Ever since I got Henri, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of people I can’t stand. Animal shelter/adoption activists. Rather, SOME animal shelter/adoption activists. I don’t want to generalize.
I love the idea of animal adoption. I admire the people who rescue animals and the people who facilitate these adoptions. To the volunteers who sit outside in 90 degree heat fanning dogs wearing little vests that say “Adopt Me!”, I think you’re awesome.
So what’s the problem?
The problem occurs when you don’t adopt. When you CAN’T adopt. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told or heard the phrase “adopt don’t shop” in the past 5 months, then I would probably have enough money to adopt every homeless, hungry dog on the East Coast. Okay maybe not, but close.
I’m all for pushing the adoption of animals over purchasing from breeders, but there are a lot of people who can’t go that route due to severe allergies or other personal reasons. Obviously, I am one of those allergy people.
I am so tired of defending my specific and very legitimate reasons for buying from a breeder. I’m tired of snarky people asking me “so which shelter did you adopt your dog from?”, when they know full well that my Miniature Australian Multigeneration Chocolate Labradoodle was not rescued from a shelter. I’m tired of people preaching that because I bought my puppy from a breeder, I’m personally responsible for killing a dog in a shelter. Once, a woman actually said to me “stop being selfish and adopt a shelter dog. Just pop a benadryl for your so called dog allergies.”
It’s good to be passionate about important causes, but lecturing a complete stranger on why she made the wrong dog choice is not the way to get your point across. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who even after I’ve told them about my severe dog allergies say, “well you could have searched every dog shelter until you found a hypoallergenic one you could save.”
If only it were that easy. Did you know that most animal shelters won’t even let you fill out an application to adopt if you or someone in your family have animal allergies? They know that you adopting a pet means that same pet will likely end up right back at the shelter within 30, sneezy, wheezy days. Even a “hypoallergenic dog” that is in a shelter cannot be guaranteed to be hypoallergenic because they are never 100% certain of the actual breed.
I feel the same way towards shelter/adoption Nazis as I do about religious and political extremists. When you are so quick to judge and spew hate, you leave little room for love and understanding.
Sure, go out and preach that rescuing is better than buying- but do you really think that the general public isn’t already aware of that?? To me it’s like going to McDonald’s and poo poo-ing the people eating Big Mac’s and Fries. I’m pretty sure they know that Mickey D’s isn’t the best option for a meal health-wise, but it is their choice where they want to eat and why. They know that there are other options out there. Just let them eat their Filet-O-Fishes in peace!
If someone has made the decision to buy from a breeder, do you think that your guilt trips and nasty comments are going to change his or her mind? There is such thing as informing without criticizing. You can spread your knowledge about the benefits of adoption and personal beliefs without judging.
Most of all- if I’m walking my dog don’t stop to tell me how horrible of a decision I made and that adoption is better.
I normally ignore comments from these extremists, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Recently someone commented on a picture of Henri online, “designer dogs. Sad face.” I replied, “Yeah, you’re right. ‘Designer dogs’ totally don’t deserve a loving home or family.” She didn’t have much to say back, thankfully.
So here is my plea. Step down from your high horse and if you really love animals, then love the people who own those animals regardless of where they came from. To those of you who volunteer at shelters, spend your weekends scooping poop, and work hard towards finding homeless dogs loving families without judging others, keep being awesome. Know that you are doing a much needed, Good Samaritan service.
You never know the reason behind someone’s purchase. Maybe a girl with severe allergies finally got to have her own dog, and maybe it was one of the best things that ever happened to her.
And to show that I’m not a complete heartless, adoption-hating freak…here are some great sites to find the fur baby of your dreams from a rescue shelter if allergies aren’t a concern!