OKEECHOBEE — In our culture today, it is considered politically incorrect or even unethical to buy or sell a dog or cat. Instead, everyone is urged to adopt an animal from a rescue organization. This argument stems mainly from concerns about unethical breeders and overpopulation.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized each year, the majority of which are cats. However, dogs follow close behind. Spots.com declares 4,000-10,000 animals are euthanized in shelters daily, and 9 out of 10 of these animals were adoptable with no painful or life-threatening conditions.
So, why is it better to adopt rather than to purchase a puppy or kitten from a breeder?
The number one reason is so you do not support or endorse commercial breeding, also known as puppy mills.
Another great reason is that by adopting, you are potentially saving the life of that animal. Due to overcrowding, many shelters resort to euthanasia when they cannot find a home for an animal.
Normally, adopting an animal is cheaper than purchasing one. The fee you pay an animal shelter goes toward the animal’s vaccinations, checkups and spaying or neutering. Purchased animals may not be vaccinated or spayed or neutered.
One benefit to shelter dogs is that they are often already trained and house broken, and this almost never happens with breeder puppies.
Now that I have decided to adopt, where do I go?
If you can’t find shelters for your area online, check with the local police or sheriff’s office. They can usually tell you where to find a shelter nearby. In Okeechobee, the sheriff’s office oversees animal control and runs a shelter.
What if I really want to buy a puppy?
If you have your heart set on buying, keep some tips in mind:
Often, people think their adoption or purchase of an animal makes little difference, but it makes a difference to the one you take home with you.
The ASPCA has compiled a list of suggestions for those thinking of adopting (or purchasing) a pet. These suggestions include making sure you are ready to adopt, choosing the right animal for yourself and preparing a home. To read more about these tips, visit the ASPCA website here https://www.aspca.org/adopt-pet/adoption-tips.
For more information, go online to the Okeechobee Animal Control website at
www.okeesheriff.org/animalcontrol , call 863-357-3225 or visit the shelter at 1480 NW 25th Drive Okeechobee, Fla,