OP-ED: Adopt vs Shop

Klaire Brock

Adopt don’t shop! That is the phrase I grew up on. From the age of 12 all the way to 19 I have spent over 900 hours volunteering at animal shelters. I have seen countless animals be taken into their forever home to be with new loving families and I have seen people return dogs because they decide they can no longer care for it. Every dog or cat I have ever owned was adopted from our local shelter. Many times I would wonder why people would spend so much money on buying a dog when they could just adopt for way cheaper? People can spend up to $300-2,000 dollars for a puppy (depending on the breed). Which to me sounds completely bizarre when you can adopt a dog for less than $100.

Another reason to adopt is that in the United States alone over 2.7 million dogs a euthanized every year in shelters. This is because more people have started shopping for dogs and leaving the ones in the shelter to spend their days in a kennel. Sadly many dogs that come into the shelter a surrendered animals that people bought and they just decided they no longer wanted.

Most people when they shop for a dog don’t think about where these puppies come from. Whether they come from a dog that was in a pet store, puppy mill or came from another breeder. Which is an establishment that breeds dogs for sale, typically in inhumane conditions. But what people don’t know about pet store dogs or breeders is that at a certain age if the puppy has not been bought they euthanize the dog since they don’t have the means to care for them or they take them to a shelter so it is no longer their problem.

People say they decide to shop for a dog because they want a particular breed of a dog or that shelter dogs are bad dogs and are not as energetic as a dog from a breeder. Which I have a hard time believing because every dog I have ever known that’s from a shelter is just as great as any other dog. And they are actually better because you get to save a life.


Madison White

Shopping for dogs has better opportunities than adopting. When you adopt dogs, although you may be getting them out of the shelter you don’t know anything about the dog or about their history.

Shopping for dogs allows you to pick and choose the characteristic of the dog that you may want. Characteristics of dogs such as fur colors, eye color, and breed. Each breed of dog has different key characteristic that makes that breed desirable, so when you are shopping for dogs you can get the desirable traits for that breed. You don’t get those traits when you are adopting. You are only able to choose from the options that are at the shelter.

Shopping allows for you to know where your dog comes from. This benefit allows you to see that you have a purebred dog and that there is no other breed of dog mixed in. Seeing the lineage and being able to see the mom and dad of a dog you are looking at are benefits to shopping. This allows you to potentially catch any health issues that may be present or occur with the dog that you are getting.

When you shop you are also allowing yourself the ability to research the breed and the breeder. You get the opportunity to select who your dog is coming from and how they are treated where they were bred. Breeders also can keep up with shot records and health records for your all the dogs that the breeder own until you get to take the dog home.

The biggest reason people prefer to shop over adopt is the papers that come with the dogs from breeders. There are multiple benefits for having your dog registered with American Kennel Club (AKC). A AKC registered dog has the capability to compete in AKC sports and other AKC dog shows. AKC will give you a certificate, a complimentary first veterinary office visit (with participating veterinarians) and a complimentary 60-Day trial of AKC pet insurance along with options for additional registration packages.

With so many options and opportunities why wouldn’t you shop for a dog?