Don’t Shop, Adopt!

Puppy at the Family Puppy pet store in the Fountain Walk Mall, Novi.

Puppy at the Family Puppy pet store in the Fountain Walk Mall, Novi.

Gabriella Runnion and Talia Wassel

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7.6 million companion animals are surrendered or taken to animal shelters each year in the U.S. alone. There are about 70 million homeless animals walking the streets, causing shelters to fill up fast. In addition, 2 million puppies are bred in puppy mills each year and are quickly sold in pets stores. For many people, pets are a big part of their life. Children around the globe beg their parents to get pets, leaving parents to ask themselves, “From where?”

 “I think adopting is better because you’re getting an animal that is coming from, like, a bad situation, and I feel like they might need more help,” says Hannah Wilcox, a sophomore at Salem High school and owner of four pets, all of which she and her family adopted from Huron Valley Humane Society in Ann Arbor, MI.

Buying pets from pet stores is completely different than adopting from an animal shelter. Animals from pet stores are sourced from puppy mills. According to the Google Dictionary, puppy mills are defined as, “ an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane.”  Puppies from puppy mills sometimes end up sick or cause their owners to contract a disease. In fact, in November 2018, four lawsuits were filed against the Petland pet store in Novi when a man fell ill and was hospitalized for multiple days due to an illness contracted from his new puppy bought from the store, reported The Oakland Press on November 30, 2018. Pets in pet stores are more likely to be adopted because they are purebreds, and people want cute tiny pets over ones that are more aged and have experienced more hardships. Tannah Hessenbruch, West seventh-grader, reflects, “It kind of depends on the store because some don’t treat their animals very well, which is sad…”

Although pets from pet stores are still considered “rescues,” there are better establishments to rescue animals. For example, humane societies. Hannah Wilcox said,  “…our experience [adopting from a humane society] was really good, they help you like, they help you learn how to take care of the pets, and what kind of food to buy, and what kind of bed they should be in, and how big they will get…”  This leads us to believe adopting pets is better than buying them.

Interested in adopting from a humane society? You’re in luck! We are located near two great humane societies: the Huron Valley Humane Society is located at 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, and the Michigan Human Society is located at 900 N Newburgh Rd, Westland, MI 48185. 

Puppy Cody, Gabriella Runnion’s dog, was adopted from the Huron Valley Humane Society.

Pepper, Talia Wassel’s dog, was rescued from a puppy mill.

A husky puppy at the Family Puppy store in Fountain Walk Mall, in Novi, MI.

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