You’ve seen Sarah McLaughlin commercials and the t-shirts, but how much of the rescue-vs-pet store puppy debate have you really taken to heart?

When it comes to the logic of pup adoption, many people ignore the facts because they’ve made up their mind about wanting a puppy that looks a certain way.

Is it finally time for you to adopt that sweet little puppy you’ve dreamt of for years? Not sure whether you should go for a pup from your local shelter or one of those little guys you saw last time you were at the mall?

If so, keep reading for 3 eye-opening reasons you should never adopt from pet stores in malls.

Oh, and why you need to head straight to your local humane society instead!

1. Shelter Pups are Usually Healthier and Longer-Lived

There’s a terribly common misconception about the health of pups when it comes to adopting the animals from breeders or pet stores.

Many believe that, because pet store puppies often come with a detailed pedigree, owners should be given accurate information on a dog’s health, history, and behaviors. However, many of these same people don’t recognize that, just because a dog’s breed and lineage is delivered along with the little guy, it doesn’t mean they’ll live healthier or longer lives than shelter pups.

In fact, purebred dogs, like the ones from pet stores and breeders, are often significantly less healthy and able to sustain health. Mixed breeds, like many found in the Humane Society of the United States and other shelters, are often far healthier.

Because of the fact that their genetic makeup is drawn from a limited pool within their specific breed, purebred dogs are much more likely to experience breed-specific mutations and health issues. Pedigree dogs are too often prone to things like epilepsy, cancer, heart issues, and joint problems. In general, they also experience shortened lifespans.

But the fact is, a lovable little mutt will probably have a stronger immune system and less tendency for breed-specific health issues. Mutts with two or more blended breeds have fewer health issues and tend to live significantly longer than their purebred-pet-store-counterparts.

When it comes to your best furry friend, wouldn’t you prefer to have them stick around for a happier, healthier life with more years’ worth of cuddles than be able to provide written proof of who his great-great-grandfather was?

2. Pet Store Puppies aren’t Necessarily What You Think

Another huge misconception when it comes to pup adoption is that adopting from a pet store is a great way to tell for certain the sort of background that’s coming along with your new BFF.

The fact is, most pet store pups come straight from puppy mills to the store.

They’re born in a cramped, dirty space, kept in a too-small cage that’s rarely (if ever) cleaned.

They’re given minimal human contact, little freedom, and essentially no love. Puppy mills are terrible places that are reliable for nothing but breeding maladjusted, fearful little puppies.

Many people are against the idea of adopting a shelter dog because they view these pups as “second-hand” and fear that something in the dog’s life will negatively affect them once they’ve been brought home. But the fact is, life in a shelter can serve as the perfect transitory space for a puppy, regardless of their life beforehand. Many shelters have the ability to be patient with their dogs, giving them the adoption go-ahead only when pups are really ready.

While lots of people approach the “adopt versus shop” debate with the idea that pet store pups will come with less baggage than shelter puppies, there’s really no merit to the argument.

Pet store puppies almost always come with negative experiences behind them. With little human contact before adoption, it can be really hard for puppies to adjust and for their personalities to form in healthy ways after they’ve left the mill.

You may think a pet store pup comes with a clean slate, but the truth is, pet store puppies often have more complicated histories to overcome than a shelter pet does!

3. Every Year Approximately 670,000 Shelter Dogs are Euthanized

It’s easy to set the facts aside when you’re in the pet store looking at all the tiny little puppies sleeping behind the glass. But when it comes down to it, every puppy purchased from a pet store is one more puppy that’s never adopted. Instead of a lifetime of love and treats as she deserves, another dog is killed for no reason besides the fact that she wasn’t chosen.

Some like to consider any pup adoption as a rescue–don’t pet store puppies need homes, too?

And sure, those pet store puppies didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, either, but each time a puppy is bought from a pet store, it opens up a cage to be filled by yet another puppy mill-bred dog to take a home from yet another shelter animal.

“Rescuing” a puppy from a pet store only enables puppy mills to stay in business.

Rescuing a pup from an actual shelter means saving a life, and helping to save the life of the next dog who can now stay in your pup’s old spot.

Shelters can only support so many dogs each year before they’re forced to put a group of them down. Puppy mills pull huge and consistent profits whenever one of their dogs is purchased.

This acts as a sort of pardon for their neglectful and unethical actions. They receive hundreds of dollars in return for the sale of a puppy. Then they’re able to get right back at it, neglecting dogs and bringing more puppies into a world that’s already got a shortage of homes for the dogs it has.

At the end of the day, you’re going to love your pup, no matter where she came from. Wouldn’t it feel even better to know you actually saved the life of that sweet little fur girl you love so much?

Say No to Pet Stores in Malls

Pretty heartbreaking stuff to think of all the pups that are put down because people prefer to buy animals from pet stores in malls, huh?

If you need any further convincing that rescuing a dog from a shelter is the way to go, hop onto your local Humane Society’s web page. Just take a look at all those sweet faces that’d love to love you!

Already convinced? Just need something to read while you wait for approval of your humane society application? Check out the rest of our awesome content!

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