During my angsty, hormone induced, middle school life I was never really a dog person. They were too loud, smelled bad and got spit everywhere; that really was not my thing. The dark and macabre is what fueled me and I leaned more toward the nonchalant attitude of a cat. While I still love cats, I grew out of being dreadful and eventually grew to love dogs. (I think it all started with the internet sensation, “Doug the Pug.”) While my love of furry animals grew, I also became aware of the situations many animals have to live in and go through.
Quite recently I adopted a dog from the shelter; a poodle named Snickers. He is the most loving and caring dog, and I could not imagine why he was in such a place. Turns out his owner had passed away and he was handed around family member to family member, eventually being sent to doggy prison.
This is not always the case though; many dogs are abused, over-bred and treated inhumanely before coming to a shelter. That is why I believe instead of buying a puppy for $400, you should adopt a pet from the shelter. Now, I have nothing against puppies, but why would you create another life by breeding an animal and not rescue a life that desperately needs your help? Maybe you look the other way because an animal is old or has a noticeable injury? Older dogs have already developed a personality and will be predictable. You never know if a puppy is going to turn out to be too high strung for you or super destructive. Yes, I realize that puppies are naturally inclined to be this way, but guess what? Older dogs usually are not. If a dog happens to have a noticeable injury such as a missing eye or leg, that gives them more character and personality. They are not broken or gross. It would be just like a human with the same case, and no matter what, they still deserve love.
All of the little puff balls in their cages want to give and receive love, and they should not be denied that. Unfortunately, because of the lack of adoption and the amount of animals that go through the shelter system, many have to be euthanized. Shelters and rescues try extremely hard to clear the shelter by holding adoption events and advertising as much as they can, but this does not always work. I encourage everyone looking for an animal to adopt. Look around local shelters and make some calls. Rescue an animal that needs your help and will love you forever. Even if you are not looking to add a lovely new family member to your home, donate your time, money or supplies to your local shelter or humane society. They need all the help they can get. Also remember, like Bob Barker always said, “Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered.”