Ditch the Pet Store - Adopt a Shelter Pup Instead

By October 31 | See Comments

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The old story of walking into a large-scale pet store and leaving with a brand new puppy is slowly disappearing from the norm. Animal welfare activists have been investigating these shops over concerns of canine treatment, and it's leading to some serious changes.

Boston.com reported that many of these activists are unhappy with what they've found, such as

commercial breeders selling their puppies to stores

, which puts profits over the animals' well-being. As a result, eight states - California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio - have outright banned the sale of dogs at pet stores in certain cities. The activist groups hope that these bans will discourage the spread of "puppy mills," which breed as many pooches as possible to make money off wholesale distribution.If pet stores are banned from obtaining dogs from breeders, they could be more likely to promote the adoption of canines from shelters and rescue organizations, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Commercial dog breeding is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. If breeders own four or more female pooches for puppies and plan on selling offspring to pet stores, they have to be licensed by the USDA.However, the license doesn't mean that breeders are taking all of the necessary steps to protect the pooches' health. That's why activists are so adamant about promoting the benefits of adoption from a shelter over buying from a store.

The top reasons to adopt a canine

Choosing which dog to bring into your home isn't easy, as many factors come into play, such as breed, gender, size and more. But the Humane Society of the United States advocates for adoption and offers various points for its reasoning. For example, getting a dog from the shelter

can literally save a life

, as roughly 2.7 million pets are euthanized each year because facilities can't find homes for them. This number could drop significantly if more people adopted pooches.In addition, adoption gives owners a pet who's excited to be brought into a home. Shelters thoroughly examine and vaccinate all incoming canines, as well as spay and neuter them before they're adopted by families. They'll also closely monitor behavior to ensure the best fit for each home.

After you adopt a canine, owners should sign up for PetPlus to accommodate all of their pooch's needs.

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