When there are so many pets waiting for homes why are we still going to pet stores and breeders?
My husband and I were in our local pet store picking up bird food for our budgies. Often we walk over to the glass enclosure – that sits about waist-high – filled with budgies of all colours. It looked like they had just got a few more in because it was Christmas. As the store clerks tried to capture a budgie for a woman, who wanted to buy one for her daughter, I couldn’t help but wonder why is she at a pet store?
We adopted our little feathered friends last year from a local shelter. I had seen one of them on a Pet of the Week site and instantly took a liking to him. When I phoned the shelter they assured me he was still there along with many others. When we got to the shelter we saw that he was in a cage with one other budgie and we didn’t have the heart to leave one behind so now they both have a home.
If you look on Craigslist or other similar sites you will find an abundance of birds, dogs, cats, and reptiles waiting to be rehomed. Many people either can’t or won’t take care of their pet and are trying to find them a new home. It is a sad fact that many of these animals will end up in a shelter or worse dumped off somewhere like one of our budgie was. Not all animals survive the stress or lack of care that happens when they become a burden to their owners.
Adoption is a better option. Even pet stores have tried to be more ethical in their approach to pet sales by promoting adoption and supporting animal welfare charities. Breeders are interested in profiting as a business so lets not bother to look for their support.
It is so important to consider the suitability of a pet to your home, children and lifestyle – whether you are adopting or buying. How stable is your living situation and financial situation? What’s your long-term plans? Many birds for instance can live longer than their owners and so planning for that pet is important.
Please consider adoption more seriously the next time you or someone in your family wants a pet. Move beyond “fad” or “cute” or “status” and instead realistically become part of the solution to animal overpopulation, homelessness and cruelty. Check your local area for rescue associations.