In March of 2019, the Austin City Council raised the save rate of homeless animals in the city to 95%, meaning that 95% of found animals will be kept alive and cared for in Austin shelters. This will maintain the city of Austin’s status as the largest No Kill city in the country. This causes local animal shelters to be filled to the brim with adoptable animals. Despite this, many people still choose to buy their animals from puppy mills. By doing this they are contributing to the growing problem of overcrowding at adoption centers while allowing puppy mills to stay in business and continue their inhumane treatment of animals.
Puppy mills are operations that prioritize the breeding of dogs for profit over their health and needs. The dogs being bred spend 24 hours in cages while receiving very little veterinary care. These conditions lead to a lack of socialization in dogs and often behavioral issues, often just so one can receive a purebred animal.
When you purchase a pet from a store such as Pet Smart, buying a pet usually costs somewhere from $500-$1,000. When you adopt an animal, the cost will usually range from $50-$200 for an animal that has already received adequate veterinary care.
Not only is it more cost-friendly to adopt, but due to the 1 billion spent in finding, housing, and euthanizing animals, it is cost-effective for the taxpayer. Adopting an animal from a shelter will help to minimize costs while lowering the amount of animals being euthanized.
Animal shelters provide a variety of breeds to choose from, and 25-30% of animals in shelters are purebred. The healthy pets available for adoption at places such as Austin Pets Alive are usually socialized and comfortable with living in a family setting.
When you are adopting an animal you are doing something good for that animal and many others. Through adoption, you contribute money to a shelter, while creating an opening for the shelter to take in another animal in need of sanctuary.
If you are not in a position to adopt an animal or donate money there are many other ways to contribute to the efforts of the Adopt Don’t Shop campaign. You can do things such as educating others on the realities of puppy mills and the cruelty of pet stores that have not gone humane and volunteering at shelters near you.
Purchasing an animal rather than adopting allows for the continuous abusive treatment puppy mill and pet store animals experience such as freezing, starving, and being disposed of in inhumane ways. Adopting an animal, or just the simple act of donating to an adoption shelter makes it increasingly difficult for these cruel operations to continue.
Story by Sam Moore, Opinion Editor
Featured photo by Cady Russell