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Shelter Dogs Deserve A Home Too #AdoptDontShop

Updated: May 15

What is love to you? For me, it's a wagging tail and a jumping ball of fur greeting me every morning and every time I come home. Adopting a dog changes two lives. 


#AdoptDontShop What is It? 

The Adopt, Don’t Shop campaign was started to encourage people to adopt pets as opposed to buying them from online shops, pet stores, or breeders. The trend has brought awareness to the ongoing issue of mass-produced puppies and the consequences of it including the endorsement of puppy mills and animal cruelty– specifically in breeding. 


Puppy mills are a factory style breeding operation where many of the babies are kept in small areas with horrible living conditions and very little human interaction for the purpose of making a buck. Puppies from the mills often turn out very ill, poorly socialized, or even have defects. Oftentimes, they are lied about as to where they came from; “[r]eputable breeders will never sell their puppies to a pet store.” In the end, if the puppies are no longer profitable they are either killed, abandoned, or sold at auctions. 

National pet store chains that sell puppies take great pains to advertise that their puppies are from reputable breeders, but it has been proven time and time again that is not the case.--Hinsdale Humane Society

Pros of Adoption and Why it’s The Better Option 

First and foremost, by adopting an animal you free up more space for another cat or dog to have a chance at a happy life and a family. Shelters are often so overcrowded and underfunded that dogs are euthanized after certain time periods due to the lack of resources and space shelters have. Adopting a dog or cat would possibly save the life of one while giving another animal an opportunity to find its forever home.


Hinsdale Humane Society encourages you to adopt by saying, “[n]not only will you get a great companion, (as most pets in shelters are happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home) but you'll get a great bargain, too. Adoption fees are much less than the cost to purchase a pet. . .” The cost to adopt a puppy, adoption fees, are usually around $150, while the price to buy a puppy is almost always $1,000 at minimum.


Most dogs in shelters are already behaviorally analyzed, have up-to-date shots, and are spayed or neutered– a mass-bred puppy is not, and therefore that is once again more money you are spending. At shelters, especially in larger institutions, there are adoption counselors who can help you find the perfect dog for your lifestyle and family. Since shelters are so overcrowded, there is usually a dog for everyone. If you’re looking for a new edition to your family, remember to #AdoptDontShop.


Shelter dogs deserve to be loved just like every other dog. 


Moses: "Going through a divorce is hard, going through one in the middle of a pandemic is harder. My two daughters were begging for a dog and I had put in applications at different rescues only to be told multiple times that the dogs had too many applications.


I finally got an email from AHS that said they were going to do in-person meetings again. I was waiting at the computer for registration to open up, and chose Golden Valley because I saw a puppy named Artichoke. I got an appointment at 4 PM on the first day they were allowing people to come in person.


I was convinced he would be gone with his blue/gray color and soulful eyes, but there he was waiting for me. He was a typical puppy jumping everywhere, but when I picked him up he just stopped moving and hugged me back. I knew he would be perfect for my 8-year-old who just wanted a puppy to snuggle.


I took him home that day and the next day when my girls got home they both started crying when they saw him. My 8-year-old described him as the missing piece to her puzzle. Artichoke quickly became Moses, and he is a loyal sweetheart that loves to snuggle. He was exactly what my girls and I needed." 


Hunter: "Our sweet 8-year-old boy Hunter was adopted in March of 2020 at the start of the pandemic. My boyfriend and I had been together for four years and had talked endlessly about getting a dog since we moved into a home together. We were on vacation when we saw that AHS would be closing its doors for a month due to COVID-19.


The day we got back from vacation, we went to three different AHS locations. We were happy to see so many 'on hold' signs, but something kept pushing us to keep going to different shelters. Our last stop was the Golden Valley shelter. We walked around for a while and saw so many wonderful dogs.


It wasn’t until we did a second lap that we noticed our boy. He was standing by the gate, breathing so heavily that his cheeks were puffing in and out. He didn’t move, didn’t make a sound, just looked at us while we tried to get a reaction from him. We didn’t want to leave his side. As soon as we locked eyes with him, we felt he needed us. We asked if we could meet Hunter, and after waiting in the room for what seemed like forever, we saw him turn the corner. He walked in the room and did the same thing: didn’t move, didn’t make a sound. I moved to the floor and called his name. He came straight up to me, put his head on my shoulder, and just sat there. I was in love. He then did the same to Curtis. We knew he was family.


Fast forward to us taking him home. We were so worried about him being scared and apprehensive. Instead he walked through the door like he owned the place. Within minutes he was snuggling with us on the couch, smiling, and exploring. It wasn’t until we got him a tennis ball about a week later that his true personality came out. Something lit up inside him and he turned into a puppy. Since then, every day he does something new and goofy that just makes us fall in love with him all over again. He is so well trained, so well behaved, and just wants to be around us all the time (especially me, he’s a mama's boy).


Everything that I was apprehensive about getting an adopted, older dog, he proved wrong. He completed our family and I am so, so thankful."


What Else Can You Do? 

Some of us may not be in a position where we are ready to adopt a pet right now, but you can still help! Animal Shelters are always accepting donations of any kind and volunteers. 


There are multiple animal shelters near Eldridge, and the North Scott area including: The Humane Society of Scott County, Kings Harvest Pet Rescue No Kill Shelter, and K9 Kindness Rescue, Inc.


A Day In the Life of an Animal Shelter Volunteer

Sarah, a shelter volunteer, explains her experience volunteering at an animal shelter. With her routine, playing and attempted to entertain the dogs with the little time they get outside of their kennels. And cleaning a lot! She explains that no matter what they do, "[t]he highlight of the shelter pets' (and volunteers'!) day is when potential adopters come to look at and play with them. Even a belly rub and a game of fetch in the play yard provides much-needed respite from the lonely kennels. While prospective adopters interact with the animals, the staff members cross their fingers, hoping their favorite residents find a home where they'll be happy and loved."


Sarah explains that it is not easy being a volunteer when she watches the animals she's bonded with start to decline mentally and physically while in the shelter knowing the only way they can be saved is to be adopted. However, she ends in saying that the "happy endings" make it worth it. Watching a dog or cat get its forever home after waiting so long can be one of the happiest things to witness.

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Dylan Decker
Dylan Decker
5月13日

I support adoption!

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