Speaking of Pets: The case for adopting rather than buying your next pet | VailDaily.com

Speaking of Pets: The case for adopting rather than buying your next pet

By Joan Merriam
Special to the Daily

It’s the eternal debate: Should you buy or should you adopt a pet? I personally believe strongly in adoption, and here’s why.

Adopting pets can help contribute to alleviating the shelter overpopulation problem.
Special to the Daily

Saving a Life

Adoption means you’re giving an animal a second chance in life.

It also enables you to have a genuine impact on the problem of pet overpopulation. In as few as six years, one unsterilized pair of dogs and their offspring can produce as many as 67,000 puppies, and in seven years a single pair of cats and their litters can produce almost 420,000 kittens. When you adopt, you become part of the solution.


Another reason to adopt rather than buy is financial. Buying a purebred dog or cat can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and there’s no guarantee that he or she will have any better temperament, be any healthier or bring your family any more joy than a pet you’ve adopted.

Where to Adopt

There are several choices for those who choose to adopt, starting with the local Eagle County Animal Shelter. In every season, shelters are filled with healthy animals just begging to become a forever part of your home and family.

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If you’re looking for a particular breed, there are rescue organizations for virtually every breed of dog and cat. Ask your veterinarian, or simply do a web search for the particular breed and the state (for instance, “Golden retriever rescue California”).

Both rescue organizations and shelters make sure their animals are examined, vaccinated and spayed or neutered before being adopted. Many facilities will also assess each animal’s temperament and “match” it with a potential owner. The last thing anyone wants is for an animal to be returned because it was terrified of your two-year-old child or was intent on tyrannizing the postal carrier.

So if you’re looking for a new companion animal to join your life, make adoption your first option.

Joan Merriam lives in Northern California with her golden retriever Joey and Maine coon cat Indy. She emphasizes that she’s not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist — just an animal lover who’s been writing about pets since 2012. You can reach her at joan@joanmerriam.com.

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