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Thumbs Down on Store-bought Dogs
New poll finds Americans prefer shelters to stores
We adopted Lulu from the Seattle Animal Shelter, when she was three. Last weekend, she turned 12 and celebrated with a swim.

Good news for shelter dogs and cats: More than half of pet owners to respond to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll said “they would get their next dog or cat from a shelter, nearly seven times the number who said they would buy their next pet from a store.” About a quarter said they would seek out a breeder for their next pet.

The telephone poll conducted April 7-12, 2010, with 1,112 pet owners nationwide revealed that shelters are seen by many as a better option for healthy pets and as a necessary response to overpopulation and euthanasia. I was most surprised—and heartened—by the finding that “…more than four in 10 said they thought store pets could have hidden medical or psychological problems. That’s significantly more than those who expressed the same concerns about pets from animal shelters or breeders.”
Interestingly, people under 30 were more likely to buy a pet from a store than older respondents, which signals to me that education efforts about pet stores and puppy mills needs to zero in on a younger audience.


Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Photo: Charles Fischer

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Angie | May 25 2010 |

Yeah for shetler dogs (and cats)! There is no way that I would get a dog, let alone ANY animal, from a pet store. Pet stores are only in it for the money. They don't give an iota about where the animals come from, how healthy they are, or anything of that nature. Pet stores rank up there with backyard breeders, in my opinion. Nevermind the welfare of the animal...it is all about the money! Nevermind that most animals in pet stores come from puppy mills, mass breeding facilities, etc. It is disgusting.

Education efforts have to be zeroed in on the younger audience! But, they need to continously educate everyone as pet stores and their "SALES" draws in people each and every day. Seriously, who puts a living, breathing creature on sale? That is just disgusting.

Pet stores cater to those who purchase items on impulse. Shelters cater to those who actually care about the welfare of animals, have a heart, and are serious about keeping the animal as part of the family. Many shelters care about who adoptes their animals...pet stores don't care about anything but their bottom line.

Submitted by Susan | May 25 2010 |

These results are so welcoming to shelter pets around the world! If you are in the Southern California area and are considering adopting, I encourage you to visit SEAACA in Downey, CA and their brand new ModPawd. Read more about it and get directions here: http://www.pawsforaminute.com/dog-adoptionrescue/found-animals-partners-...

Submitted by Lisa Wogan | May 26 2010 |

More bad news for pet stores. Last week, Animal Planet Investigates: Petland went undercover with the Humane Society of the United States to reveal the appalling conditions in which the puppies are raised. This week, viewers responded by sharing even more terrible stories about sick and dying puppies purchased from Petland.

Submitted by Liz | May 28 2010 |

I would definitely agree that the under 30 need to be educated.

ALL animals sold in PET STORES comes from PUPPY MILLS! Period.

Never EVER shop for a dog or cat at a pet store. It's about supply and demand - When there is no more demand, there will be no supply, and one by one pet shops will be shut down.

I will only adopt from shelters. Maybe doing an article about puppy mills supplying pet shops with their animals will help.

Submitted by Madeline | May 31 2010 |

I can see why people under thirty might say they will buy from a pet store, they don't have much expirience but they will learn in time. They want an real person giving them advice, not the internet. Dogs from expirenced pet stores are not bad but puppy mill puppies arn't either. Puppy mills need to have an end to but are we just suppoused to leave them alone? Every animal needs help so we just can't leave them alone.
No dogs are bad dogs they just need a little help in the world. Dogs simply just want to please but they don't want to please anyone they're afraid of. For instance if you were mistreated all you're life by humans and you didn't know any better would you want to be nice to humans?

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