Nearly Half of Young Adults Prefer to Buy Pet Rather Than Adopt

A study also finds that 46 percent of people ages 18 to 34 believe shelter animals are less desirable.

By | Posted: April 26, 2013, 4 p.m. EDT

girl with brown dogA survey conducted by Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, identified what the organization called a disconnect in how young Americans approach pet adoption.

The survey results, released April 24, found that 46 percent of people ages 18 to 34 were more likely to purchase a pet from a breeder or store rather than consider adoption. In addition, the same percentage believed that shelter animals were less desirable than those obtained from breeders.

"We were sad to learn that to some extent animals in shelters are stereotyped by young adults as damaged goods,” says Gregory Castle, the society’s CEO and co-founder. "The fact is that every day in this country perfectly wonderful family pets land in shelters through no fault of their own, all of whom need and deserve a home of their own.”

Nearly 40 percent of the young adults surveyed thought homeless animals were not necessarily at risk and would remain in a shelter until adoption. About 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in city shelters, Best Friends reports.

Out of the 1,000 adults of all ages surveyed by telephone in November 2012, 90 percent considered themselves pet lovers and 86 percent believed that showing affection to a pet was very important. When it came to an animal’s health, 66 percent believed in regular veterinary check-ups and 65 percent thought their pet should be spayed or neutered.

"The fact that people love pets, but one-third of those do not know the importance of vet checks and spaying/neutering indicates that we have more work to do in getting the word out there about the realities of adopting shelter pets,” Castle says.

Four out of five adults believed that all cats and dogs should be sterilized to reduce overpopulation, but only 33 percent were aware that spaying and neutering helps improve behavior and 28 percent knew the practice can improve pet health, Best Friends reports.

Best Friends is a no-kill organization that works with animal welfare groups nationwide.

"Our initiatives focus on animals that are at the highest risk of entering and dying in America’s shelter system,” Castle says. "Obviously, we are not there yet, but we’re making progress.”



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Sharon   Fort Collins, Colorado

5/6/2013 9:09:25 PM

Any shelter or rescue that cares about the dog and the person adopting will have requirements just as any good reputable breeder would. Those who buy from pet stores are most likely buying a puppy whose parents languish in a inhumane mill. They are only a commodity. 25% of dogs in shelters are purebreds. 80% of dogs are relinquished by owners because they become an inconvience in many ways. Modt relinquished dogs are not fixed, have had no training or the animal was purchased on a whim. 3-4 million dogs are euthanized yearly simply because a home can't be found. Humans discard animals like trash. Colorado adopted out over 80, 000 animals last yesr. 170, 000 were relinquished, were strays, or confiscated . Based on those numbers, it seems people are the problem not the animal.

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Sarah - 243618   Port Charlotte, FL

4/30/2013 12:28:49 PM

Sometime adoption through Shelters is difficult with all the regulation and conditions they are putting upon the family considering adoption. I don't know the protocol of this organization, but I think that is part of the reason why people would rather go somewhere else.

Personally, when I found a stray dog who had a litter, I chose to take of her and her pups and find homes for them myself than to send them to a shelter.

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