By Chloe Kwock – Cougar News Contributor
The rights and well being of animals has been a consistent issue in the United States and many organizations have formed to support those in need. A common concern in regards to animals is the prevention of animal abuse and abandonment. Some foundations such as the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and The Humane Society of the United States have campaigned against abusive affairs including animal cruelty, and more specifically, pet farms. Statistics show that there are many animals and shelters in need of our help and there are simple things we can do to improve the lives of animals around the country.
According to ASPCA Pet Statistics, 5-7 million companion animals enter independent animal shelters across the nation every year. It is estimated that nearly sixty percent of dogs and seventy percent of cats are euthanized for various reasons such as unmanageable temperament or lack of funds or homes to support the animals (NCPPSP). It is unfortunate that such a mass amount of helpless animals are destroyed because people are not willing to adopt them. Although a majority of dogs and cats are obtained through acquaintances and family members, there is still a high percentage of animals that are bought from breeders and a lower percentage of those who are adopted, which leads to the issues of unreliable breeders who poorly maintain pet farms and abused animals bred in unstable environments for profit.
Pet farms; most commonly known, as “puppy or kitty mills” have been a constant issue because of the abuse some animals, such as dogs and cats, endure before being sold to a home or shop. Many mills have been shut down after being investigated because they were found to be unsuitable environments to breed animals. Some stores are usually not aware of the animals breeding conditions and often times, dogs or cats bred from a poor environment can suffer from many health related issues (Humane Society). For the most part, puppies and kittens are sold to attract high profits for the breeders. In other words, people who purchase puppies or kittens from the pet store or a breeder could be supporting the insufficient conditions they came from. We can stop the suffering of these poor animals by simply not supporting the sellers producing them.
It is funny how people are willing to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars to obtain a pure bred dog, when there are thousands across the country already in need of a home. Animals in mills are raised to reproduce in order to generate profits but those in shelters could not help being born. Dog and cat reproduction from pet farms could easily be prevented and regulated but those homeless animals in shelters and pounds are helpless to the lives they are subjected to.
Every animal wants a home, but it is those who have been abandoned and vulnerable who need them. Each family who wants a pet can make a difference to those animals that do not have a home. Animals have their own story and it is up to us to change their lives. We can support those who have suffered and need the care of a loving home and we can stop the demand for those produced by mills and unnecessary facilities. Imagine if every family who wanted a new pet for their home adopted one from a shelter or pound, there would be no animals suffering from neglect or poor living conditions, and certainly no need for farms to produce more into the world. Why buy a dog or cat when there are millions just waiting for you to take them home? Give those animals in the shelters a chance to change your life by changing theirs. Adopt a pet today.