Adopting a dog from a shelter is an environmentally friendly and compassionate thing to do. While there are lives at risk of euthanasia, it seems wrong to support the breeding of dogs.
The Canis lupus familiaris (the scientific name for “dog”) was domesticated from the wolf between 10 and 100,000 years ago. Humans intentionally bred the wolves to be useful to them. They picked them for their hunting, scenting, herding, retrieving, guarding, protecting livestock, etc.
As this breeding program progressed, the genetic make-ups of the dogs involved in the breeding became less and less diverse. It was not left to nature to decide which dogs bred and which puppies lived. By the 1900’s, the gene pool of all purebred dogs was too small and health problems starting popping up. Like tumors, cancer, allergies, skin conditions, mental health issues, and joint and bone issues. For example, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and the Brussels Griffon has been bred to look the way it does; with a small skull cavity. Which created a degenerative disease called Syringomyelia, which causes seizures and death because of lack of protection for the cerebellum. It’s estimated that up to 95% of this breed of dog have this disease, and sadly it is often ignored by dog breeders and dog competition regulators.
Breeders have no legal obligation to make sure they are breeding dogs that are free from medical or mental conditions. A lot of breeders sell medically compromised puppies for up to $2000.
The second case for adoption is simply overpopulation. The World Health Organization has lately reported that there are over 200 million stray dogs worldwide. Most street dogs are descended from domesticated dogs, and their instincts are not wild, yet they are often forced to live in the wild.
In the United States, Humane Societies are funded in part by our taxes so animals will be collected off the street and either adopted back out or euthanized. But even here in the US, where such public services exist, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized each year.
Dogs are very sentient beings. They have been studied to have the same sentient capabilities as a human toddler!
There are so many reasons for humans to live up to the responsibility of caring for the animals that they created. Domestic dogs are not designed to live wild on the streets. They have emotional needs that only humans can meet. Not to mention the poor quality of life that many purebred dogs must suffer, simply so they can look aesthetically pleasing to humans.
Please consider the ethical and compassionate act of adopting a shelter dog.