Adopt or Shop? This is a debate that has been going on for years among pet parents. Which is better? Should pet parents purchase their beloved pet from a breeder or a shop? Or should they visit a rescue centre or an NGO or an animal shelter and give a second chance to a shelter animal? Moralists, experts & people alike are of different views.
This blog is simply about explaining various nuances of purchasing as well as adopting and at the same time laying out the Pros & Cons of both aspects of bringing a life into your home.
Firstly, to distinguish, A rescue pet is an animal that’s been placed in a shelter or rescue home after being abused, neglected or abandoned by its previous owner. On the other hand, a pedigree pet is considered to have a good pedigree when all its known ancestors are of the same type. Pedigree also means a pet has purebred parents of the same breed. Rescue pets often don’t come with records, so for those looking for a purebred, it’s rare to find one at a shelter.
While deciding on a pet, it’s best to learn about which breed would be most comfortable in your house & would be best suited for your lifestyle. It’s important to take into account factors like temperament, health conditions, allergies, behavior etc. If you are going for a breeder / shop then do communicate all these with them. A stigma attached to adoption is that adopted pets have behavioral issues & unpredictability. Every pet that has been surrendered to shelters has his own story; stories that can include change in family circumstances, shifting to a different geographical location, not being able to take care of the pet etc.
“According to the Humane Society of the United States, about 3.3 million dogs are sent to animal shelters every year in the US, but only 1.6 million dogs are adopted from those shelters.”
The great debate
Before we move to an in-depth comparison of Pros & Cons, it is imperative to understand that while rescuing an animal is a humane thing to do, it may give you peace of mind & a forever home to a life, not every pet parent is ready to take on the challenges a shelter animal may bring with him or her. Many a time pets have specific behavioral issues or temperaments which may not be suitable for a house with kids, aged people, or single-person households where the pet may be left alone for long durations.
“I still can’t believe my husband planned all of it. It was my birthday and instead of going to a fancy restaurant or a throwing a big party he took me to the most unexpected place. We bought a lot of pet food and Mogra Rice and went to Umeed For Animals, an animal rescue shelter in Gurugram. It was one of the most unique & amazing experiences of my life. We were planning a pet for a long time, but this experience eased our minds and we are now planning to adopt a dog from Umeed!” – Varnika*, Doctor
Let's now check out Pro's & Con's of Purchasing & adopting pets.
Pros of Adoption
- You save at least two lives; the life of the pet you’re adopting, another pet that can now be placed in the shelter for care.
- Rescue pets often have basic training; basic commands, potty training etc, hence saving your time to train a puppy / kitten from scratch.
- Adopting from a shelter usually enables you a bundle of information about your pet’s personality, temperament, medical history. In addition, the shelter workers have a hands-on experience as they spend a lot of time with the animals there. This means you won’t be surprised when bringing a pet home.
- Most pets have been vetted. (Microchipped, spayed, neutered, dewormed, vaccinated)
- The cost of adopting is significantly lower than purchasing a pet from a breeder. Pet Pawrents on a budget should definitely consider this.
- Mixed breeds tend to have less inherited genetic health problems.
- This breaks the cycle of pet overpopulation. There aren’t enough homes for all the animals born every year.
- You can choose your dream pet after spending an adequate amount of time at the shelter.
- The love & gratitude you get from the animals & people at the shelter will be unlike any other.
- You’re giving an animal a second chance at a new, healthy life.
- You feel good knowing you have contributed towards supporting a process that supports the welfare of abandoned & stray animals.
Cons or Challenges of Adoption
- The animal may behave differently at home. There is a possibility that they may turn out different than expected or act different than they did at the shelter.
- If you’re hasty or not careful & thorough about the pet you choose, reality may be different than your expectations.
- If you’re choosy or particular about the breed you want, you may need to wait for your ideal pet.
- Shelters often adhere to a waiting period to avoid pet parents rushing into a decision, have thorough background checks and paperwork.
- Some pets have special needs. This is something pet parents need to be wary of, especially if you’re a first timer.
- There’s always a chance pet parents may be deemed unfit for adoption & rejected by shelters if they fail to meet their requirements.
Buying From a Breeder or Shop: The Pros
- Reputable breeders or shops ensure that the pet they’re selling doesn’t carry any inherited or genetic problems.
- Pet Parents have an opportunity to visit their pet before making up their mind for adoption.
- The process becomes easier if you know which breed best suits your lifestyle, for example, temperament, nature, behaviour etc.
- The size, coat type, and mature appearance and behaviour are more predictable.
- a responsible breeder will ensure your pet is clean, healthy, sociable & comfortable in new environments and has basic house training.
- Even if pet parents are unsure of which breed to go for, good Breeders or shops help out with a thorough analysis of their lifestyle, expectations & the breed best suited for them.
Buying From a Breeder or Shop: The Cons
- Unlike adopted pets, who are well beyond the puppy stage, getting a pedigree pet requires a lot of work; imagine a blank slate. He’d require training for everything, especially potty training.
- Untrained pups / kittens may grow up into out-of-control pets.
- The cost of purchasing from a breeder can be high as compared to adoption. The famous / in demand breeds are even more expensive.
- Selective Breeding & reduced genetic diversity can cause genetic issues which may crop up later with your pet.
Adopt or Shop?
To conclude, this decision of whether to adopt from a rescue shelter or purchasing from a breeder is a very personal choice. We believe that there are more essential things that Pet Parents need to consider. You need to weigh the pros & cons of both to ensure an informed & educated decision in stead of a hasty or an underinformed one. At the end of the day, the decision you make will change a lot of lives as well as create some mesmerising memories that will stay with you forever.
If you wish to adopt a pet, check out the following shelters in and around Delhi-NCR:-
- Red Paws Rescue
- Umeed for Animals
- Krishna Ashram
- Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre
- Paws India
Such a superb piece..