Why You Should Adopt, Not Shop

Pets are a special part of our lives. Everyone wants one and eventually most people experience a pet. When looking for a pet, the right fit seems impossible. There are so many choices and breeds. Everyone wants a purebred kitten or a puppy. 

Illustration by Alexa Hernandez.

This raises the question of where to go to find a kitten or puppy. Many people choose places like Petland or go to breeders without realizing that there are thousands of animals up for adoption in their city. 

In the Doral shelter alone, there are around 500 dogs and 70 cats up for adoption. They are of all breeds, ages and desperately need a home. This devastating situation is present all throughout the country and has sparked the “adopt, don’t shop” movement.

The goal of “adopt, don’t shop” is not only to clear the shelters but to shut down stores like Petland and breeders that have been sued for harsh conditions and have been investigated and deemed not only unsanitary but negligent toward animals. 

The fact that people ignore this reality breaks my heart. My passion for this movement began with Frankie.

Frankie was a bulldog that ran into the school I work at and was underweight and desperate. He wasn’t a regular street dog and didn’t know how to walk on the road. After chasing him around for two hours, I finally managed to catch him and get him home. After bathing him and feeding him, he was taken to the shelter in Doral and claimed by his family.

From that day on, my heart was empty, and I wanted another dog. For about a week I searched the shelter’s website and came across Oreo. Oreo was a six month old mutt who caught my eye from the minute I saw her. She was a bigger dog and had been adopted previously but abused and then returned. 

After begging and pleading for another dog, I went to Doral and picked up Oreo. From that day on, she became part of the family. Watching her grow has been amazing. In the beginning she was very cautious and skittish toward everything but over time she became more comfortable and accepted her new lifestyle.

 Adopting Oreo changed my life. She has made me more social—since I go to the dog park often so she can play with her friends. She has changed the way the whole family interacts with each other. She has positively impacted our other dog by making her more active, to the point where her arthritis is completely gone. 

Compared to our other dog who was from a breeder, Oreo is very different. She is more grateful and loving. She deeply appreciates us, while our other dog is simply accustomed to her lifestyle. 

Not only are people making a meaningful difference in the world by adopting and rescuing a pet, they are finding a lifelong companion.