Benefits of Adopting a Pet from Animal Shelter

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Updated: Mar 27, 2023
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Although many people in today’s society are wary of adopting a pet from an animal shelter due to factors such as being unsure of where an animal may have come from, old age, not being purebred, and an animal’s potential behavioral and health issues, adoption can be extremely effective in most cases. Choosing to adopt a pet from your local Humane Society or shelter will not only help multiple animals in need by enforcing their safety, welfare, and well-being, but it will also help to eventually put a stop to thousands of cruel and unethical mass breeding facilities and puppy mills in the United States almost completely.

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Have you ever considered adopting an animal and changing its life forever? Well, for over 50 years, the Humane Society has provided a quick response and direct care for animals in crisis. More than one hundred thousand animals in need are provided with hands-on care year-round. As one of the nation’s most effective animal protection organizations, the Humane Society has helped to get many important pieces of legislation passed and believes that every animal in need deserves an equal opportunity to find a forever home. The main goal of the Humane Society is to support human-animal bonds and to promote pets through humane sources. Adopting a shelter will not only change one life, but it will also change the lives of multiple animals in the process. Whether or not an animal is lost, given up, or abandoned through adoption, each animal is given the advantage of starting a new life in a loving home.

In the United States alone, there are about 15,000 estimated licensed and unlicensed mass breeding facilities at which more than 2 to 4 million puppies are bred each year, and over 1.2 million dogs from these cruel facilities are brought to shelters and euthanized along with more than 2.7 million other healthy and adoptable cats and dogs. As these facilities grow, pet overpopulation becomes more common, leaving greater than 70 million animals homeless and living on the streets.

Throughout these breeding facilities, female dogs are viewed as disposable property, usually bred at every opportunity with little time to recover between litters. Hormones and steroids are often given to female dogs along with being bred before it is safe to do so because the earlier they begin breeding, the more litters of puppies they will produce. When a female dog is no longer physically able to reproduce, they are either auctioned off or killed by starvation, drowning, being beaten, or buried alive by its owners.

Ranging from nearly 10 to 1,000 breeding dogs, puppy mills are usually overcrowded and unsanitary. Without proper veterinary care, food, water, or socialization skills, many of the puppies from these mills develop lifelong problems such as shyness, fear and anxiety, and at times aggression. Often these dogs have locked away in small wire cages, stacked up in columns where there is little human contact. In most cases, the standards that breeders have to meet by law are minimal, and these conditions considered inhumane are legal.

In many of these puppy mills, adult dogs and puppies are likely to be exposed to extreme temperature changes and high levels of ammonia from built-up urine. These dogs usually have no bedding in their cages or any type of protection from changes in the weather. Due to the lack of grooming and the fact that their fur has grown into the cage, most dogs are usually found pinned in one spot for long periods of time. Overgrown nails are common when it comes to dogs in these facilities. At times their nails are so long that they get caught in the wire flooring and begin growing around the wire. Ear infections, oozing eyes, mange, and many other severe health conditions are often overlooked and never treated, leaving many of the dogs in terrible pain and discomfort each day. Most times, collars are so tightly fastened that they become embedded around the dogs’ necks, which can create an infection that leads to years of pain and suffering. Bugs and rodents cover these mills from top to bottom, coating everything in maggots and mold and creating a large spread of infectious diseases. And since these facilities breed dogs for quantity, not quality, genetic defects, and hereditary conditions are even more rampant.

Puppies bred in mass breeding facilities are most often prone to many different hereditary conditions, such as problems with vision, diabetes, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, blood and respiratory disorders, and kidney and heart disease. These puppies are usually bought from pet stores and brought to their new homes with diseases including parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, pneumonia, mange, or heartworms.

Progressively advertising and selling puppies using misrepresentation over the internet and in newspapers, mill owners often use pictures of “happy” or “healthy” dogs to increase sales. When selling in person, mill owners often meet their customers at locations other than their own property. Federal law doesn’t regulate breeders that sell puppies publically, so most of these mills are hidden in rural areas and often go undetected and making laws unable to be enforced. With millions of unwanted dogs and cats in the United States being euthanized each year in shelters, there is no need for animals to be bred or sold for the pet-shop trade. Without these stores, puppy mills would disappear, and the pain and suffering that these dogs go through on a daily basis would end.

In conclusion, adopting a pet from your local animal shelter will not only help to encourage others around you to adopt, but you will also be supporting a valuable charity and nonprofit organization! Shelters spread awareness and community-wide solutions to put an end to pet homelessness. They also support many other organizations, such as Stop Puppy Mills and Shelter Pet Project, that are focused on putting an end to puppy mills across the nation and encouraging others to adopt from shelters, Pets for Life extends services, resources, and information addressing the critical need for accessible and affordable pet care, and an international day of action to promote sterilization of pets, community cats, and street dogs living in the surrounding areas at a low-cost to help prevent pet overpopulation.

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Benefits of Adopting a Pet From Animal Shelter. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from