Opinion: There is No Such Thing as Responsible Animal Breeding

Opinion: There is No Such Thing as Responsible Animal Breeding

How do you get your pets? Adoption, pet stores, breeders, and circumstances (eg. through a friend or relative, found as strays) are among the most popular methods of obtaining a pet, namely dogs and cats. You may have heard the saying, “adopt, don’t shop,” going around social media, especially TikTok. There has been a response to this saying, “adopt or shop responsibly.” However, “shopping” for animals responsibly simply does not exist. 


I’d like to start first with breaking down the word, “shop.” Merriam-Webster defines the word “shop,” as “to examine goods or services with intent to buy.” The word shop applies to services and material things, not conscious beings. Saying you are buying a dog or cat reduces them to an object and can decrease compassion and understanding for what they really are: feeling, thinking, loving creatures with distinct personalities. 


I am not writing to question the humanity of breeders. I don’t deny that breeders can care for their animals, give females proper time and care to recover from pregnancy, and make sure they can live happy lives. I do believe, however, that there are many issues of unethical breeders and puppy mills, with a whopping 10,000 puppy mills in the United States. 


I argue that there is not a responsible or ethical way to intentionally bring more animals into the world for the purposes of money and aesthetics when there are an estimated 47,700,000 stray cats and dogs in the United States. Many shelters have been overpopulated and it is reported that 265,578 dogs and cats were euthanized after coming into a shelter. 

Every animal deserves a loving home. This is something that many people can agree on whether they adopted their pet, or bought it, but animal overpopulation is a serious ethical issue humans are contributing to. Please consider adopting your next pet, and always spay or neuter your pets.