Pets: Adopt First

Man’s best friend (and cats, man’s best live-in enemy) tend to get left out in the cold.

Thousands of animals each year end up in shelters, and many end up put down.  The simplest action to take is the same one Bob Barker preached for decades.

Spaying and neutering pets prevents the birth of new wild animals.  It prevents animal overpopulation, the primary source of all these unwanted animals who end up in shelters for a short time.  It also prevents certain unwanted behaviors like marking and can help with aggressiveness. It’s a simple and relatively inexpensive step to clean out shelters that takes very little effort from current pet owners.

However, that’s only half the battle.  The real problem is what to do with all the animals already in shelters.  When we consider picking up new pets, most potential pet owners look to buy an animal rather than adopting.  Many pet owners also buy without thinking ahead, eventually dumping the pet at a shelter somewhere when they don’t feel like caring for the animal any longer.  That leaves shelters overstocked and forced to euthanize.  Dallas alone put down more than 16,000 animals last year, and doesn’t have room to corral the recently reported stray dog problem in South Dallas.  Those are needless, preventable deaths.

Annie, an adoptee of a Dallas Janitorial employee

Try to adopt if you’re considering getting a new pet.  There’s plenty of great resources, from the SPCA to non-profit or local adoption directories, found on sites like these.  You’ll end up with a pet that’s just happy to be home, and you’ll free up a space for another loose dog or cat that might be hungry and wandering the streets.

Adoption is a great way to prevent pointless deaths.  Please, if you want a pet, try to adopt before looking at any other alternative.

You will most likely end up with a real charmer, like Annie.


-Ryan Derenbecker