Adopting a pet spreads the love

Sevin Kacsir, Journalist

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Even in a small town in southern Arkansas, the number of stray dogs and cats in pounds and adoption centers is at supreme heights. Magnolia’s local pet adoption center, CCAPS, has over 1,000 dogs and cats. That’s 1,000 animals sentenced to life without a family, all because people want to breed the “perfect” dog or buy a brand new dog.

However, anyone who gets a six-week old dog from a pet store or a breeder has to go through the struggle of teaching the dog commands like “sit” or “lie down.” The dog also has to be housebroken and taught not to chew the house apart. Many people complain about these tedious tasks, yet most dogs in adoption centers have already gone through training, and many have already been in a household and already know how to interact with people.

It is true that some of the dogs in adoption centers have been in abusive households, but they are in need of a loving family to rid them of those awful memories and replace them with new ones of happiness.

Most pet stores do a wonderful service, supplying customers with all the proper goods to maintain your animals’ health. The stores even offer a variety of living creatures for we humans to purchase.

I am not saying people should stop buying animals from pet stores altogether. What I am trying to say is if you are thinking about buying a dog or a cat, you should consider animal adoption. If you want a bird or a snake, then pet stores are a great option but there are cats and dogs available at rescue centers.

Growing up, I have never had a dog or cat that has come from a pet store or a breeder. Every single one has been a rescue. As of right now I have seven dogs and four cats — all of which were on the streets alone and dying and my family and I gave them a home. They are all healthy and happy.

I can attest that when you save an animal from the street or the pound, you feel more accomplished when they finally feel safe in your home than if you hand your money to the cashier at the pet store and just take them home.

One of my dogs, Meg, was badly abused and left on the side of the road to starve and possibly get hit by a car. I found her and took her home. She wouldn’t come anywhere near us for the first two weeks, but day by day she got slightly more comfortable with eating from the food bowl or coming out of my mother’ bedroom.

She eventually gained weight and now hops into our laps freely, rolling over for us to rub her belly. It took some time, but now she is healthy and surrounded by people who treat her with love and affection.

Next time you want a dog or a cat, please consider adopting or helping a sad stray you find.

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