Adopt or shop

Pros and cons of adopting and shopping


Photo by Sophie Spakes

The unending “circle” of buying or rescuing kill pen horses.

Story by Sophie Spakes, managing editor

submitted photo.

As all of my friends know, I love animals. If I was given a choice to adopt or shop and had the resources and money to do both then I would.

I would adopt because I want to be able to help the animals in the shelter and try to give them a nice life after being abandoned. I would also shop for a dog because I want to have a dog that I would train them for what they do best. Unfortunately, as I am a high school senior without a job, I do not have the means to pay for both. 

A reason that I would hold back on adopting from a shelter is because you don’t always know the animals’ history. There is the chance that said animal has been abused and you have to slowly build up a trust between you and the animal. There is also the chance that the animal has aggressive tendencies which could endanger you or loved ones. Another question is: what breed are you getting?

The shelter staff does a good job at guessing what breed they are and if you do adopt said animal there is the option to do a DNA test, but if you do it can get expensive. Embark’s Breed ID, which finds out what breed your dog is as the name suggests, is $129 and goes back three generations in your dog’s family tree. It also finds relatives of your dog. It doesn’t contain what genetic traits your dog has. For cats, an option is the Basepaws basic DNA test which is typically $99. This test is also lacking genetic testing like the basic dog test.  

Undoubtedly, there are also positives to adopting. If you do adopt, you get to know that you saved that animal’s life from possibly being euthanized, and you get to know that you can have that animal for the rest of its life and give it a good home.   

If you adopt from a no-kill shelter, a slot becomes open for the shelter to take in a new animal, potentially from a shelter that does use euthanasia. If you do end up adopting from a kill shelter, then you did indeed save that animal’s life from being euthanized if it had been there too long. 

If you search for a pet from a reputable breeder, you get to see both parents and possibly grandparents. You will know without a doubt what breed they are, and the breeders will have (hopefully) hip, elbow and genetically tested both parents. When buying from a breeder,there is a lot more security in what you are buying and what you will be bringing home. 

Another type of adoption for equines specifically is buying them from auctions or kill pens. Buying from an auction house does save the equines from ending up in a slaughterhouse or a kill pen, both of which are extremely severe and terrifying for the animal.

submitted photo.


However, when buying from an auction house, it is possible that the previous owner lied to the auctioneer or doped up the horse before sending them to the auction. If you save a horse from a kill pen, you are saving them from potentially being shipped to Mexico or Canada and being slaughtered for meat. The downside to that is that the money you paid to save that horse is going to buy three to five more horses which could then be starved and sent to slaughter. 

Buying from a reputable horse breeder will allow you to look at the horse’s papers, be able to see both parents and know if the sire was a healthy stallion. Having a breeder provide genetic testing can prevent a baby from dying a long and painful death or being in pain later in life.

Considering all of this right now, I would buy a dog from a breeder. If I were a cat person, I would buy a kitten from a breeder and I would buy my horses from a breeder. In the future, I do plan on adopting from a shelter. I encourage you to do what you are most comfortable with.