Sibounma: Adopt, don’t shop


Alec Giljohann/Iowa State Daily

Organized protesters from the group Bailing Out Benji stand outside Dyvig’s Pet Shoppe in Ames.

Ella Sibounma

“Adopt, don’t shop” is a catchy phrase with an important meaning. California hopes to enforce this idea, supported by animal shelters and animal lovers, by passing a bill that will outlaw puppy, rabbit and kitten mills. The bill passed on Sept. 14 and Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 15 to act. The law wouldn’t affect private breeders, so if buyers are set on a specific breed there are still options for them.

Some people don’t realize that puppy mills are legal because the image they evoke is heartbreaking and disturbing to most. We’ve seen the commercials with the sad puppies in tiny cages and Sarah McLachlan playing in the background. How is this allowed?

California hopes to change this. Animal mills are a huge component of the overpopulation problem that we face today. According to PETA, nearly four million animals are unwanted, which leads to euthanization or unsuitable living conditions.

This isn’t only a problem in California. This year, Iowa had nine of the “Horrible Hundred,” which is an annual report published by the Humane Society of the United States listing troublesome puppy brokering facilities. Iowa’s lax laws make it easier for inhumane breeders to get away with their actions and allow repeat offenders to continue unjust treatment.

I completely support this action to ban animal mills. There are many reasons to adopt an animal. For example, mixed breeds are usually healthier, adopting is cheaper than buying and you’ll help stop animal overpopulation and cruelty.

The most important reason for adopting in place of buying, in my opinion, is that they will love you more. When you adopt from a shelter you are saving that animal. Shelters don’t have enough resources to care for all the animals they have until natural death and sometimes the most compassionate solution is euthanization. Animals are smarter than we give them credit for and I think shelter animals are aware of their fate if they don’t find a forever home.

My family’s decision to adopt was the best thing we could’ve done, both for our dog and ourselves. Our dog had been in two homes and was only one and-a-half years old when we adopted her. It took time for her to warm up to us after what she had been through, but once she realized we weren’t going anywhere she loved us more than we could imagine.

There are already too many domestic animals than we know what to do with. I don’t see the logic in purposefully breeding more only so they can live in detestable conditions.

It is quite easy to avoid supporting animal mills. Almost all animals at pet stores are from mills. They also use online and newspaper ads. That’s why shelters and rescues are the best place to find a pet. If you or anyone you know are planning on getting a pet, please consider adoption.