The Black & White

End the suffering: adopt pets, don’t buy

Graphic+by+Selina+Ding.
Graphic by Selina Ding.

Graphic by Selina Ding.

Graphic by Selina Ding.

By Emma Iturregui

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When I excitedly told my eighth grade teacher I was considering adopting a dog, I was taken aback by her reply: “Why would you adopt? Why not buy one?”

Looking back, I’ve realized that this little interaction displays the stigma that surrounds adopted pets. Especially in affluent areas like the Whitman community, there is a belief that brand new products are always better. The value our society places on new, “perfect” objects extends past trivial possessions and trends; it fosters our obsession with buying dogs over adopting.

I ended up getting my dog from a breeder instead of adopting, which may sound hypocritical, but it was only because I have allergies and can’t live with certain dog breeds. Although adoption didn’t end up being a viable option for me, I know plenty of families without such restrictions who have decided to buy pets without ever considering adoption.

Even in areas where stray animals are a rarity, the number of animals put down each year in shelters is shocking—within Montgomery County, there are 12 million animals permanently in shelters where on average 2,000 are euthanized per day, according to the Humane Society.

People often associate adoptions with getting “troubled animals” or “strange mutts.” In reality, adopted pets often have a stronger bond with their owners than other pets, as a result of the precise pairing of owners and pets that adoption services provide. The adoption process can be lengthy, but this is because adoption counselors prioritize matching pets with the appropriate owner over expediency, Humane Society adoption counselor Adelaide Soares said.

Next time somebody you know is considering finding a pet, let them know that adopting will find them just as loving a companion, while also likely saving a life. It’s up to us as a community to recognize adopted pets as equals to pets bought from breeders.

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