KIERSTEN BUTTERWORTH | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
When looking for a new companion, people may hear the saying “adopt, don’t shop,” but that advice does not work in every situation. Shaming pet owners just leaves puppies without homes rather than shelter pets with a better family.
Mutts are great: they’re lovable, caring and rescuing a new friend from a bad place is an irreplaceable feeling. I personally have a shelter dog named Achilles. He is a Chihuahua-mini dachshund mix that my fiance adopted when he was 3 months old.
Achilles and his siblings were left at a kill shelter in Texas before the Petco Foundation rescued them. They gave them shots and veterinary care so they would be viable for a good home.
While Achilles is a great dog, he is not without baggage. Not every home can deal with these problems properly, which leaves the dog in a worse situation. Many rescue dogs, including my own, have abandonment issues among other mental and physical health problems that require more attention. This is a small price to pay for some, but not for others.
Carly Borba, adoptions manager at Whitman County Humane Society’s Animal Haven in Pullman, talked about the importance of adoption while also recognizing that it isn’t the best option for everybody.
“Sometimes people have questions about the history of an animal,” Borba said, “as well as have questions about health and breed which we don’t always know when we rescue an animal,”
For those who are interested in adopting an adult mutt, Animal Haven is a great option here in Pullman that shelters both dogs and cats while offering advice to place these animals into the right homes.
In most shelters, being able to choose a specific breed is not an option. Mutts work perfectly fine for some, but for people who need hypoallergenic breeds, they must adopt purebreds.
In these situations, a specific breed is the only way to truly enjoy the love and companionship a dog offers without suffering ill effects of allergies, temperament and poor chemistry.
Breeders are often seen as the enemy, as headlines detailing abuse make rounds on social media and beyond, but that is not the case for all of them. The vast majority of breeders genuinely care about the dogs they bring into the world and work to ensure those dogs go to good homes. Predatory breeders known as puppy mills do exist, which is why researching the source of a puppy is always a prudent decision.
“Not all breeders are bad,” Borba said. “Most of them make sure that the puppies are spayed and neutered. There are a lot of breeders that really work hard, but there are breeders who only care about money and don’t really care where the puppies end up.”
In addition to Achilles, who is a rescue, we have a purebred pug named Persephone who we adopted from a local family in Moscow. The advantages of adopting from a breeder are that we had more information on the puppy’s background and a clearer understanding of what to expect both physically and behaviorally based on her breed.
As a college student who lives in an apartment, an outside area for the dogs to enjoy is not always available. Due to this, only small dogs would be happy in my home. While larger dogs offer more to love for many people, especially college students, many people are unable to undertake the additional responsibility that comes with a larger animal.
Size is not the only barrier keeping people from shelters. As mentioned before, allergies make housing a dog impossible for some, but hypoallergenic breeds exist and are available for people who wouldn’t normally be able to adopt.
Shelters should be the first option when adopting a pet. Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman and Humane Society of the Palouse in Moscow are good options for adult dogs. For adopting rescue puppies, there are events the first Saturday of every month at Petco in Moscow.
While adoption is a great form of charity, it is not the best for everyone. When searching for puppies of specific breeds, shelters simply aren’t an option. Purebred dogs are just as lovable as rescues and should be thought of as such. Shaming potential pet owners for adopting from breeders only keeps purebred puppies out of homes rather than shelter rescue dogs.