Writer Feature: I Choose to Adopt, Not Shop
Editor’s Note: Please join us in welcoming our newest intern, Hannah Chaplik! Hannah is a senior at Florida State University where she majors in Editing, Writing & Media while minoring in Chemistry. She has a beloved cat named Babu.
Growing up with my family in South Florida, we always had the presence of a furry family member or two. I loved growing up with dogs around the house, but I never realized the connection someone can make with an animal of their very own. Fortunately, two years ago my mom found a stray kitten who desperately needed a home. As soon as she brought him to the house and I laid my eyes on him, I fell in love. To this day Babu is the one part of my life that, no matter what, will brighten my day. Every day I wake up with him either laying right next to me or directly on my chest. As soon as I put my keys in the door he runs up to the window to greet me, then follows me wherever I go. Having my partner in crime is so important to me.
There was a time at my last apartment when Babu escaped and didn’t come home for four weeks. I made posters, and called and visited animal shelters to no avail, until one day he finally showed up at my door. I felt as though I lost a part of myself, but during the whole process, the animal shelters in the Tallahassee area were so helpful. After visiting a few for my first time, in search of Babu, I realized just how many animals were eagerly waiting to be adopted. The visits scared me because I was informed that if Babu was turned in, yet never claimed, he would be euthanized within a week. However, the visits also opened my eyes to how important adopting, instead of shopping, for animals really is.
Statistically, 6.5 million animals per year add to the population already in animal shelters, and 1.5 million of those are euthanized. The good news is that 3.2 million animals are adopted each year. While this is a large number of animals to be adopted, many of them are returned because the adopters are unaware of the cost, allergies, how to train an animal, or simply do not have time to take care of one. To avoid this, I highly suggest doing research beforehand! A full understanding of animal care will lead to a much better experience and finding a best animal friend.
If there is no room in your home for an addition, but you feel strongly about adopting versus shopping, there is always the option to volunteer, fundraise, donate, or raise awareness for the cause through word of mouth, posters and flyers, as well as on social media. That being said, I have learned over time that the animals saved from harsh conditions or feelings of being unwanted, usually become the closest to their owners. I cannot stress enough that saving an animal’s life will create an unbreakable bond that can never be replaced. Adopt, don’t shop!