Please, for the love of God, adopt if you want a cat or dog.
About 6.5 million companion pets enter animal shelters every year, according to the ASPCA. Out of that startling statistic, dogs and cats make up the vast majority.
There isn’t even that big of a difference between how many cats versus how many dogs end up in shelters; it’s practically 50/50.
Adoption fees are so cheap and sometimes free, and adopting means you’re potentially saving a cat or dog from euthanasia, unless you adopt from a kill-free shelter.
While I do see why some people would rather go to breeders instead of shelters, I think it’s extremely important for pet owners to go to shelters as often as they can.
I want to give people who go to breeders some benefit of the doubt, however.
Some programs focus entirely on breeding good service dogs for people with disabilities.
Sometimes certain dog breeds work best with people with special needs.
Additionally, there are so many great breeders out there who make sure their work is done right for the wellbeing of the cats and dogs they care for.
Breeding is a legitimate, independent job, and if the breeders are good at what they do, they should be able to continue making money responsibly.
I’m less forgiving of this justification to go to breeders, but I do understand that some people are interested in the colors/patterns of their pets (this is also popular for reptile/amphibian pet owners).
What I can’t stand to see is people spending thousands of dollars on a special breed of cat or dog just for cosmetic purposes.
For the price some people are willing to pay on a single cat ($3,000 or more), someone could adopt a cat at a shelter that has already been vaccinated and buy enough supplies to last the pet years.
It boggles my mind how much people are willing to pay for something that shouldn’t matter.
What matters is the fulfillment gained from owning a dog or cat and the satisfaction of knowing that you saved that living creature.
Keeping all of this in mind, it is so important for people to wait to adopt until they’re ready.
One of the worst things an owner could do to a pet is take it home, love it for a while and send it off somewhere else once its novelty or cuteness has worn off.
Owning a pet requires responsibility. Pets should never be impulse buys.
Bringing these thoughts to a close, I can’t stress enough the happiness that comes with owning a dog or cat.
They make for some of the best emotional support animals, and they’re not too incredibly expensive (depending on the breed you buy and where you buy them from).
For college students, adopting a cat or dog can bring happiness, comfort and purpose.
Just make sure you’re ready before you do it.
And when you are ready, please, please, please adopt.
Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]