximately 25% of dogs brought into the shelter ARE purebreds. About the price, shelter animals are a lot cheaper than pet store animals. A dog from a pet store could cost anywhere from 300 to $2,000! The same kind of dog could be adopted from a shelter at a much more feasible price of 20 to $200, and be much more healthy. And they have a lot more than dogs and cats; they have all sorts of animals!

So to review, animals in shelters make really good pets. When you get them they are already strong and healthy. You can get nearly any kind of pet you want there, and it’s typically a lot cheaper. Anything you buy from a pet store that sells baby animals could be supporting an animal mill. So think hard about these facts, then turn around and get out of the pet store. Don’t buy anything there, not even toys or food. If you’re looking for a pet to love go to your local shelter today, and be someone’s hero!

The author's comments:
I wrote this for a school paper. I am very passionate about this subject so I wanted to share it. Please rate it and I really would love to hear your comments!

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This article has 2 comments.

on Sep. 15 2011 at 5:02 pm
Annaklusmos BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
3 articles 2 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Make it work." - Tim Gunn, Project runway,

Thank you very much for your support! I'm glad you liked it!

bahamamama said...
on Sep. 15 2011 at 2:20 pm
What a great article! Very well written and so very true!  Keep your articles coming Annaklusmos!  I so enjoy them!