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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Opinion

Animal lovers should adopt pets, not shop


Pet lovers should adopt, not shop

Aya Ghoneim/The CougarWhile purebred pets are sought after by many animal lovers, the breeders they come from are often unethical. Therefore, if they want a pet, they should adopt from a shelter instead.

People love their pets for many reasons; companionship, unconditional love and the sense of purpose they get when taking care of them. Although many pet lovers are drawn to how some breeds look or their temperament, it is important to note that buying animals from even reputable breeders can be unethical.

Pugs are known to be one of the most beloved breeds of dogs out there. Although their scrunched-up faces and stocky bodies are adorable to us, this appearance has been manufactured by breeders and is actually harmful to the health of the dogs, causing joint, eye and even fatal neurological diseases. 

What’s more is breeders are aware of these well-documented problems, however continue to breed pugs to be deformed all for the purpose of aesthetics. However, pugs are only one of the numerous dog and cat breeds that are subjected to health problems. 

In fact, these health problems are caused by humans picking and choosing which traits an animal gets to pass on, thus decreasing genetic diversity and increasing the likelihood of unhealthy traits. Pet owners and future pet owners should prioritize health over appearance and do what is best for the pets rather than focus on superficial reasons. 

While popular breeds are admired, the many animals in shelters and in the streets in need of loving homes are often forgotten. Around 6.3 million animals enter shelters per year in the United States alone. 

Streets are overpopulated with stray animals and the nation’s 4,000 or so animal shelters simply do not have the room to keep them all. This leads to the euthanization of almost 1 million dogs and cats each year in the country. Breeders play a role in this, making more animals when it is clear there isn’t a need for more.

Many of the animals in pet stores come from reputable breeders. However, the reality is a vast majority of the time these animals come from mills or breeding facilities in which they are continuously bred, kept in unsanitary conditions and abused. 

The purpose of these facilities is to produce purebred animals at fast rates in order to make a profit. This is not only unethical to the animals but purchasing purebreds that could come from these facilities give the mills the funding to continue these immoral practices.

When you adopt an animal in need from a shelter this ensures you are getting a pet ethically. You’re giving a pet that was otherwise unwanted a home, rather than supporting a harmful industry.

Owning a pet is a lifelong commitment that goes well beyond the surface and is incomparable to something as shallow as appearance. The best way to do right by animals is to adopt, not shop. 

Sumera Siddiqi is a Liberal Studies freshman who can be reached at [email protected]

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