Buying an animal from pet shops or breeders also supports an unscrupulous breeding industry that results in large numbers of animals being needlessly killed.
Pet shops are largely responsible for impulse buying. Who can resist wanting that cute puppy or kitten in the window? It is easy to succumb to the pressures of desire without giving second thought to the life-long responsibilities of caring for an animal.
SAFE and the SPCA are particularly critical about pet shops that do not even screen potential adopters. This can lead to animals later being dumped at animal shelters once people realise they are unable to provide the necessary care or facilities required, or have become frustrated at all the mess their new guest makes.
Increasing the homeless
Even the best breeders ultimately cause problems for companion animals.
Thousands of unwanted dogs are killed annually in New Zealand because of an overpopulation problem: the supply is greater than demand. Dog rescue centres and council-run dog pounds are overflowing with adoptable dogs. After 7 days of holding animal pounds are legally allowed to rehome or kill animals.
Sadly, large numbers of dogs will never find loving homes, and meet their fate with a lethal injection. Meanwhile, puppy mills continue to recklessly breed thousands of new dogs purely for profit.
The only way to prevent the death of tens of thousands of companion animals is to not support animal breeders or pet shops. Instead, adopt a rescued animal from a shelter and make a lifelong commitment to your new best friend.