Adopt…Don’t Shop

So you’ve decided it is time to bring a new pet into your home. You won’t regret it! That new dog or cat will provide you and your family with much happiness and love.


Impulse buying has become a mainstay in many people’s daily lives but shouldn’t be a factor when considering a pet. There are thousands of pets residing in shelters across our country; often they have only a few days to be adopted before their fate is sealed in order to make room for more lost pets. As a veterinarian in Saint Lucie County,  I know this is an unfortunate daily occurrence in our local community.  Each time a pet is purchased, another one of these shelter pets loses a potential home. Adopting rather than buying a pet will also help to curb the business of breeding. The bottom line is that there are just too many dogs and cats and not enough homes.


The worst place to get a new pet is either in a pet store or through the internet. This veterinarian believes that most internet sites selling dogs attract many unscrupulous Sellers. They often present their puppies for sale as those being “privately” bred and raised when in fact the puppies are produced in mass quantities in commercial settings. These types of breeding facilities have no regard to eliminating unwanted traits in a breeding line.  If you still decide to buy a pet, make sure you visit the pet at its home and meet the Sellers and the others in the litter.


When visiting a shelter, be aware and honest to yourself as to what your lifestyle is like. Is someone home for most of the day? Do you have time to train your new friend? Do you have other pets in your home? Are there small children in your family? A knowledgeable shelter volunteer should be able to guide you to their available pets that will complete your family!


Cindy Wasserman, DVM, JD


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