Pet adoption saves lives


Junior Marin Sarnacki feels blessed to have her adopted dog Juno in her life. They do everything from cuddling to sprinting around the yard together (Photo credit: Maureen Sarnacki).

Everyone has seen the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) commercials. The heart-wrenching faces of abused or abandoned animals are shown on the screen as sad music plays. Many people pity these animals and long to help them, but do not know how. There is a very simple way to help these animals, however. People should adopt animals from shelters rather than buying them from breeders or pet stores.

Junior Marin Sarnacki adopted her dog Juno from the Humane Society and is a strong supporter of adoptions.

“Adopting a pet is saving that pet’s life,” said Sarnacki. “Millions of animals are euthanized because no one will adopt them.”

Sarnacki’s statement is backed up with statistics from the ASPCA. According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters every year. Only 2.7 million animals are adopted every year though, which means many overpacked shelters. Due to these cramped shelters, the ASPCA reports that approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters annually. The number of euthanized animals could be greatly reduced if more people decided to adopt from shelters.

“[My family and I] adopt dogs because many of the dogs [in shelters] have been abused,” said junior Julia Henderson, who owns two adopted dogs. “I understand that most people want a young puppy, but shelters also offer many dogs around a year old.”

Many potential pet owners who desire young puppies consider buying from pet stores. Most people, however, do not realize the cruelty behind pet stores.

“When you buy from a pet store, you are supporting puppy and kitten mills,” said Sarnacki. “In the mills, the animals live in horrible conditions.”

According to the Humane Society, there are approximately 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. and less than half of these mills are properly regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Humane Society reports that the puppies in these mills are neglected both physically and emotionally by the owners.

In addition to pet stores, many potential pet owners consider buying from breeders. Junior Sarah Dwyer, owner of an adopted black lab, warns against buying from breeders as well.

“Some breeders care more about the money than the actual animal,” said Dwyer. “They may end up hurting the animal in the process.”

Adopting from a shelter is a very rewarding experience for both pet and owner. Dwyer reminisces about how special her adoption experience was.

“[My dog] was super cute,” said Dwyer. “She came right up to me when I met her. [My family] loved that she was really playful and loved to cuddle.”

Sarnacki also fell in love with her dog during the adoption process. Sarnacki loved adopting and said she will continue to adopt pets from shelters.

“I will absolutely continue to adopt pets in the future because I think it is so important to find animals safe homes,” said Sarnacki. “I also hope adopting will put an end to puppy and kitten mills.”