You hear the saying ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’ and think, ‘Who the hell are you to tell me which pet I can choose?’.
I get it. It’s abrupt, abrasive and a little bit rude.
I use the catch phrase often, not to highlight how uncool buying ‘certified pure breeds’ is, but because no matter what breed people ‘want’, there is one waiting in a shelter, in a home it’s not wanted in or online. Guaranteed! So why buy when you can adopt?
In rescue we find all kinds of breeds in need of help. Being in Bali we find more Bali Dogs (the heritage local dog that IS actually THE purest breed to walk this planet, but that’s for another post). We’ve had Pit Bulls (because, you know, they were the ‘cool’ breed for the youngens 3 years ago, who would buy them as puppies (or breed them with their mate), cage them and then wonder why they cost so much in food and needed training. So they’d release them in the street or thrown into a sewer to die, like our Hero (pictured).
We’ve also had Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas and Pomeranians – the most popular breeds to buy locally, cage and dump when they have health issues. Health issues that are common in ‘pure’ breeds.
But here’s the thing – not many people research where their dog came from. If you have a dog you bought I ask you this:
Do you truly know, in your heart-of-hearts, where your dog came from?
Did you physically see the mother?
Did you physically see where they lived?
Did you talk to the breeder?
If the answer is ‘no’ then you may have yourself a little ball of cuteness whilst it’s mother is rotting in a cage somewhere having yet another litter to be sold to unsuspecting dog lovers like yourself.
If you are like me, and my family, we had no idea about backyard breeding in the ’80s and ’90s. And we did buy our dogs. That’s what EVERYONE did because ‘rescue’ was new. ‘Rescue’ meant second hand. ‘Rescue’ meant ‘damaged goods’. But guess, what – not anymore!
So let’s get educated, empowered and ready to share the knowledge to our friends and family that may be thinking of getting themselves a pet!
Before you even think about getting a pet there are a few things you need to consider.
- Your lifestyle
- Your family
- How much time you can give to your pet
- Money. Pets are not free (except maybe at adoption). They cost money. And guess what, the pedigrees you ‘buy’ are usually the most costly!
Now that you have considered the above, have you researched the breed you want?
And I don’t mean scrolling through Instagram and drooling over the cute SpoodlyDoodles and PomyPoos (I totally made those names up).
Does your dream breed actually suit your lifestyle / house / car / budget for food and medical? If the answer is ‘no’ then keep researching until you find your paw’fect match.
If you’re a couch potato and do little exercise then a Pit Bull is not for you. Or do you dream of sunset strolls with your dog obediently walking off leash, like one of those dogs from the Pedigree advert? I hear you. I want that too, but, they don’t exist whether you buy it or adopt it. You need to TRAIN it and work with your pet to make them as awesome as you want them to be. Do you have time for that? No? Then do us all a favour and get a pet rock.
Back to ‘why’ adoption is a better choice.
It’s not because in this day-and-age it’s actually taboo to say ‘I bought my pet’ but it’s ethically un-cool. Your purchased pet may have come from a backyard breeder or puppy farm – an unregulated and cruel industry. Some locations are HUGE sheds filled with sh*tty cages (literal sh*t), possibly stacked on top of each other. Inside these cages or make-shift pens live scrawny, underfed, unsocialised breeding machines – your puppers mumma just like this image below from Oscars Law (who’s kicking ass in ending backyard breeding and puppy factories in Australia!).
Buying pets is a business. A BIG business with no heart.
Regulations are hard to implement so buyers need to be educated about WHAT they are buying into.
YOU have the power to end this cruel industry by choosing to adopt!
If you buy a pet from a pet shop with out doing your research (literally looking at the breeding location your pet came from) then you, in my eyes, are wagering in on animal cruelty. If you are reading this post before you buy, and then you proceed to buy because ‘you just have to have it’, well, my non-friend, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. Just do me a favour and do a little more reading at Oscars Law about ‘What are puppy factories‘ and ‘Ethical Dog Buyers Guide‘ and we hope you will find your heart and make a better choice.
Adoption doesn’t mean second hand, used or broken.
Adoption comes in all shapes, colours and sizes.
Rescue varies from teeny tiny pups or kittens dumped on the side of a road, in a rubbish dump or by the river. Or, it could be an adult dog who’s family left them, or couldn’t cater to it’s needs (because they didn’t do the research), or their owner has died or is too unwell to care for them. It doesn’t mean they are traumatised, aggressive or unsociable.
What’s GREAT about adoption is that most reputable rescue groups will match the right pet to you! How many backyard breeders or pet shops do that? None!
And here’s another pearl of wisdom ALL BABIES GROW UP!
The puppy stage is not like the Purina advert. They are cute when they are asleep or when you have time to play with them. But, like children, as soon as you turn your back they get up to mischief – like chewing the most expensive electrical cord in the house such as your laptop charger.
Puppies come with naughty habits, crying at night, peeing in the house, chewing the furniture … the list goes on. If you don’t have time and patience to train them, go for an older pet (who are more likely to be overlooked). Teenagers usually come fully vaccinated, sterilised, socialised and with some form of training. And Adults, well if I had my time again I would go straight to the adult for true companionship, peace and tranquility.
Adult dogs ROCK!
So please, take the time to work out what breed would suit your life, Google a local shelter or breed-specific rescue group and see what you can find. That little ball of fluff is waiting for you, and, no matter who you choose, you will experience unconditional love.
The final most important reason you should adopt – YOU SAVE A LIFE!
The feeling of knowing you saved a life creates a bond like no other. Looking into the eyes of your dotting rescue, the one that follows you around and is so SO grateful you came into their lives – these are the moments you will love and cherish. Your heart will be pumped with more love than you know how to handle.
If you buy a pet, you are denying a homeless pet a home but again, you are supporting the puppy mill industry who thrive on short changing the welfare of animals. Animals that are often in ill-health and have socialisation problems due to lack of human companionship and genetic defects due to inbreeding.
Be cool and adopt don’t shop!