Adopt and Shop Responsibly

Adopt Don't Shop has been repeated ad nauseam. I'm sick of it and here is why!

Many would consider me a heavy user of social media. I admit, I spend way more time than I should on social channels. Contrary to many however, I spend my time on different fora, mostly, dog or pet related ones. Over the years, I, like many, have observed the adopt don’t shop movement gain traction. People repeating the phrase and having absolutely no idea what it means. I have observed people asking for help to locate a specific breed or a dog with specific traits be bombarded with the phrase. Others, demonized for buying a puppy. I have had people contact me about buying a puppy but being afraid to use the word buy. I have even had people ask me not to disclose to anyone that they bought a puppy from me, but to say they adopted it. 

The Right for Free Choice

To begin with, I believe in free choice. It should be nobody’s business whether a pet was adopted or bought. I believe people should be free to search for information about a breed without being demonized or ridiculed for it.  People have different reasons why they may want a specific breed or a young puppy. They might require a dog of a specific size or temperament, or they may simply be passionate about a specific look. People should be free to choose no matter what. Are there dogs that may meet their criteria in shelters? Possibly. Is that a reason for them to get a dog from a shelter? Possibly. Is that a reason for them to get a dog from a shelter if they don’t want to? Most definitely not

Dogs in Shelters DO NOT come from Responsible Breeders

Most dogs in shelters, at least in this country are not even purebreds. That in its self is a reason not to blame breeders. Are they any less deserving of a loving home? Of course not. They deserve the best home possible, just like any other dog, but dog breeders are not the reason they are there. They are there because one fine morning somebody decided to get a puppy they were not ready for, and unlike somebody who bought a puppy from a responsible breeder they couldn’t take it back when they could no longer keep it. Because here’s the thing: Responsible breeders take their puppies back or at the very least help re-home them if their owners can no longer keep them.That is why you will not find dogs from responsible breeders in shelters. 

Will you find purebreds in shelters? Yes! But the AR movement needs to drill it into their head that purebred does not automatically mean they come from responsible breeders. If  purebreds are in a shelter, chances are, they came from a petshop, a puppy mill or a backyard breeder. And just for the record, not every purebred dog or bitch that ends up in a shelter was used as a breeding machine and disposed of once the breeding career came to an end. 

Adopt and Shop Responsibly is the key

We are tired of the #adoptdontshop hashtag. People and the AR movement need to understand that responsible breeders have the welfare of dogs at heart as much as they do. Many of us sponsor events and give donations to sanctuaries. The AR movement needs to understand that the key to the emptying of shelters is educating people to buy and adopt responsibly, to carry out research before getting any dog whether a puppy or a senior, whether a mongrel or a purebred. They need to push adoption without demonizing breeders. They need to encourage people to adopt, but if they don’t want to adopt for whatever reason they should research the breed and most importantly the breeder they are getting their dogs from. Some people have very specific circumstances and they need a dog with a specific temperament or a dog that only grows to a certain size and that is ok. There is no shame in that, as long as all the research is carried out. 

So…  let’s change the tune…