It has been a little over a decade since the slogan, ‘Adopt, don’t shop’ was launched by Los Angeles based non-profit animal advocacy organization, ‘Last chance for Animals’. It is a campaign that began soaring across the length and breadth of the world as a hashtag. It sought to raise awareness about adopting a rescued pet instead of buying a pet - from a store that has invariably purchased it from a puppy mill. Unfortunately, not much has changed in the world of breeding and buying a pet despite this.
Pet parents still prefer to purchase their pets citing reasons such as breed, colour and appealing looks. However, when one insists on buying a purely bred dog, aren’t they forgetting the reason for wanting a companion in the first place?
From the instant that you set eyes upon your furry friend to the moment they snuggle into your bed at night and bathe you with kisses; from the moment you carry them in your hands to all the moments that you hold them in your heart, from the laughter to the tears and everything in between – this is an extraordinary journey that one cannot articulate with a mere few words. It is a bond that transcends all others, a journey that is nothing short of magical.
What one really looks for while including a furry friend into the family is this magnificent journey – but for those of you who claim to love dogs, I ask this; by buying these pets, aren’t you invariably contributing to the promotion of commercial pet breeding?
Adopting a pet simply refers to opening up your homes, hearts and hearths to a four legged sweetheart that you will not be purchasing from your local pet store. This could involve picking up a stray puppy or dog from the streets or going through an official process of adoption and thereafter, bringing home your paw-some companion from a shelter home such as CUPA or SPCA. Click here for a comprehensive list of adoption centres and shelter homes in Bangalore.
Now here comes the answer to the million dollar question; ‘How is adopting a dog different from buying one?’ After all, regardless of how your four legged companion walks in through the front door of your house, he/she will have a space in your heart.
When you adopt, you save one of the million homeless animals that are in constant danger from humans, cruelty, hunger and starvation, lack of medical attention, accidents and so many more harrowing factors. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by giving them a chance at life and an affectionate family. You also open up shelter space for another animal that might desperately be in need of it. All animals are such wonderful, giving beings – regardless of the colour of their fur, their breed and height.
The very concept of engaging in monetary trade to acquire these amazing furry friends seems wrong, doesn’t it? The very concept of breeding or buying someone who is going to be a part of your family should not exist. By adopting a pet, you also discourage the practice of commercial breeding, which is unethical and unhealthy for the mother and the puppy on so many different levels. Mothers are treated like machines, coerced to produce litter after litter for money and profit – and people who buy their puppies unfortunately keep this system alive and help breeders thrive.
One of the ways to take a stand against the cruelty meted out to the mothers by breeders is to simply stop contributing to the system that sustains them – stop buying. Another important point to note is a medically researched and proven factor. Excessive breeding weakens the immunity system of the puppies that are born. Statistically, this means, 5 out of 6 puppies that belong to a popular breed are bound to fall sick more often than not.
One can-not slam a price tag onto the love, care, affection and joy that your four legged beauty will bring into your life – and this is a universal truth, it doesn’t differ from breed to breed. It simply is. All they ask for in return is the same love – shouldn’t that love be unconditional as well?