Monday, April 07, 2008

adopt a pet

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I suppose I'm an odd person to advocate adopting pets. I don't have any pets. I don't plan on getting any pets soon (although I probably wouldn't mind one myself, it's not something that would really work out for us). However, as I watched Oprah last week (a random enough occurrence for me to have the TV on at all) I thought about my family's experience with a dog rescued from a puppy mill.

The dog actually belonged to my parents. His name was Rusty, and he died about a year ago from doggie cancer (I think). When my parents met Rusty, he had just been turned into the animal shelter 20 minutes before they arrived at the shelter. He was a sweet dog, but they knew he'd be a challenge, as the shelter could tell Rusty hadn't been socialized. He couldn't bark (it sounded more like a cough), he had a tattooed number in his ear, and he didn't really care for the grass. It took months for Rusty to be housebroken, and even then he only did his business in on the driveway, and avoided the grass. It took Rusty months to manage the steps, and even when he could navigate them by himself, it was and awkward and slow process. Jumping on to or off of anything of any height was also a challenge for him.

Rusty was with my parents for several years. He showed us all the impact of puppy mills on the breeding dogs, and solidified our rejection of the puppy mill industry. For my family, we'll stick to rescue pets, and say no to the pet shops (since most pet shops get their pets from puppy mills, according to one of the guests on Oprah).

If you're looking for a pet to adopt, check out You can find all kinds of pets waiting for adoption at shelters near you.


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