The decision to add a puppy to your family is a big one. Adoption requires a lot of planning, and an important part of the planning process is deciding where you will go to adopt your new dog.

But no matter what size, shape, or color of puppy (or adult or senior dog) tickles your fancy, the best place to find the dog of your dreams is at a local animal shelter or rescue group.

Don’t Support Puppy Mills

While the puppies at the pet store tend to be really cute (they are puppies, after all), pet store puppies typically come from puppy mills.

Puppy mills are massive breeding operations where dogs are over-bred, often in unsanitary conditions. Puppy mills breed purebred or mixed breed puppies with a host of genetic health problems and contagious diseases.

People often feel bad for pet store puppies, and buy them on impulse, or to rescue them from the small cages of the store. Unfortunately, this behavior only creates the demand for more puppy mills to supply.

Instead of rescuing a puppy from a pet store, consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue.

The Benefits of Adopting a Shelter Pet

Over 100,000 cats and dogs are euthanized in Michigan shelters each year. Animal shelters often receive more puppies than they can support during the spring and summer months. The vast majority of government-run animal shelters are “kill shelters”, meaning that animals that cannot find homes are euthanized to make room for incoming pets.

Rescue groups take animals from the shelters and find them new homes. Often, rescue groups take in the shelter dogs and puppies that are sick or otherwise unlikely to be adopted. They provide veterinary care, grooming, and socialization to help these pets find new homes.

Rescues are limited in resources, and puppy and kitten season is a busy time. When you adopt a puppy from a rescue group, you are saving two lives: the one you adopt, and the one that can be rescued in your puppy’s spot.

In case you need more great reasons to adopt a puppy:

  • Adoption costs less than buying a puppy at a pet store
  • Adopted puppies tend to be healthier
  • Adopted puppies will be up-to-date on shots
  • Adopted puppies will be spayed or neutered
  • Many rescue groups utilize foster homes, which means your puppy will be well on the way to being house trained.
  • Rescue groups and shelters often provide support and advice once you take your puppy home
  • Many veterinarians, groomers and dog trainers offer discounts for adopted rescue pets

Where to Go to Adopt a Puppy

While there are many great rescues in our area, Union Lake Veterinary Hospital is proud to work directly with Last Chance Rescueand Mosaic Animal Rescue. Both of these local rescue groups work very hard to save shelter pets and provide families with well-socialized, healthy pets. If you are considering adding a puppy to your family this spring, please give their adoptable pets a closer look.