October 25, 2017

Why I Don't Say "Adopt, Don't Shop"

"Adopt, don't shop". You can't be a dog owner and not see that catchy little phrase everywhere. Maybe you've seen it at your vet, the animal shelter, on a blog or rescue website, or maybe you say it yourself. I'm not against anyone that says the phrase. I bet there are people here who may have said it once or twice before.

If you use the phrase "adopt, don't shop", I won't judge you. I get that you support rescuing dogs who don't live the wonderful lives they deserve. I understand that you want every dog to have a loving home. Trust me, I do too. I think dog rescues and shelters are great places to find a loyal pet. There are both mixed breed and purebred dogs in shelters of all ages and sizes and energy levels.

I'm a rescue advocate. Than why won't I tell you to adopt, not shop?

"Shop" implies purchasing a dog from a breeder. I'm talking about reputable breeders who breed healthy, sound dogs and strive to improve the breed, not make money off their stock. In this post, I am not referring to puppy mills or people who breed their dogs just because. You may be technically purchasing a dog, but you are still taking a new family member in who you will care for and cherish. Is that not also adoption?

When families adopt children, they have to pay a fee to sign the adoption papers yet you wouldn't dare tell someone that they "bought" their adopted son or daughter. How is it any different with an animal? If you think otherwise, and that choosing a dog from a breeder is purchasing them still, you still have to pay to sign adoption papers for an animal at a shelter! Just because breeders charge more due to the hard work it takes to produce champion bloodline animals doesn't mean the small fund you pay for a shelter animal isn't a fund. It doesn't matter if you have $1 or $1000, you still have money!

I was a little sidetracked there. The reason why I don't use the phrase "adopt, don't shop" is because I'll try to show you the advantages of rescuing a furry friend, but I won't persuade you to avoid breeders who work to produce healthier dogs, whether for the show ring or for a loving family. Some people may adopt (yes, I feel fine saying this) from a breeder because they want a dog for the show ring or maybe the breeder is a close friend or relative. Or maybe they aren't quite ready for a dog, but they can put the dog they want on hold without having to worry about it being euthanized at a shelter. My dog is from a breeder because I wouldn't be able to find a sound AKC registered dog to show at a shelter or rescue orginization. I did not pay for a fee for him because the breeder gave him to me, but even if I did, I'd still consider Chris to be an adopted member of our family.

I want people to rescue dogs and cats and I don't want to dissuade people from going the breeder route. So I'm just gonna stay in the middle and avoid saying "adopt, don't shop", but that's just me.


  1. This was well thought out... and well written. BRAVO.

  2. Rescues are very very impawtant in our opinion. On Sunday we have two neighborhood Dachshunds on our blog. They were rescued from a puppy mill 3 years ago...they are now rulers of all they domain....
    Hugs madi and mom

  3. Well written on a hot topic!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  4. All of them need good loving homes.
    Hazel & Mabel

  5. I'm so glad my mom picked me out and I get to be her baby.

    xo Astro

  6. I totally agree, but sometimes when I think of "shop" I think of those pet stores in the mall where they keep the puppies in the little glass cages. You're still rescuing one if you get one (for sure, because the conditions they are in are not so good at all!!). Buying from a reputable breeder is totally different! Maddie came from a breeder and a champion line. Our other two pugs are rescue babies, both found on Craigslist and both desperately needed us. I wish we could rescue all the pugs in the world!

  7. What a pawsome post!! We have our No Tricks, Just Treats for shelter Blog Hop coming up this weekend, and would love to have you add this post to the hop!

    Like Samantha, we have all types of pups at our place. Rosy, Dory and Bilbo came from breeders....Jakey came from a Rescue and Arty came from an animal shelter.

  8. very good post... the main thing is to pick a breeder we can trust... and to avoid the puppy mills and the stores who sell pets like "things"... I specially feel sorry when I see the guinea pih´gs, hamsters and birds in such stores... and I sometimes wonder what happens to them when the store can not sell them...

  9. A well thought out position on a hot topic. I would submit those of us in the pet blogging community all want the best for our fur-kids, whether they came from a rescue group, shelter or a responsible breeder. Kudos for your advocacy.


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