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10 great reasons why we shouldn't buy pets

by Sian Atkins October 02, 2022 6 min read

I know that most people have a love, connection and respect for animals, namely the ones humans have named ‘Pets’.  This often includes Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea pigs and also spills over into Reptiles, such as Tortoises, snakes, lizards – in-fact tarantulas are also loved within the pet industry… well to some maybe!  However, I tend to meet people who have a phobia of spiders more so than not, I’m pretty chuffed that I don’t, I find the arachnid species pretty fascinating!


So let us talk, 'Adopt Don't Shop'.


Pets are without a shadow of a doubt another member of the family, we love them (sometimes more than humans ha-ha), and (some) love us back.  We often spoil them; we cherish their company and their ability to not judge; a trait that is rare amongst people.  We benefit from their companionship and their unconditional love, and we mourn them greatly when they pass.


However, there is a dark side to the pet industry, and the so-called “pet trade” is a huge threat to an animal’s welfare.

Let’s start with Pet Shops!


Here at JRH we are a vegan owned business, but regardless of this fact, it's 2022 and it actually angers me somewhat to find that animals are still for sale in pet stores world-wide.  In-fact, I don’t live far from a pet store myself that still sells puppies; like there isn’t enough roaming the streets looking for homes already.


This isn’t me saying that the animals in pet shops don’t deserve a home or love; of course, they do, but ALL animals do.  The reason these poor animals exist in pet stores is only for monetary gain, as they are born to be sold!


Sadly, pet shops often acquire their animals such as dogs from puppy mills, so unknowingly to most, when you purchase a puppy from a pet shop, you have just financed more cruelty to animals.


How you may be thinking?!


Well, pet shops often buy their animals from “commercial breeders”.


Commercial breeders; as they like to be known, are actually also known as “puppy mills/animal mills”, which is unbeknown to some.  So, when you walk into a pet shop and pick your puppy, it’s a happy occasion full of excitement.  You will walk out and start your life alongside your new pet, but yet by doing so and by handing over your money, you have created suffering that you cannot see, as the perpetual cycle has been financed.  The mass-produced existence of breeding in-turn creates suffering that most would likely be absolutely appalled by.  This is why raising awareness is so very important.  It gives us education on topics that truly do matter.

What is a puppy mill?


After World War II the US Department of Agriculture recommended that struggling farmers should raise puppies. This term was coined “Puppy Mills”.  There was no thought for the health or well-being of these puppies, it was purely for financial gain to make the most money possible from the sale of puppies regardless; that’s why even to this day many puppies from Puppy Mills have genetic defects or die early.


Often these puppies were kept in such disgustingly cruel conditions that the Federal Government adopted the Animal Welfare Act; which allowed USDA agents to revoke licences and penalise substandard conditions. Yet, to this day the problem of inhumane conditions still remains. Puppies are often bred in filth, with starvation and injuries left untreated.


And that’s just puppies.


In animal mills, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea pigs, mice and birds are crammed into containers, with many more than they should be homed with, and are sometimes forced to live in filthy conditions.  Fish can be seen circling in overcrowded and dirty tanks that are so far removed to their natural existence.

Pet shops are a massive NO in our view, and we believe all animals should be treated with the respect we would only hope someone would treat us with.


As so righty said:


"Not only do pet shops give vulnerable animals a bad start in life, they also contribute to the ever-escalating population crisis of companion animals, because there simply aren’t enough good homes for the number that are bred for profit. Every time one is purchased from a pet store, another in a shelter loses his or her chance of finding a loving, permanent home.

The solution is as easy as ABC: animal birth control. Always have your animal companions desexed and microchipped – and never buy from a breeder or pet shop."

How about private breeders?


Did you know about 20,000 dogs in the UK are euthanised every year?  Your answer is probably no.


This is what breeders fail to realise; by the constant breeding of their dogs, they help to contribute to the death of thousands of dogs per year that never got the chance of a home, and for what reason?  To add a small fortune to their bank account?  To cause more inbreeding?  To cause more suffering to the mother in perpetual breeding cycles?


Let’s take the bulldog as an example.  They have been so inbred over the years its borderline inhumane.  They are sweet and often endearing dogs.  When I was once a dog walker, I used to walk quite a few, but I always had a sense of sadness for these dogs.  They are often bred with health problems such as breathing difficulties and immobility, autoimmune diseases and allergies.


And they have been so heavily inbred over the last decades it now makes it increasingly more difficult to make further changes in a breed to correct health problems. This is cruel, why do humans feel the need to continue to have ‘specific’ dogs - it sadly comes from a selfish status.  To have that ‘manufactured’ breed is not one I could ever agree on.


I know of breeders charging £3000 per bulldog, now tell me 'how' they love their dogs so much?!

So what is the answer?


It’s simple, Adopt Don’t Shop.


Why do we think the best thing anyone can do is adopt for their next animal companion?


Here’s 10 great reasons why:

  • You are saving a life!
  • Some may have been abused, abandoned, or had to fend for themselves on the streets.  By choosing them, you give them that second chance at life.
  • Some may have come from the home of a deceased owner, now suddenly in need of another caring home.
  • Some may be old and looking to live out their last days in comfort.
  • Importantly, you won’t be financially supporting pet shops, commercial breeders and private breeders.
  • You will help support the animals long term welfare.
  • By adopting rather than shopping you are preventing overpopulation, which in-turn leads to better care for the animals.
  • You’re supporting valuable charities and organisations that work extremely hard to give animals a life beyond what they have already had.
  • It’s good for your own bank balance.
  • And it’s so good for your Soul.


With dogs, you may have a particular breed in mind, but we implore you to visit rehoming shelters – you may just fall in love with a dream companion that you never thought you would.  As an example, all the pictures you see in this journal entry were taken on our recent visit to Finca La Castellana, which is nearby us here in Spain.  It's an amazing animal sanctuary, with many types of rescued animals, and many of those needing a new home.


You can adopt a healthy companion as rescue shelters will always make sure that the animal has had complete medical care and oversee that all animals have vet check-ups.  You cannot guarantee this from pet shops.


Studies show that having a pet can help you live longer, whilst improving your overall happiness and health.  Just imagine how it must feel for the animal you adopted; being picked for a new life, one with love and companionship.  It’s simply love all around.

I do want to end this by saying that I’m not picking on anyone who got their companions from a pet shop or breeder.  But all I ask is that maybe next time please think carefully about everything I have covered in this journal entry before choosing your next.


Think about the need of an animal over your need for a specific breed.  Think about how the world is struggling with the current number of animals that already need rehoming because of breeding, and then please think about all the lives euthanised so needlessly every day because humans are choosing to shop over adopt.


Animals shouldn’t have price tags; they are not products.


Thank you for reading as always, I hope to have left you with some important thoughts and provoked some different thinking. 


Sian x


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