What would we do without animals?

Pets offer us so much comfort and company,  and they have been especially helpful during anxiety-inducing times of the pandemic. The Washington Post writes that “Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, pet stores—all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and puppies to fill it.”

While it’s incredible that shelters are receiving more support, so are private breeder and pet stores.  There are legitimate reasons why you may have to buy your pet from your breeder, such as needing a specific hypoallergenic breed due to allergies, but, in many cases, you can find the dog or cat of your dreams waiting for you in a shelter.

Here are five reasons that you should adopt and not shop for your next furry friend.

Reason 1: Millions of Animals Need Homes

According to the ASPCA, every year, 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters in America. Of that 6.5 million, 3.3 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. Many shelters become overwhelmed and struggle to find a home for all the animals. It’s an amazing decision to give an animal a forever home.

Shutterstock: cat and dog

(via Shutterstock)


Reason 2: It’s Less Expensive

The price of buying from a breeder depends on the breed of dog. For example, Forbes reports that buying a golden retriever from a backyard breed or pet store usually starts at $500 and buying from a top breeder can cost up to $3,000. Some breeder dogs can cost up to $10,000! And that’s not accounting for the additional expenses of owning a dog, such as food, toys, vet visits and possibly training classes. According to All About Cats, the price is similar for breeder cats, which can cost up to $5,000. This is where shelters can save your bank account while saving an animal. The Animal Humane Society says that, on average, adopting a dog from shelter costs between $118 to $667 and cats cost $34 to $276. This price includes vaccinations, deworming medication, neutering (if needed), pet insurance and a free follow-up exam by a vet.

Shutterstock: woman petting cat

(via Shutterstock)


Reason 3: Older Animals Can be Easier

It makes sense that puppies and kittens are in high demand. Who can resist their little paws and fluffy fur? There is nothing wrong with getting a puppy or a kitten, but they come with their own unique set of responsibilities. You have to train them and prepare for a bundle of energy. Older animals are more independent and require less effort. It’s important to note that you can get puppies and kittens from shelters as well, but adopting an older dog or cat does have advantages and they’re just as cute.

Shutterstock: woman and yellow lab in park

(via Shutterstock)


Reason 4: You Support Shelters

When you buy from a shelter, you’re not just helping the animal you adopt; you’re helping the entire shelter. Part of your adoption fee helps the shelter and allows them to stay open and care for the other animals—as well as opening a spot for another potential adoptee to occupy. You also support the shelter by setting an example for your friends and family. When people interact with your shelter animal and fall in love, it challenges the belief that breeder dogs are inherently better.

Shutterstock: woman holding dog in dog shelter

(via Shutterstock)


Reason 5: You’re Giving an Animal a Second Chance

There is a myth that all shelter animals are returned because they behave badly, but there are many reasons why animals end up in shelters. The misconception that all shelter animals are difficult discourages people from adopting. While some animals may be challenging due to trauma and will need owners who can provide extra time and patience, most animals are well-trained and ready to love. You will develop a bond with your shelter animal deeper than most because your animal knows you are giving it a second chance. Open your home and your heart to an animal shelter. You won’t regret it.

Shutterstock: woman sitting next to golden retriever outside

(via Shutterstock)


Animals can be great service animals, emotional support animals and pets. If you’re not sure what the differences are between the three, we broke it down for you HERE.