Writer Feature: Adopting vs. Shopping

Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming our newest intern, Samantha Davis! Samantha is a senior at Sam Houston State University and is majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. She has three pets back home: KC, Keno, and Kit Kat.

In this life, there are a few things that tend to make it a little better than it usually is. One of these things are pets. Whether it’s a cat or a dog, pets can have a wonderful impact on your life. They’re there for you after a long day of work or when you get sick (I swear they have magic healing powers). If you’re already a pet owner, you can attest to the fact that pets really aren’t just pets—they’re family.

Where do you start, though? Pets are a big responsibility—you shouldn’t take it lightly. Seriously consider whether or not you’re financially ready to take care of your future family member. Also make sure that you’re bringing your pet into a good home environment. Once you have it figured out and you’re confident that you’re ready for this big step in your life, you can start your journey onto parent-pethood.

Adopting verses shopping for your pet is one of the most important things you’ll have to consider. With shopping, there are several factors you’ll have to face. It isn’t a secret—shopping has risks. To begin, you’ll most likely want a puppy, right? Puppies that you buy most likely have come from puppy mills. Puppy mills, in their most basic definition, are large facilities or establishments that breed dogs to sell to pet stores. If you want, you can research puppy mills to get a better idea of what they are, but the bottom line is that the dogs are kept in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, and are almost always treated cruelly. Because of this, these poor puppies will most likely have health and mental problems as well. It’s a tragic truth that needs to end. In addition, they cost a lot. Not only are you paying for that puppy, you’ll also be paying all the vet bills to spay/neuter, have shots, and who knows what else? Shopping really is one of the worst ways to go. All puppies are cute, but if you’ve ever gone into a pet shop, you’ll most likely end up seeing depressed, sick dogs in windows. It’s horrific.

So, what’s the benefit of adopting? Well, to begin, there are millions of dogs and cats in shelters all around the world waiting for a good home. Some never find a home, but you could be the person to change that! Shelters are kept pristine by employees and countless volunteers, so it’s a very healthy habitat for the pets. People who work at the shelters also care for the animals and take the time to make sure that the pet is going to a good environment. Not only that, but that also means that the dogs and cats and given at least a little attention every day. That really improves their people skills and gives them a better mentality. It also makes them a lot more loving. Just wait till you take them home! Talk about happy pets! Adopting is also better because pets are given the correct shots regularly and are spayed or neutered once they enter the shelter. It’s included in the adoption fee, which is still cheaper than having your vet do it! Not to mention, your fees go to helping other dogs and cats find good homes. Everyone benefits!

The obvious choice here is adoption. Not only will you still be taking home a pet, but you’ll have the added benefit of knowing that you saved an animal from possible euthanasia. Shelter dogs also tend to be a lot more loving. Speaking from personal experience, my family and I adopted a dog and a cat ten years ago. I have never met a more loving dog in my life. Our cat had to take time to warm up to us, but he eventually got there and now he never stops asking for ear scratches.

It’s the best feeling knowing that you not only gained a best friend, but you also saved them. Your pet will always thank you with warm looks, snuggles, and kisses. Be prepared for the onslaught of love. If you still aren’t convinced, you can do further research on your own, but hopefully the only research you’ll have to do is finding where your nearest animal adoption center is!