Professor A. Momeni
30 October 2017
Adopt, Don’t Shop
Do you remember running up to pet shop windows when you were little and squealing at the cute puppies walking around in the display cases? I remember and I remember begging my parents to let me take one home. I also very distinctly remember them telling me that we could not because we just did not have the time for a dog. When you are that young, you do not realize the responsibility that comes with owning a dog, the work and time that has to be put in to train a dog, and you especially do not think about where that cute, little fur ball in the display case came from. You are just blinded by the cuteness and the need to have something to call your own. Fast forward a few year and now you are ready to get a dog of your own, so you start looking for the perfect dog to take home, but where are you going to go this time? Do you go back to that pet store you remember from your childhood? Or do you find a breeder who will give you the perfect dog? Or do you go to your local shelter and find one there? It is hard to choose with so many different options laid out in front of you, but the best option, in my opinion, is to go to the shelter and adopt.
To some people, adopting from the shelter is not the wisest choice. Shelters are not always the happiest places to visit in the first place, even if your intention is to save one of them from their fate. Adopting a dog from a shelter can be hit-or-miss. Most dogs at the shelter are ones that have been given up by their previous owners or ones that got lost or were strays and got picked up by animal control. The dogs are not always in the best shape and may be underweight, traumatized, or sick. Often times, you do not know the dog’s past when you meet them in the shelter. You do not know what they have been through and you do not know what they have experienced. You might adopt a really amazing dog in perfect health, but it is equally possible you might adopt a dog that has severe behavioral issues or health issues that might require special training/attention. Because of that, many people stay way from shelters when they are looking to add a new addition to their family.
So instead of looking in shelters, they look to pet stores or breeders. A dog breeder is someone who intentionally mates dogs in order to produce puppies. A dog breeder would have knowledge of canine genetics and will breed dogs for desired traits, characteristics, or phenotypes. Before breeding the dogs, the breeder would make sure that the dogs are in pristine health and condition for breeding by going through several types of testing, such as: conformation testing which ensures that the dogs meet the physical requirements for the breed, such as structure and appearance as defined by the dog’s breed, temperament testing, which measures how well a dog is able to interact with humans and their environment, health testing which looks for any disorders or...