woman holding cat at animal shelter

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

When it comes to adding a new furry friend to your family, there are two main options: adopting from a shelter or purchasing from a pet store.

While both choices can result in a new companion, there are distinct advantages to adopting a shelter pet.

Adopting a pet from a shelter can save a life

Millions of animals end up in shelters every year, and unfortunately, not all of them find homes. By adopting a pet from a shelter, you’re giving a second chance to an animal who may have otherwise been euthanized.

In contrast, pet stores typically source their animals from commercial breeding facilities, often referred to as “puppy mills,” which are known for their inhumane treatment of animals.

More affordable than purchasing from a pet store

Many shelters offer animals for a low adoption fee, which typically includes spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and sometimes even microchipping.

Pet stores often charge high prices for their animals and may not include these necessary services in the cost.

Shelter pets are often already trained and socialized

Many animals who end up in shelters were once someone’s pets but were surrendered due to circumstances beyond their control. These animals may already be housebroken and have some basic training.

Additionally, shelters often provide socialization and training for their animals, so your new pet may already be well-adjusted to living with humans.

Pet stores, on the other hand, often sell puppies who have been taken away from their mothers too early, which can result in behavior problems down the line.

Adopting a shelter pet supports your local community

Many shelters are nonprofit organizations that rely on donations and volunteers to keep their doors open.

By adopting from a local shelter, you’ll be supporting their efforts to help animals in your area and contributing to the well-being of your community.

Purchasing from a pet store supports the commercial breeding industry, which often prioritizes profits over the well-being of the animals.

Bring immense joy and companionship into your life

Animals can provide unconditional love and support, and adopting a pet can improve your mental and physical health.

Pets can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and provide a sense of purpose and companionship.

Purchasing from a pet store may also result in a loving companion, but adopting from a shelter allows you to save a life and support your community while also gaining a furry friend.


Adopting a shelter pet is a superior choice when looking to add a new companion to your family. Not only will you be saving a life and supporting your local community, but you’ll also gain a loving companion who will bring joy and happiness into your life for years to come.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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