Four Reasons People Shop, Not Adopt

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 12:30pm

We’ve all had this conversation. A friend wants to bring home a new pet, and despite your best efforts, she’s set on buying from a pet store. How can you convince to her adopt, not shop? Here are four things we hear a lot, and how you can respond.

If I don’t buy that puppy in the pet store, who will?
Pet stores usually sell their puppies quickly, and the store will slash the price on slow sellers until they’re bought. If people stop giving their business to pet stores that sell puppies by not purchasing puppies or anything else from them, ultimately, the puppy mills that they support will shut down from lack of demand. Hurray!

I want a purebred/a puppy, and they don’t end up in shelters.
Some people want a Golden Retriever no matter what. Tell your pal that a one-of-a-kind mutt from a shelter is just as healthy and lovable, but that 25% of animals who enter shelters are purebreds, and that most breeds have a breed rescue—a group that re-homes dogs of a specific breed. Oh, and show them some videos of ASPCA puppies.

Shelter pets aren’t likely to be healthy.
Explain to your pal the many physical and mental ailments puppy mill dogs—most of those in pet stores—can develop. Remind your pal that any animal can become sick or injured, regardless of where he came from, but that at a shelter you know up front if your new pet has any chronic health issues. Let your friend know that pet store dogs are actually somewhat more likely than shelter dogs to need vet care for an illness.

My friend has a shelter dog, and he’s hyper/destructive/scared/shy.
Here’s where those of you with shelter pets can point to them and say, “Uh, what about Mr. Fluffy here? He’s a model dog and he came from a shelter.” Then point out that just like dogs from anywhere else, some shelter dogs have behavior issues to work on. Adopting from a shelter allows you to know exactly what you’re getting and whether you’re prepared to handle any issues that may arise.

Good luck! If you have other suggestions, share ‘em with us. And if you’ve persuaded someone to adopt, not shop, tell us about it.

Add new comment




About twelve years ago, we were thinking about purchasing a puppy as our family pet. Back then everyone told us to adopt one from a breeder, since you never knew where pet shop pups came from, and if their poor living conditions had had a negative effect on their behaviour.

So we adopted an eight-week-old Shi Tzu and named him Jack. Even though Jack has never spent a minute of his life in a puppy mill, he still has behavioral problems, the main one being his unpredictable nature. One minute he's sitting on your lap, the next he's growling at you. We also have to be very careful when handling him since if you so much as accidently pull one of his hairs, he'll snarl and bare his fangs at you. Obviously, we can't let him anywhere near children, even though I have plenty of toddler-aged cousins, nephews and nieces.

The point I'm trying to make is that just because you buy your puppy from a licenced breeder, that does not mean they'll turn out to be the perfect pet. When you decide you're going to get yourself a dog, you have to be absolutely sure you'll take care of it, despite the endless amount of issues that can arise. If you have doubts, you should not be caring for any dog at all.

I'd love to give a shelter dog a new, safe, loving home someday, but I'm blind and I own a guide dog. Adopting any other dog would be a bad idea because a new dog would likely distract Ulan from his work. He doesn't really like playing with other dogs and gets very nervous around them, hugging into me and burying his face in my lap.


I like comment from guide dog owner. Please consider a shelter pet.


Just because some of us don't adopt doesn't mean we buy from puppy mills. Reputable show breeders aware the only reason we have your favorite breeds.

Lola Magliano

I just adopted a shelter dog this week. She is 6 yrs old and a mixed breed. The "mix" is of love and smarts! After weeks of reading pet descriptions on Petfinder, I was shocked to see how many wonderful dogs are sitting in shelters hoping for a home of their own. Many shelters have volunteers with training skills who work with the dogs to resolve behavior issues and make the pets more "adoptable". Puppies usually go first, but older dogs have just as much love to give and make devoted pets. My experience with mixed breeds has been 100% wonderful and I truly admire the work shelters do to rescue dogs from danger and despair and help them find a good home. Don't dismiss shelter dogs when you are ready to find a new pet. They will love you forever for giving them a family of their owm!


I was walking the mall and ran across a puppy that I had an instant connection with. The store wants $1999.00 for this puppy. I don't want to aid in the shop store, but I can't stop thinking about this puppy. The sellers are kind and let me send time with the puppy on a weekly basis. I have really connected to this puppy and can't stop thinking about it. I have been in the room with the puppy and my heart breaks. Help me please to keep my oath.


I just want to add that I am 48 years old and have never bought a dog from these shop stores! I have always gone to shelters for adoption. I know what is stated about these shop stores is true. Why can't I stop thinking about this puppy. I have really fallen for it.


I just want to add that I am 48 years old and have never bought a dog from these shop stores! I have always gone to shelters for adoption. I know what is stated about these shop stores is true. Why can't I stop thinking about this puppy. I have really fallen for it.

Hi everyone, We have 2 rescue dogs and recently also adopted 2 kittens from our local shelter. I wrote an article about why adoption is the best option:


Where do you think most these shelter/homeless dogs come from...from people that purchase them as puppies when their cute & cuddly. Taking them home can't deal with the responsibilities of potty training, etc...and they dump them. You can get mutt & purebreeds in shelters. Always remember it's the bad owners of animals....not bad animals.!!!


I got my 2 yr old bully mix from a shelter and she is well mannered, house trained, healthyand good w my children. It breaks my heart knowing she cld have been euthanized had I not chosen to adopt