Adopting vs. Purchasing a Pet, Which Should I Choose?

In the US, 40 percent of pets are obtained from friends or family members. Roughly 30 percent are adopted from shelters and rescues while the other 30 percent are purchased from breeders. Our list of benefits for both adopting and purchasing will help you narrow down which choice is right for you.


According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year in pet shelters. Needless to say, many pets are in need of adoption and there are myriad benefits to supporting this cause.

It is a common misconception that shelter animals are without a home because of behavior issues. In fact, according to the American Humane Association, the most common reasons why people give away their dogs and cats is because their new place of residence does not allow pets. Adopting a pet comes with many advantages. Among these are:

Cost- Adoption fees are generally much lower than buying an animal from a breeder. What’s more, most shelter pets are already spayed/neutered and have received vaccinations and microchipping.

Training- Many adult pets that came from previous families have already been housetrained. This can save you a lot of time, headaches, and clean up!

Personality- Staff at the shelter or rescue organization will be able to tell you about an animal’s personality so you can find a pet that matches well with your wants and needs.


As noted earlier, buying a pet is about as common as rescuing one from a shelter. This may be a good option for you if you have your heart set on a specific breed of cat or dog. Pros of purchasing a pet include:

Health- Trustworthy breeders will provide you with genetic health testing and information about your pet’s parents in order to lower the risk of carrying inherited genetic problems.

Family & Environment- You will be able to meet your animal’s mother and see the environment he was raised in before coming home with you.

Good Fit- If you have already chosen a breed that fits well with your living situation and personality, purchasing an animal from a reputable breeder will ensure you are taking home the right type of dog or cat for you.

For those interested in purchasing a pet from a breeder, it’s very important to determine that the breeder is in fact a professional and not operating as a factory style “puppy mill” or “kitty mill”. These mills are abundant and maintain breeding styles that put profit above the welfare of the animals. Living conditions for newborns cats and dogs are usually very poor. Before you purchase an animal, make sure your breeder can prove his/her professional standing. As a note, professional breeders usually do not sell their animals to pet stores nor do they sell animals online. Truly professional breeders care about where their animals end up and will screen potential buyers and sell directly to them, not through an intermediary.

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