25 September 2018
Shelter VS Pet Store: What’s the difference?
Author Dean Koontz, said, “Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” Having a dog could enrich a person’s life in many ways. You may be considering whether you would like to adopt from a shelter or purchase a dog from a local pet store. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of both. Although adopting a dog from a shelter and purchasing a dog from a pet store bear some similarities, the differences between the two options are clear: cost, health, and animal welfare.
Compared to purchasing a dog from a pet store, adopting from a shelter or rescue would cost far less. Different from pet stores, adoption centers spay and neuter the dogs before adopting them out. Having the dog fixed already not only cuts down on cost, but also helps in controlling pet population and shelter over-crowding. When someone chooses to pay retail for a dog from a pet store, he or she can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000. However, when someone chooses to adopt a dog instead the price will only range from $50 to $200 depending on where he or she chooses to adopt from. Shelter adoption fees cover the cost of food, shelter, vet visits, medication, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations and other important things a dog needs. In contrast, when a person buys from a pet store or breeder, the money is then used to breed more animals.
Generally speaking, the health of a shelter dog and those purchased from a pet store is similar; however, limited history of a shelter pets health is available. Even though pet store animals usually come from a pure-bred background, the dogs can still have breed specific health problems. Breeders in this industry usually do not take the time to have the dogs vaccinated and vet checked, so as a buyer a person may or may not purchase a dog with a clean bill of health. In comparison, adoption centers have every dogs health screened by a qualified veterinarian ensuring when a person adopts a pet he or she is getting a healthy dog. Also, if a dog happens to have health problems the adopter is aware of them before they adopt the animal.
Immeasurable differences in animal welfare should be taken into consideration when shopping for a dog. Pet stores sell animals for profit and most dogs sold in pet stores come from large scale breeding mills. These mills mass-produce animals, and many are shipped to pet stores in tiny containers and arrive malnourished, sick or injured. While a pet stores goal is to make money, a shelters goal is to save lives. Shelters take in unwanted and stray animals and provide them with what they need to survive while the shelter workers try and find the dogs a loving home. When a person chooses to adopt a pet, he or she is saving two lives; the life of the dog adopted and by adopting a spot at the shelter opens up for another dog that might be wondering the streets with no food, water or shelter. However, when a person chooses to buy a pet, an industry that thrives on supply and demand at the expense of the welfare of animals is being funded.
In reality, to a pet store, a person is just a sale. Whereas, to a shelter, a person is helping a dog to thrive in a new environment.