I had no idea until I read about it on Facebook, but today is “National Puppy Day.” A day created to raise awareness for adopting a dog from a shelter rather than from a breeder. I have nothing against breeders. Growing up, all of our dogs were purebreds and bought from breeders around the country. Fortunately, from what I remember, these were not dogs that lived in cages but in homes and on farms. Dogs that came from reputable breeders.
Ever since we adopted Emmy Lou, a shih tzu, from a shelter two years ago, I have seen pet adoption very differently. Emmy Lou was rescued from a puppy mill, she lived in a cage her entire life doing nothing but breeding puppies. THAT is not what a breeder is. That, is a factory and that needs to stop.
There are thousands of puppy mills in our country. Pet stores that sell puppies are the number one reason that so many puppy mills exist today. Puppy mills treat their dogs like commodities. They live in small, crowded cages. We were told that Emmy Lou had never left her cage. She lived there her entire life and since there are no proper records for her, they don’t know how long that was, although they estimated her to be about nine years old when we got her. No one expected her to walk on a leash or socialize with others.
They were wrong. She has adapted so well to our family. Within days of getting her, she was walking on a leash and fitting right in with our family.
She wasn’t a puppy, but her story has made me so much more aware of pet adoption and how many pets need homes. Not just puppies but older dogs too. You still need to do your research, but if you are looking for a dog, consider rescuing.
We have a welcome mat at our front door that reads, “A shelter dog rescued this family.” We never even thought we would have a dog and now, I could not imagine our lives without her in it.