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Nearly Half of Young Adults Prefer to Buy Pet Rather Than Adopt

Posted: April 26, 2013, 1:10 p.m. EDT

A survey conducted by Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, identified what the organization called a disconnect in how young Americans approach pet adoption.

The survey results, released Wednesday, found that 46 percent of people ages 18 to 34 were more likely to purchase a pet from a breeder or store rather than consider adoption. In addition, the same percentage believed that shelter animals were less desirable than those obtained from breeders.

 Shelter dog
About 4 million homeless pets are killed each year in U.S. shelters.
"We were sad to learn that to some extent animals in shelters are stereotyped by young adults as damaged goods,” said Gregory Castle, the society’s CEO and co-founder. "The fact is that every day in this country perfectly wonderful family pets land in shelters through no fault of their own, all of whom need and deserve a home of their own.”

Nearly 40 percent of the young adults surveyed thought homeless animals were not necessarily at risk and would remain in a shelter until adoption. About 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in city shelters, Best Friends reported.

Out of the 1,000 adults of all ages surveyed by telephone in November 2012, 90 percent considered themselves pet lovers and 86 percent believed that showing affection to a pet was very important. When it came to an animal’s health, 66 percent believed in regular veterinary check-ups and 65 percent thought their pet should be spayed or neutered.

"The fact that people love pets, but one-third of those do not know the importance of vet checks and spaying/neutering indicates that we have more work to do in getting the word out there about the realities of adopting shelter pets,” Castle said.

Four out of five adults believed that all cats and dogs should be sterilized to reduce overpopulation, but only 33 percent were aware that spaying and neutering helps improve behavior and 28 percent knew the practice can improve pet health, Best Friends reported.

Best Friends is a no-kill organization that works with animal welfare groups nationwide.

"Our initiatives focus on animals that are at the highest risk of entering and dying in America’s shelter system,” Castle said. "Obviously, we are not there yet, but we’re making progress.”

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Nearly Half of Young Adults Prefer to Buy Pet Rather Than Adopt

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As much as I respect people who adopt their pets, I'm tired of the ones who look down on those of us who chose not to go that route. I know that not all shelter animals have behavior problems, but I've adopted animals in the past and they always had issues with behavioral problems that would have been extremely difficult to train out of them. Some people have the patience to do that, I know that I do not. It was also very hard to find an animal that was not only what I was looking for in terms of size and shedding, but that additionally didn't have behavioral issues to deal with.

And as I mentioned, I know not all shelter animals have such behavioral issues, but it's much more common I would imagine with animals that end up in shelters than if you start out with an animal when they're very young and haven't had time to develop such bad habits yet. Again, that's not to say that an animal from a breeder can't have behavioral issues, but in my experience, it's much less common.

To all of you who adopt, thank you, I admire your patience and dedication to animals, especially ones who may have behavioral problems. I especially admire those who adopt animals without insisting that everyone else should, or else be viewed as immoral. But to those of you who would scold us who would prefer to buy than adopt, please stop. You can suggest it, but if someone tells you that it's not for them, don't push it. =/ Telling me that you disapprove of me getting my dog from a breeder isn't going to stop me from doing it. It's just going to make me think you're a jerk who should mind your own business.
JJ, Nashville, TN
Posted: 6/22/2013 8:57:14 AM
So sad that still there are so many people that don't understand or care about the well being of all the animals that are in shelters all over the nation.
So many lives that can be saved.
All if my dogs had been adopted from a rescuer or picked up from the streets and they all have been wonderful companion!
Grisel, Raleigh, NC 27603, NC
Posted: 6/3/2013 5:02:10 PM
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