Vegan MoFo #4: Pet Stores vs. Animal Shelters

What's better: buying an animal from a pet store or rescuing from a shelter?

Obviously, rescuing pets from shelters is the better option. But what if you are at a pet store and you fall in love with an adorable puppy there? Should you buy it? After all, that puppy needs a home too! 

Here's the thing. My family has gotten 2 of the 3 dogs we've had from the pet store. We rescued 1 of our dogs from the pound. All of them of been very loving and wonderful pets. Why does it matter?

Since going vegan, I've decided that when I get my own pet, I will be rescuing from an animal shelter. According to peta.org, "Every year in the U.S., an estimated 6 to 8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters." These animals then only have a short time to be adopted because they must be euthanized to make room for the other animals being brought to the shelter. This is SO sad, and approximately 3 to 4 millions cats and dogs must be euthanized every year. Even the no kill shelters aren't much better - they keep animals in cramped cages for weeks, months, and years on end. 

Even though I LOVE the dogs I've gotten from the pet store and they have been some of the most fun and obedient pets ever, it makes me sad that I'm supporting animal overpopulation and puppy mills. :(

My puppy, Piper, playing with her dinosaur toy!
In puppy mills, the dogs are often kept in cramped cages with no bedding or protection from the weather. The mothers are forced to breed over and over until they can no longer produce puppies. At that point, they are no longer needed and are auctioned off or killed. Many suffer from illness and diseases due to lack of nutrition and care. 

According to peta.org, there are three reasons for companion animal overpopulation: "Many people fail to spay or neuter their dogs and cats, who then reproduce, creating enormous numbers of kittens and puppies. People still buy animals from breeders or pet stores (thereby supporting the puppy mills that supply them) instead of adopting homeless animals. And people acquire companion animals without considering the lifetime commitment that caring for them requires. Eventually, people turn their backs on their loyal companions when they become "inconvenient" or "too much work."" 

How can you help prevent more overpopulation right now? Get your pet spayed or neutered! This will help SO much. We don't need more animals in the world when there are so many who need good homes. Their lives depend on us. Without a home, they'll die. 

So, when I buy my own puppy, I plan on adopting from a local shelter or animal refuge. I'll be happy because I got a new friend and helped save a life, and the animal will be happy because it has a loving home where it can run, play, and be free to live. It's a win-win situation. 

What kinds of pets do you have?
Much love, 


  1. mills and stores break my heart!

    our dachshund, Basil, is from Oregon Dachshund Rescue, we adopted him three years ago. all future pups will also come from shelters. <3

  2. Nice post! Most people don't know the deal with pet stores but they are so sad!
    There is also a site online where you can get a voucher or coupon for spaying your pet. I can't remember where, exactly, but it's probably easy to find.

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