One of the most frustrating things to me is how there are a ton of dogs and cats in shelters, waiting to be adopted, and that people still go to pet stores instead to drop thousands of dollars on a dog.
My biggest problem with pet stores is that the dogs usually come from puppy mills. According to the Puppy Mills Project, over two million puppies are bred in mills each year, and an estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year.
There are mills that are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and to sell to pet stores, mills must have a license, although many sell to pet stores regardless if they have a license or not. Puppy mills typically put profits over the well-being over the dogs, which is why they are such a big problem. Puppies receive little to no veterinary care, live in unsanitary conditions, and spend the first part of their lives confined to a cage at all times, usually packed in the same cage with multiple other dogs. Female dogs continually breed until they are physically unable to, at which point they are euthanized.
For more information about puppy mills, check out the Puppy Mills Project, which has a lot more facts about the issue.
Buying dogs from pet stores that get their puppies from mills means that mills are profiting. Animal shelters usually receive little funding, and usually treat their animals more humanely, and their animals receive adequate care.
My family adopted our dog years ago, from a shelter I also used to volunteer at. The dogs and cats there come from all over the place, usually wandering around in the streets, or found in abandoned buildings. My dog, along with her siblings, were found many years ago in an abandoned building (a farm, I believe). No-kill shelters take in all of the animals they can, and it’s important to help support shelters, because they usually receive so little help already.
Puppies from mills usually fall ill very easily, from living in horrible conditions, and many die at the mills, or while being transported from the mills. And pet stores don’t have the best conditions either. I absolutely can’t stand this store in a mall by my hometown, called Furry Babies. Multiple dogs are kept in these small cribs, and never go outside (they’re on the second floor of a mall, probably one of the worst places to have animals). Just walking by the store makes me angry.
When looking to get a dog, you have to do your own research. When you spend a lot of money from a dog from a pet store, some of that money may be going to support puppy mills., where you spend less money when adopting a dog, and you know that money goes toward the shelter and care of the animals there.
It’s always better to adopt a dog than to buy one.