Many people are unaware of the serious overpopulation issue there is when it comes to cats and dogs. If you doubt me just take a look at the adoptable animal listing at your local shelter and see how many available animals there are looking for a good home. Day in and day out there are more animals brought into a shelter either as a stray or owner surrender as opposed to adopted out to a loving family. This surplus in animals only results in one thing- the euthanasia of hundreds of thousands of millions of animals on a daily basis to control overpopulation.
Too many people in this day an age are still purchasing animals from pet stores and breeders which in reality just feeds to the overpopulation issue. While I will say that there may be a small percentage of breeders who are legitimately doing this for the benefit of the breed, I strongly believe that the vast majority aren’t. Have you purchased a puppy from a pet store before? Weren’t you ever curious of what the mom and dad looked like? Do a quick search for puppy mills online and be ready to have some tissues ready. These dogs are crammed in the tiniest cages stacked on top of each other to optimize space, most of the times in an outdoor location with no protection from the sun and outdoor elements. They are barely ever fed, walked or socialized. Most of them will spend their entire lives in these cramped, dirty, dark areas until they can no longer be bred. Then they will be dumped or killed because they are rendered useless to the owner. A majority of the puppies that come from these puppy mills will end up have some sort of health issue because they are the product of over-breeding. And once this health or temperament issue is discovered where do you think they will end up? At the shelter because their human no longer wants to invest the time, money, effort or ‘put their family at risk’.
Shelter dogs sometimes have the stigma as being trouble dogs which must be why they were surrendered in the first place, but this is anything but the truth. There are many animals who have been surrendered because the family can no longer afford the upkeep, or they are moving into an apartment/house with animal restrictions. Granted there are some dogs who have poor manners or compatibility issues with other animals but these are all easily fixable issues. Dogs do not come pre-wired to be the perfect pet, he/she will only become what you teach it to be. If you put the necessary time and effort required into training a dog to have manners and understand commands then you will be rewarded 100times fold. I know so many people that only want a puppy ‘so they can be sure it will be properly trained’ so older shelter dog’s aren’t even an option for them. I hate hearing this statement!! Any dog at any age can be trained. Once again it will just take some time and effort, but if you commit then so will the dog.
Any age/gender/color/breed dog can be found at your local shelter or through a rescue group. It may take a little time and searching but it CAN be done if you put the heart into it. Save a life and adopt a shelter pet. Do not support puppy mills, pet store puppies or breeders who are just using these poor abused animals to make a living.