Pet Adoption is the Best Option

The Red & Black paid a visit to the Kent Animal Shelter to find out more about the benefits of pet adoption.


Photo by Samantha Visco

Kent Animal Shelter located at 2259 South River Road in Calverton.

When purchasing a pet, it may be tempting to buy those picture-perfect critters from the pet store. However, there are many reasons why you, and your future pet, are better off adopting from a local animal shelter. While this article is not intended to shame those who purchased their furry friend from a breeder, my point is to simply encourage those who are currently looking into purchasing their very own pet to perhaps take a look at their local animal shelter first.

Over two million perfectly healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every year due to an overhaul of pets in shelters and a scarce amount of people willing to adopt. Not only would pet adoption give an animal a loving home, but in return you are opening up more space for another abandoned animal to get the life-saving shelter and treatment they deserve. Saving a life is the greatest accomplishment a human can achieve, and you can do it simply by adopting an adorable cat or dog to be a new addition to your family.

Adopting a pet in lieu of a purchasing one also means you don’t become a consumer to the extremely inhumane puppy mills. Puppy mills are often the ones responsible for the dogs you see in kennels and although they are cute, they come from immoral practices done by a business that values money as their highest regard and as a result, the welfare of their puppies is not even considered. These facilities mass-produce canines, which is detrimental to the dog’s health due to the disturbingly limited space to move about. The neglect these puppies face, the horrible treatment of the mothers that are caged by themselves to breed continuously without the ability to care for her puppies, and the eventual mental and behavioral problems these pets face should be concrete evidence to anyone that puppy mills do not deserve any of our business. Altogether, the ethics of saving lives and not supporting an evil business should be all the pathos one needs to choose adoption.

Additionally, adoption is also the superior option both financially and timewise. Shelters neuter and vaccinate their animals prior to being put up for adoption, saving you the money you would ultimately have to spend with a store-bought pet. Most shelter pets are also house-trained, resulting in less frustration and cleaning for the pet owner. Contrary to popular belief, not all of these pets are severely injured or mentally-scarred due to abuse. In fact, most are simply donated from former owners due to situations that have nothing to do with the condition or behavior of the animal.

To gather more information, we travelled to Kent Animal Shelter in order to obtain information from a representative.

Red & Black: Why should someone adopt at a shelter rather than buy from a puppy mill or a breeder?

Kent Animal Shelter: In our opinion, the reason why you should go to a shelter is because there are a lot of dogs out there and people who breed these dogs are just contributing to the overpopulation while we have all these dogs in shelters that need help.

R&B: What process would one have to go through in order to adopt a pet?

KAS: It depends on the shelter. Here we have a page-long application that requires three personal references. Sometimes a home-check may be required but that isn’t always the case and we just do our best to look into the people and make sure they’re a good fit for that dog or cat in particular.

R&B: If a person wanted a purebred, would a shelter be able to provide them with one?

KAS: If we have them available, we will try our best. Sometimes purebred pets are surrendered from owners or puppy mills.

R&B: There’s usually mostly talk about the dogs, but what about the cats?

KAS: We get a lot of kittens during what we like to call “kitten season”, where it starts to get warm and the un-spayed females start having babies outside, so we try our best to take in and spay and neuter as many as we can, and if we are able to find the parent, we spay and neuter her too in order to control the large cat population in Long Island.

R&B: Why should someone spay and neuter their pets and what locations will perform the procedure?

KAS: We can do it right here! We have our own spay and neuter clinic. All pet owners should have it performed because if you don’t spay and neuter your pets, you are contributing to the overpopulation, which causes more and more animals to end up at our shelter. I believe the statistic says that ‘one un-spayed female can have millions of babies over the course of eleven years, and that’s only if 2.5 kittens from each litter survive and continue making babies’, which is a very scary number and it shows with all the stray cats and dogs you see outside. If they’re un-fixed, they will continue making babies and most of them end up either homeless or living in shelters.

Clearly, adoption is the best option to add a cute new member to your family. Animals benefit by being given a loving home and thus more availability for others to be rescued by a shelter, and the owner benefits by obtaining an adorable cat or dog full of love with expenses for vaccinations and other procedures reduced and the nerve-racking house training days being obsolete.

If you would like to adopt a pet, please visit The Kent Animal Shelter’s official website.