I had a couple of thoughts last night, dangerous I know. They stem from a key question:
“Why are so many people convinced that pet ‘adoption’ differs from pet purchase?”
The question struck me after reading the following comment on Twitter and the HSUS response. (click here) The original comment was, “So discraceful.(sic) I would never buy a pet-Adoption is my first/only option!” The HSUS response? “AMEN”
In the legal sense, every pet acquired by paying a purchase pricean adoption fee or minimum donation is purchased. Yet, ‘adoption’ is held up as morally superior.
A significant difference between the idea of conventional purchase and ‘adoption’? Typically that one is not obtaining the pet from the person responsible for the breeding, though even this is not a hard and fast criterion if including USDA commercial breeders in the calculation.
Another significant difference between the conventional purchase and adoption? Conventional purchases typically involve intentional breedings, whereas adoptions often as not involve unintentional breedings.
Conventional purchases involve a majority of pups and a minority of adults, most ‘adoptions’ involve a majority of adults or seniors and a minority of pups. This is the single most differentiating factor between conventional purchases of pets and ‘adoption’.
These factors sum the most critical criteria for a prospective pet owner to consider. Are they better suited to handle a young pet or an older one? A known temperment or an unknown temperament? Can they handle training young pet? Can they handle one with longer term behavioural problems or training deficits? Are they willing to deal with the uncertainty of an unknown health history or does known health history of pet and parents make for greater peace of mind?
Every pet is the result of a breeding, intentional or unintentional and people typically don’t attach much value to that which comes cheaply or free. Shouldn’t we be willing to commit resources to obtain a pet, which is ideally a lifetime commitment? I own the full spectrum of pets. I have a cat I purchased from a city shelter, another cat from a friend who couldn’t keep him and a dog purchased from a breeder. I will have them all with me for the length of their lives.
Owning a pet is a choice. Choosing the pet you can commit to for a lifetime, whatever the source is the ‘right’ choice, the ethical choice, the humane choice. Choose what makes you human(e)
Copyright 2009 by Erica Saunders http://AR-HR.com
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