Adopting a Chihuahua

Good morning!

Today I would like to talk about all the reasons it’s a good idea to think about adopting a Chihuahua – or if you’re not a Chihuahua fan, adopting your next pet.  All of my pets, from my very first Tina, to our latest addition to the pack, Kissy – have been adopted, rescued, or been a “re-home” situation.  I am NOT a fan of buying pets from a pet store.  They are notorious for purchasing puppies from puppy mills.  The conditions that the mommy dogs and daddy dogs live in are usually horrendous.  That’s not to say that there are not responsible breeders out there.  I’m sure there are.  People who truly love the breed and breed pups to show or to sell.  Personally, I wouldn’t have a business like this because I’ve read all the statistics about how many animals are euthanized each year in this country and the number is horrific.  According to the ASPCA, the number of shelter animals that are euthanized each year is 1.5 million (retrieved from https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics on 05/03/17).  That’s terrible.  It breaks down to approximately 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats.  Much of this is due to the fact that there are irresponsible pet owners who don’t get their pets spayed or neutered.  The result is unwanted puppies and kittens.  So first and foremost, please be responsible and get your pet spayed or neutered.

So why should you adopt your next pet?  Aside from the obvious reason that there are too many animals euthanized each year, by adopting, you take one small step towards putting puppy mills out of business.  I don’t know if you’ve ever actually visited a puppy mill, but I have.  The actual conditions vary, but by and large, the animals are kept in small cages, often stacked on top of one another and almost always outside in the weather.  They have no shelter, they never get out of the cage except when they’re bred.  Health care is a concept that most puppy millers don’t care about.  All they care about is whether an animal can be bred and have puppies.  These animals live out their lives with no health care, substandard food, and never getting out of their cages and feeling the grass beneath their feet.

Another reason to consider adoption is that you can get an adult dog.  Often, adult dogs are already house-trained and some even know basic commands.  You won’t have to deal with all of those puppy behaviors like chewing and biting, etc.  You’ll be able to get a feel for the personality of an adult dog if you visit the shelter and spend some time with them.

The employees and volunteers of animal shelters are true animal lovers.  I believe you would have to be, in order to work or volunteer in a shelter.  It can be heartbreaking to see so many animals given up by owners because they can’t be bothered to take care of them anymore, or because they’re “old” and don’t like to play anymore.  Bringing an animal into your home is a lifetime commitment.  They commit themselves to you and you should commit yourself to them.

Shelters have a great variety of pets for adoption.  You’ll have many to choose from.  They will have received all the necessary medical care they need, they’ll already be spayed or neutered, so those expenses will have been covered for you already.  There is usually an adoption fee, but it’s typically affordable and less than all the medical care you’ll run into when you get a puppy from a pet store.  And – buying a puppy, whether it’s from a pet store or a responsible breeder, can often run you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

And, when your family and friends meet the new addition to the family, you can share with them that you adopted the dog or cat and that will encourage others to do the same.  So ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!

This is Duncan, a friend’s wonderful adopted dog.

Love your pets!




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Julie Harris


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