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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.

 

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

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Photo: Charles Fischer

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