Canadian young professionals (YPs) love being pet parents. Pets offer us so much love and joy, and truly compliment the YP lifestyle. If you are contemplating adding a pet to your life and are seeking out breeders or visiting local pet shops, consider hopping on the Adopt Don’t Shop train instead. The Adopt Don’t Shop movement is more than a current trend. It is a shift in current collective thought, an evolution of humanity, and thus something we YPs need to be right at the forefront of. Beyond the well-known issues regarding over population, there are a number of other notable reasons why we’re all about Adopt Don’t Shop, and hope you will be too:
1. Because adult pets can be easier: Young professionals are busy people, and young pets are hard work. Some of us don’t have the time (or perhaps the time to learn how) to house-train a kitten or obedience-train a puppy. By adopting an older animal, we have the chance to get a ready-made pet. Often, staff of animal shelters and rescues can provide detailed descriptions of adult pets’ personalities and let you know ahead of time of any apparent issues. If you want a dog who’s already proven it can play nice with others, a cat who comes litter box trained, or a even a bird known to stay quiet until 9am, adopting via a rescue or shelter is a great way to go.
2. Because mixed breeds are generally healthier: Have you ever looked up what a bulldog used to look like before humans got all involved? (Check out this link for some shocking before and afters). Breeding animals to have certain traits over others has led to overbred and inbred pets, with a myriad of breed-specific health and behavioural problems. When it comes to dogs, it is common knowledge that certain breeds are more likely to develop certain health issues – Cocker Spaniels and cataracts, Boxers and cardiomyopathy, Chihuahuas and collapsing trachea, etc. Of course, there are responsible breeders out there working to preserve the natural goodness of popular breeds. But unless you are willing to do extensive research regarding breeders and their animals, going with a mixed-breed shelter pet is an easier way to lessen the chances of having a sick/difficult/expensive pet down the line.
4. Because shelters have purebreds too: If you are set on a specific breed, there is a good possibility that your local shelter or a shelter nearby may have just what you are looking for. Thanks to sites like PetFinder.com, it is has become increasingly easy to track down just the type of pet you want, from all the shelters and rescues located within a specific distance of where you are. It may take a little extra patience, but yes, you can even French Bulldogs and Bengle cats in need of good homes.
5. Because puppy mills and backyard breeders: Without getting into the horrific details so commonly seen on the evening news, it is important for YPs to know the reality of puppy mills and backyard breeders. It is becoming more and more taboo, and in some provinces illegal, to buy a pet from a pet shop or online. We just know too much now of the terrible conditions that many parents of those cute puppies, kitties and other small animals in the window are made to live in. As YPs, this is one of the many social issues we can’t ignore, and one that we can easily help by simply committing an Adopt Don’t Shop approach to pets.
6. Because they are there: Perhaps the most basic yet poignant reason for YPs to consider adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue is simply because they are there and they are many. Thankfully in Canada we have relatively high standards for animal care and so our shelters are not such horrible places. That said, some shelters and municipal animal facilities can be extremely stressful environments for the animals. Such places can be loud and overcrowded, causing some animals to become sick and/or develop behavioural issues (plus the whole ticking clock euthanasia thing). Shelter animals come from a variety of places, including people who originally purchased them from a shop or breeder. With recues and shelters overflowing with healthy animals desperate to leave and become your perfect pet, why not save a life and help end the vicious cycle?
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)
Cover image from: Petsafe.net