By Alisa Mullins
Just in time for "Adopt a Shelter Cat" Month comes some great news: In an Associated Press-Petside poll, more than half of respondents said that they plan to adopt their next cat or dog from an animal shelter—that's more than seven times the number of people who say they would be likely to purchase an animal from a pet store. And with age comes wisdom, apparently—people over age 30 were the most likely to adopt an animal from a shelter.
The reasons they give are even more heartening. We're apparently getting the word out—with a little help from our friends—that pet shops usually obtain their animals from puppy mills and that these animals often suffer from a variety of physical and mental problems. By contrast, many respondents say that shelter animals, many of whom are mixed breeds, are less likely to suffer from the congenital defects that plague purebreds.
Colton, California, resident Sandra Toro, 62, summed it up nicely: "I believe [pet shops and puppy mills] couldn't care less about the pets, they're really in it for the money. I think you are more likely to get a pet at a pet store that is ill or has problems." Toro, who is the proud guardian of a rescued mutt, went on to say that she doesn't understand how anyone can buy an animal from a pet store or breeder instead of adopting a homeless dog or cat. "There are so many wonderful pets out there that will be euthanized," she said. "There's no reason for it."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Sandra!
How about you? Will your next cat (or dog) come from an animal shelter or rescue group?