Did you know that by choosing to adopt a pet, rather than buying one from the pet store, that you are saving a life? It’s true! Often there seems to be a misconception that pets that are in shelters have behavioral issues, have not received adequate health care, or are just unwanted for some reason or another. The reality is that circumstances in a pet owners life change, such as moving, job loss, or illness, that results in the surrender of a pet.  The truth about  adoption is that it is the best way to add a pet to your life and to give a pet a second chance.


Truths About  Shelter Pets

Shelter Dog

        • Shelter pets are often times used to living with families and can easily adjust to life in your home and with your family.
        • Most shelter pets are given complete medical exams and receive any vaccinations or treatment that they require. Spaying and neutering are generally included as a necessary element of a healthy pet.
        • An assessment of behavior is performed to ensure no surprises.
        • Shelters normally encourage time spent interacting with a pet that you are considering adopting, allowing an opportunity to get to know the pet you are interested in.
        • The staff at a shelter are often available and encourage adoption support. For an adopter, this means answers for questions you may have and resources that may be able to assist you.
        • You will save money adopting a pet instead of purchasing one from a pet store
        • Every time a shelter pet is adopted, a life is saved and the shelter has more room to help another pet. The good that you do by adopting goes beyond the great pet that you will welcome into your life!


    Truths About Pets Purchased In a Pet Store or Online

    Puppy Mill Conditions

    • Often times puppies that are purchased from a pet store or online have come from a puppy mill, where profit is the only objective, not the health and safety of dogs.
    • Due to the poor conditions in puppy mills, poor health is common as is questionable genetics.
    • Female dogs are bred as often as possible and are often killed once they can no longer produce litters.
    • Conditions in puppy mills are overcrowded and filthy. Puppies born in mills do not normally receive socialization, sufficient food, water, healthcare or exercise.
    • Puppies are often removed from their mother’s care too soon and develop anxiety issues. This can result in fearfulness and aggressive behaviors.
    • Health issues and diseases are common in Puppy Mill dogs:



               Health Issues

    Heart and kidney disease

    Deafness and eye problems

    Breathing issues


    Skeleton and muscle problems

    Common Diseases 

    Distemper and Parvo

    Kennel Cough

    Mange and Fleas


    Chronic Diarrhea

    Pneumonia and other Upper Respiratory Infections

    Many pet store owners are quick to state that their pets only come from breeders that are licensed.  Unfortunately, the word “licensed” makes one feel ok about purchasing from a pet store or an online dealer.  The laws protecting animals in a breeding environment are very minimal.  The federal Animal Welfare act requires that any breeder with more than 3 female dogs used for breeding, and who sells the puppies of these dogs, be licensed.  Also required is inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Unfortunately, the standards to be met are extremely minimal.

    With an increase in pets for sale over the internet, foreign breeders  are on the rise and there is no legislation overseeing these mills. The highest  concentration of puppy mills in the United States are in the Midwest.  More than half of the states have chosen to enact stricter laws for commercial breeders, but 21 states  have no legislation in place to govern breeders.

  • When considering all the facts about puppy mills, adoption is the only ethical way to bring a pet into our lives. Not only do we have a much greater chance of finding a healthy and happy pet, we are saying no to the horrible conditions pf puppy mills. For every pet adopted from a shelter or rescue group, we are saying that it is not okay to place profit above the  inhumane treatment of animals.

                     for more information on pet adoption.
  • I would like to leave you with this video that I simply love. Singer/songwriter Cat Stevens loaned his song “I Love My Dog” To PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, to help get the word out about adoption. Enjoy!



4 comments on “The Truth About Pet Adoption – 7 Facts You Need To Know

  • You are totally right on! It should be a no-brainer to adopt a pet from an animal shelter.

    Through the years, we have adopted all of our pets directly through one of the shelters in our area. It always feels good to see how happy the pet becomes when they realize that they are again part of a family…to be cared for…and loved.

    I did not know, though, how evil and ominous the puppy mills were. Thanks, for shedding some light on that awful practice!

    And, I like Cat Stevens. My favorite song used to be “The First Cut is the Deepest.” But, after seeing your video, my favorite song is now “I Love My Dog!”

    Thanks, for a great article!


    • Thanks for your encouraging comments Jim! It is hard to understand why so many people think that the shelter pets are ones that we should be skeptical about, when the reality is that it is the puppy mill dogs. I had a hard time picking out a photo to represent the puppy mills – I found so many photos that were so tragic to look at and I did not want to have to include a “graphic warning disclosure”. I agree with you, there is no better feeling to see a pet reacting to their new home! 



  • We got our first pets 4 years ago. Two sister toy poodles that we adore. While we didn’t get them from a shelter, we did save them from a woman who had 25 dogs in a mobile home and wasn’t caring for them. I am so thankful you wrote this post to educate folks about getting dogs from shelters. There are so many wonderful dogs for adoption that need loving families.

    • Hi Jackie,

      It is true, there are wonderful pets out there that just need a new place to call home. I think this is especially true when you can look around and see so many vacant homes, including foreclosures. When challenges like this enter your life, we don’t always find a way to keep our pets in our households. I am so happy for you that you were able to rescue your poodles from a bad situation! What a great feeling when we are able to help pets that are in unsafe situations.



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