The decision to adopt a homeless dog or purchase one from a breeder or pet store is a difficult decision for many pet parents. The plea to “adopt, don’t shop” is often heard. But pet parents argue that puppies in pet stores and breeding facilities are just as deserving as shelter dogs. Some families want a specific breed of dog, or a very young puppy “with no real issues to fix”. Finding the perfect dog at a shelter when you’re looking for a specific breed or age can be a lot like playing the lottery. Many would-be pet parents simply go to a pet store because they know there will be puppies and they assume they are in optimal health and are well cared for.
One Brazillian pet store decided to address the overwhelming problem of overcrowded shelters by placing shelter dogs in with pet store dogs and surprising those who “picked out a shelter dog” that the dog’s price tag was “free”.
In Brazil, animal shelters are poorly funded and highly overpopulated, leading to poor care and starvation for many animals. Well-meaning pet owners decide to drop off unwanted pets at the shelter, thinking they will be well cared for, but many face horrible fates and agonizing deaths due to a lack of funding to care for the many homeless animals. Many wonderful dogs and cats are never seen by potential forever families.
Placing the dogs in high visibility areas, like pet stores, insures they get a chance at a happy life with a caring family. And the families get a pleasant surprise when they walk in expecting to pay hundreds of dollars for a dog and walk out with both their cash and a new family member.
Get your tissues ready, this one is a real tear-jerker.