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Adopt a Family Pet Dog or Cat and Save Money with this Personalized, Unique Gift

By Erik Folgate

Almost 4 and a half years ago, we rescued that cute dog on the left from getting euthanized. Her mom had 8 puppies, and the Gainesville Pet Rescue adopted all of the puppies and the mother. We paid a total of $75 for the adoption fee, and she had already been fixed and had up-to-date shots. Since my wife and I didn’t have kids immediately after getting married, we were glad to get a dog with a ton of energy and a lot of love. I am not some kind of crazy PETA member, but it bugs the hell out of me when I hear that people pay thousands of dollars on pure breed dogs and cats, when there are SO many great dogs and cats in animal shelters waiting to be adopted. Here are a few reasons why you should adopt a pet instead of going to a breeder or pet mill.

You’ll save hundreds of dollars

Seriously, $75 to $100 plus the supplies is all you’ll need to pay for the dog or cat. We walked into a pet store the other day just because my wife likes to look at the puppies, and they were anywhere from $800 to $1,200. Some breeds go for a lot more than that. I know there are many of you out there with NO good reason to be spending that much on a freakin’ pet. You make $40k a year and you’re going to spend $1,000 on a dog? Really? Pure breeds need homes too, but let the millionaires buy those dogs and cats, because a $1,000 to them is like $10.

You don’t have to get a puppy

A lot of the dogs and cats at shelters are there for no good reason. Their owners just didn’t want to deal with them anymore, their owners moved (which I still don’t understand why they can’t move a pet with them), or the pet was abused and taken away from the owner. Whatever reason they are there, they can’t help it. Have you ever raised a puppy or a kitten? They are a TON of work. At shelters/pounds, a lot of the pets there are house broken, and even though the puppy stage is cute, it can be very annoying. Adopt from a shelter and you can find an older pet.

Pure Breeds Have Problems

Not all pure breeds have problems, but a lot of them end up having genetic defects or they are prone to certain genetic disorders which could end up costing you a lot of money. The reason for this is because many breeders aren’t the dog or cat lovers you think they are. Their greed clouds their judgment, and they start in-breeding, which dirties the gene pool. The bad genes in mix breeds are often filtered out, and that’s another reason why mix breeds are so great!

Don’t take this post the wrong way. Am I sounding a little preachy? Yes, but I wrote this because so many people buy pets for loved ones on Christmas, and I don’t want people to go into debt or drain their savings by spending tons of money on a pure breed when there are so many perfectly good pets in shelters and pounds around the country. If you are set on a certain breed, that’s cool, all I ask is that you go check out your local animal shelter first and see if you don’t fall in love with another pet there. Remember, little kids don’t care what breed a dog is or if its mom and dad were AKC champion show dogs. They just want a cute dog that will be their best friend. You can find that at the animal shelter.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Yana

    I agree with you, although I just never thought of buying a dog. Fourteen years ago, I adopted my dog at the local animal shelter, and she’s been the best bargain ever. It cost around $80 including spaying, which they require be done within 30 days. Much information was given about all the dogs up for adoption, which I appreciated. She has been exceptionally healthy, and is great with kids – which is important, because we don’t have kids at home, but we have many neighbor kids that always approach her. We live in a 20 unit apartment complex, lots of dogs, cats and kids. We hope to upgrade our home within the next 6 months or so, and at that point I want to adopt a cat, as well. Several neighbor cats have befriended me, greeting me when I leave or return home, and I have come to like them after always being primarily a dog person.

  • http://ctrlyourcash.wordpress.com/ Betty Kincaid


    You wrote: “I’m not some kind of crazy PETA member..”

    Thank God because PETA killed over 90 percent of the animals it took in during the last five years. (http://bit.ly/5dkl3K)

    Great post and a timely reminder. Support your local no-kill shelter

    Merry Christmas!

  • Nancy

    Just a thought – it is my opinion that during the holidays is not a perfect time to get a new pet. I think that when schedules are more regular and normal would be the best time to add a new four legged family member to the home. Shelters would be glad for you to adopt year-round, I am sure!

  • L

    You’re right about pure bred dogs having health problems. My dog has been plagued by siezures for 14 years which we control with medication. D:

  • Linda

    Although I’ll never understand the desire to give someone a pet for the holidays, (who wants a gift that they have to clean up after?), it’s imperitave to stress the importance of adopting. I have two older dogs- both purchased as puppies, one from a pet store and one from a shelter. Even years later, the one from the pet store seems… neurotic, at times, and gets stressed out by crowds of people. I think that adopted dogs seem to have the healthiest understanding of how to deal with people.

  • Anissa

    We got both of our cats at the shelter, and both were about 5 years old. They were already litter box trained, declawed, and fixed. We saved a bundle and have 2 wonderful furry family members. I can’t fathom spending $400+ on a pet, when hundreds are in shelters and needing homes!

  • http://www.twitter.com/airplaneninja Josie

    I totally agree with adopting pets. In fact, if I could I’d adopt a bunch more! We got both our wonderful cats from the shelter and I wouldn’t do it any other way. With so many people getting animals and not spaying/neutering them there’s way too many unwanted animals for people to go spend hundreds of dollars on one.

  • http://www.artificialrobot.com Sean

    I am currently surrounded by 3 awesome adopted pets. There is just no other way to go when it comes to bringing a new pet into your home. My dog is incredibly smart and trainable (more so than the pure bred dog I had as a kid) and well cats are cats in my opinion, they’re great, but why go pure bred. Go rescue a pet you will have a companion for life.

  • lauren

    hey hey eric :) i came across this and, totally was suprised you had something like this, very cool i must say! love yah -lauren

  • kiesha

    my son’s brithday’s comeing up he wants a dog he’s turning six in hes a only child. he need’s a friend bad. where can i get one?

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