Adding A Furry Member To The Family? Adopt, Don't Buy!
STORY: Amanda Lee
30 June 2020
Choosing a pet is like choosing a partner in life; how do you know he or she is the right one? So many of us think that by going to a pet store, it will give us more options, but statistically speaking, there are more animals in a shelter than there are in a pet shop that sell animals.
Here are the top five reasons why adopting is better than buying a pet:
1. You’re saving a life
Shelter animals have been abandoned, abused, or given up by people. They have been through an ordeal that they shouldn’t even have had to in the first place.
Kennels are also not ideal for dogs to live out their entire lives in. Sometimes being in there for too long can cause complications such as depression, fearfulness and severe anxiety. All they need is some TLC.
By adopting instead of buying, you will be saving these animals from potential health problems.
2. It’ll save you money and time
Buying a pet: $300 to $6,000++
Vaccination: $30 to $50
Microchipping: $50 to $80
Deworming: $50 to $100
Sterilisation: $200 to $400
The cost of your dog goes to the store’s profit and you’ll be supporting the unethical breeding of animals. There is nothing ethical about forcing animals to breed until they can’t produce anymore and then get handed over to shelters if they are still surviving.
These dogs come in with health conditions and physical disabilities from being tied up while breeding or from being crammed in small breeding cages. Knowingly contributing to the overpopulation of animals in Singapore is also irresponsible.
Compare this with...
Adopting from our local shelters: $180 to $300 (inclusive of vaccination, microchipping, deworming and flea and tick prevention)
The adoption fee goes back to these non-profit organisations so that they can continue helping other animals get the medical treatment they need.
3. Shelter animals have undergone basic training
There are volunteer trainers in these organisations that help with training the dogs. Certified dog trainer Angie Tan, and a few other trainers who volunteer at SPCA, often take the dogs out to play and stretch their legs. They are also involved in running the Corporate Volunteer Programme, where companies send out their staff for a half day of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
These trainers will facilitate safe interaction between human and dog. It's a great chance for all to learn, and especially beneficial for dogs because they get to leave their kennels and engage in social interactions. After which, the dogs will undergo spot training and animal husbandry like brushing of fur etc.
The Corporate Volunteer Team also gives individual training to some dogs that need extra help in learning how to have safe interactions.
So yes, you’ll be going home with an already trained dog versus going home with a young puppy that you might not train well and therefore, might end up having some behavioural issues. This could lead to owners hitting their animals instead of using the positive reinforcement training method, which acknowledges good behaviour with treats to increase good behaviour, a method that Angie firmly believes in and teaches.
4. You’re helping other animals, too
When you adopt a dog one, you’re helping to free up space for other animals who might be in dire need of shelter or medical attention. Sharing stories about your adopted animals on social media #adoptdontshop might very well be helping to shape mindsets, and that gives all the shelter animals hope that they may soon find a forever home too!
5. You’ll find a suitable companion
Volunteers at these organisations spend a lot of time getting to know each animal, and they do so out of passion and a genuine interest in wanting to find good homes for these animals.
Because of that, they will be able to help assess which animal would best suit your personality and lifestyle. When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you will be told upfront what you’re “in for” because they will give you information on the animal’s personality, habits, routine and existing medical conditions.
On the other hand, pet shops sometimes sell pets that are taken away from their mothers when they're too young. And one will not be able to tell the pet’s temperament or health issues accurately when it is at such a young age, so pet stores will only sell them to you for profit.