reasons to adopt a pet

Reasons to Adopt a Pet Instead of Buying One

Bringing a pet into your family is a big commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’re taking responsibility for another life! You should be certain that you and your family are ready for that responsibility, especially if it’s a puppy or kitten, which requires more time and attention to satisfy their growing needs.

Once you’ve decided you’re ready for a pet, the next step is to figure out where you’re going to get one and what you plan on getting. Let’s say you decide that you’re ready to welcome a nice, loving dog into your home. It then comes down to two options: you can either adopt a dog or buy one.

When it comes to adopting, the first place you’ll want to look is your local shelter. There should be plenty of shelters around your area that would be more than happy to have you adopt one of their animals. On the other hand, if you were to decide to buy one, you could go to one of many pet stores or buy from a breeder if you have a specific breed in mind.

The Pet Adoption Process

How It Works & What to Expect

Shelters are always eager to adopt pets to interested parties, but what they won’t do is let you just pick an animal and leave with them. There is a process when it comes to adopting an animal.

Shelters are typically very easygoing in terms of letting you see or play with whatever animal you show interest in, even allowing you a private room (when possible) to have some time alone with the animal to ensure compatibility between the two of you.

Once you’ve bonded with an animal and decided you’d like to take them home, you can request to file an application to adopt that animal.

When it comes to the application, you can expect to fill out a couple of pages worth of paperwork that asks for information like where you work, your housing situation, how often you’re at home, your history with previous pets, what happened to them, or where they are now, etc. If you are renting, they may reach out to the leasing office of the development you live in, or the landlord from whom you’re renting, to ensure that you’re allowed to have a pet on the premises.

The shelter's main goal is to find a home for the animal and to ensure they are placing the animal in a good situation where they will have a long, healthy, and loving life.

Once your application is accepted, it’s possible that they’ll let you take your new furry friend home with you that day! Most shelters make you purchase a leash, food, and a collar before leaving, so that they can guarantee the animal will have the basic necessities right off the bat.

In some instances, shelters may require you to wait a day or two, and sometimes even up to a week to take your new pet home. This may be for a couple of reasons, ranging from having to file the required paperwork or the animal needing to be neutered or spayed before they’re able to leave the shelter.

Why You Should Adopt a Pet

Deciding whether to adopt or buy your next (or even first) pet can be a difficult decision. Here are reasons we think you should adopt your next pet:


One of the simplest reasons for choosing adoption over buying is because adoption costs are much less than breeder or store costs. Depending on the shelter you’re adopting from, you may even be able to adopt an animal for under $50 if the animal is past their puppy or kitten stage. The adoption fee is usually spent on food and resources for the other animals at the shelter.

Puppies at shelters will typically be more costly to adopt, but this is only because the shelter may have had to neuter or spay the animal and they’re looking to be reimbursed for the procedure. Even by paying that fee, you’re likely to leave with a puppy at the cost of $200–$300, rather than a couple of thousand dollars.

Sheltered Animals

Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters in the United States every year, and this doesn’t consider the ones that are already in shelters. Approximately 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Of these 6.5 million animals, approximately 1.5 million are euthanized every single year. Animals are being euthanized at an alarming rate just because there’s nowhere for them to go and shelters are low on space. Around 4,100 cats and dogs are euthanized every day.

Most shelters operate off donations and struggle to pay the bills needed for them to operate month-to-month. Dog food, toys, and other resources add up significantly when you have anywhere from 50 to a couple hundred animals residing in a facility. These animals are all hoping to find loving homes.

Animal shelters follow a 72-hour rule, which means that they only need to wait a minimum of 72 hours after bringing in a stray animal before they’re legally authorized to euthanize them. This is the sad reality that many animals face if they’re left unadopted and in shelters.

Putting an End to Puppy Mills

What most people don’t know is that those adorable little puppies they see at their local pet stores were probably raised in a puppy mill. If you don’t know what a puppy mill is, it’s a facility where dogs are bred so that breeders are able to bring in as much profit from their offspring as possible.

There are between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders currently operating in the United States. What’s not known is the number of unlicensed puppy mills in existence. These puppy mills can be so large that they contain more than 1,000 breeding dogs at the same time.

Responsible breeders understand the importance of the health of a parent, as well as the genetic pairing required to produce strong litters that will improve the breed. Operators of puppy mills don’t consider these things, focusing on producing as many puppies as they can, causing legitimate genetic flaws in the dogs’ breeding pools. Along with this, the abuse that these animals can encounter is disturbing. If more people adopted, rather than bought dogs, these puppy mills would go out of business.

There are plenty of lovable animals in shelters across the United States who just need to be given a home and an opportunity to prove their worth. Give them that opportunity. Consider adoption over purchasing.

Learn More About Pet Adoption