“Adopt don’t shop” campaign works to lower euthanization rates

By Emma Gibson
Staff Reporter

According to kittencoalition.org, 2.7 million animals are euthanized yearly due to lack of space in shelters. Euthanization, according to the thefreedictionary.com, is the act of putting to death painlessly.

The importance of saving animals from euthanization due to lack of space in shelters has been expressed through the help of the “Adopt, don’t shop” campaign.

“Adopt, don’t shop” is a national campaign to raise awareness about adopting animals and to show the benefits of adopting an animal rather than purchasing one from a breeder or a pet store. The ASPCA has a GoFundMe set up for this campaign and Animal Planet has teamed up with the ASPCA to help homeless pets. Joe Gatto from TruTV’s Impractical Jokers is an animal advocate for this campaign as well.

Veterinary Technician Amber Yorlano has worked with several rescue groups and has previous experience working with animals in various conditions. She described why some choose to purchase from breeders.

“You can trace the lineage of the pet, depending on how well the breeder kept records. You can participate in pet shows through the AKC, 4H or other organizations,” Yorlano said.

Although there are perks of purchasing animals from breeders, there are still perks of adopting an animal, such as they are usually trained.

Katlin Rutherford runs a rescue organization called Ruts Rescue and has seen animals in all types of conditions. Rutherford found her best friend by adopting.

“Finding your best friend in a dog or cat is an amazing thing. Animals will always be there for you. They don’t judge you. They love you unconditionally and will never let you down,” Rutherford said.

The “adopt don’t shop” slogan also applies to pet stores because often pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills, which are where puppies are bred for sale only and usually kept in inhumane conditions. Erin Taylor works with a rescue group and finds puppy mills awful.

“They are horrible! There is no excuse for having dogs in terrible conditions and mistreating them,” Taylor said.

Although some families prefer younger animals that breeders supply, most of the puppies coming from these pet stores are sick because of the way they are bred and raised.

“A doodle we have had in foster now for two years suffers from extreme anxiety. He will only eat from his human mom’s hand and if she’s beside him. He cannot bark because his vocal chords were removed. He is timid and always terrified unless she is with him. It’s very sad to see what animals have gone through,” Rutherford said.

Veterinarian Amanda McAndrews sees puppies from breeding mills everyday at Franklin Animal Clinic and sees what harm puppy mills can cause.

Adopting puppies can help take these puppy mills out of business because if people are focused on adopting dogs from shelters, they won’t be purchasing dogs from pet stores that fund puppy mills.

“That is just supporting the puppy mills if you purchase a pet from them,” McAndrews said.

There are many animals in foster care and in animal shelters that need a new home. Adoption and rescuing is much healthier for animals.

The “Adopt, don’t Shop” campaign is helping to spread awareness of the many dangers of breeding mills, and encouraging the adoption of more animals.

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