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Why You Should Adopt & Not Shop

Specific Purpose: My goal is to persuade my audience to adopt their next/new pet(s) from a local shelter rather than purchasing from a breeder/puppy mill or pet store.

Thesis Statement: By adopting a pet from a shelter rather than purchasing one from a store/breeder you not only help stop puppy mills but you are helping to save a pet’s life, save money, and help that pet with emotional stability.


Attention Getter: Have you been to a puppy mill, pet store, or even a breeder? Have you seen some of the conditions that these places are in? Many times walking into these places animals are packed in like sardines in some of the worst possible ways. Animals are bred multiple times a year at which point their bodies are so exhausted that they are put to death or die from the extensive conditions surrounding them.1

Credibility Statement: I have adopted two dogs from my local animal shelter. I’ve always been that one person who had to have a purebred dog no matter the cost. However, my husband took me to our local shelter and to breeders to find that one I had been wanting. Seeing the conditions of some of the breeders and then seeing the local shelter I just knew that adoption was best for me.

Relating to the Audience: Almost everyone wants a pet no matter the kind. But for those who get a pet look at the cost, characteristics of the pet, demeanor, and overall health.

Thesis Statement: By adopting a pet from a shelter rather than purchasing one from a store/breeder you not only help stop puppy mills but also help to save a pet’s life, save money, and help that pet with emotional stability.

Preview: In this report, I will talk with you about how adopting your new or next fur baby is so much better than purchasing them from a store, breeder, or puppy mill. I will explain the financial side of adopting, the death rate in the U.S. if animals are not adopted, overcrowding in shelters, and how a pet from a shelter or humane society can change you.

Signpost: Now I will explain the financial burden that comes with purchasing an animal rather than adopting them.


When you adopt a pet there is a fee that varies from free to a few hundred dollars. The fee associated with adoption is not for the pet itself but rather to help cover the cost the agency paid for on spay/neuter, vaccinations (some cases microchipping-pending on if the agency does this or not), and also housebreaking/training expenses pending on how to hold the pet is.

A. Your local Animal Shelter/Humane Society is a great place to purchase your first or next companion.

    1. Animal Shelters are not in it for profit but rather the animals are their number one priority.
        1. Veterinary wellness visits and exams $50-100
        2. Spaying or neutering $150-300
        3. Distemper vaccination $20-30×2
        4. Rabies vaccination $15-25
        5. Heartworm test (for dogs) $15-35
        6. Feline Leukemia/FIV test (for cats) $30-50
        7. Flea/tick treatment $50-200
        8. Microchip $50
        9. Deworming $20-50
        10. Collar and an identification tag $ 5-105 adoption fees are a way to help cover the medical cost of the animal while they wait for their new home as well as food and transportation costs. The fees associated with adoption help provide care not only to the animal being adopted but also to the other animals as well. The cost of these particular fees is a lot higher than any adoption fee.
    2. In addition, some adoption fees can be outrageous amount, however, a lot of agencies reduce the cost of adoption fees pending the age of the pet, the length of time the animal has been in the shelter, and in some cases give the animals away for free due to overpopulation.
    3. As a customer shopping around for a pet, most of the time you want a purebred animal with papers. It has been misconstrued over the years that you can only get a purebred from a breeder or a puppy mill. However, according to the Humane Society of the United States, 25% of pets in shelters are of a pure bloodline.2

B. Unfortunately, many animals are still bought from breeders and puppy mills.

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    1. According to the Humane Society, puppy mills are inhumane breeding facilities in which the health of the animals is disregarded so they can maximize profit with a low overhead.2
    2. Due to puppy mills trying to maximize their profit, the animals are the ones who suffer. They tend to be deformed or have health issues due to improper care.
    3. Puppy mill costs range due to the type of animal and the location. However, once the animal is bought a lot of the time the new owner is hit with drastic veterinarian bills due to the poor health of the pet, and sometimes the pet winds up dying. Therefore, you are out of money from the purchase, medical bills, and the animal (puppy mills do not guarantee a health record for animals sold).
    4. Breeders are known as people who raise livestock or pets. They raise animals to cultivate new breeds or sustain the same kind.
    5. Generally, breeders take care of the animals by keeping track of their diet, vet records, and the overall cleanliness of the area.
    6. Just like puppy mills breeder costs can be very expensive. However, depending on the breeder you can get your pet with its first set of shots (vet record), microchipped, and sometimes a 30-day health guarantee.

Directional transition: Now that you understand the financial aspect of adoption vs. purchasing, I will explain the death rate in the U.S. and how overpopulation contributes to this.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million animals find themselves placed in an animal shelter within the U.S.3

A. Animal shelters/humane societies are faced with many different challenges; caring for pets, rehoming pets and the biggest challenge of all would be to euthanize the pet.

    1. On average, roughly 1.5 million animals are euthanized each year in the U.S.3
    2. Often animals are euthanized for illness or aggression, however, the main reason for an animal to be euthanized would be due to overpopulation.
    3. Animals (strays) who come to a shelter from the streets are held for 72 hours and are then euthanized; this is in part to keep the space open. In some cases, shelters can hold a pet a little longer.

B. Millions of animals suffer each year at the hands of senseless people just for a profit.

    1. Approximately 170,000 dogs are bred each year in the U.S. This amount could be higher because puppy mills and oftentimes breeders do not report their stock.4
    2. Each female animal produces roughly 9 offspring every year and sometimes twice a year. Due to the conditions of mills or breeder areas, some of the puppies die within a few days due to the mother being malnourished or exhausted.4

Directional transition: Now that you understand the death rate and how overpopulation contributes to this I will now tell you the joys of having an adopted pet from a shelter.

Animals are just looking for someone to be a companion to and love forever.

A. Many animals are in shelters due to a human issue like a move or divorce not because they were aggressive.2

    1. Depending on the age of the pet, you can adopt an animal that is already housebroken.
    2. The animals who only know what the inside of a kennel is like are looking for someone to love. They tend to be the ones that have the best demeanor when it comes to cuddling.
    3. You will save a life knowing that you kept that pet from being euthanized.
    4. Dogs have a way of sensing things about situations or people, therefore, if you adopt a pet rather than buying one you give that animal a sense of gratefulness and love they had not known previously.
    5. As a pet owner, you become more social due to training or walks which then makes you happier because you see your dog is great with interacting with others and dogs but you also make a new friend as well.
    6. You have many options at a shelter to choose from. Breeders and puppy mills are limited to what they breed specifically.
    7. The last thing, you have gained a new friend/companion for life.

B. Everyone can help make a difference!

    1. Spread the word to everyone and tell them where you got your new pup or kitten.
    2. Before buying a new pet just check out your local shelters or humane societies because you never know, that purebred you thought you wanted might not be the one.

Transition: Now that you understand the financial aspect, the death rate, and the joys of adoption, I will now conclude my speech.


Restate Thesis: Adopting a pet from a shelter rather than purchasing one from a store/breeder not only helps stop puppy mills but also helps to save a pet’s life, save money, and help that pet with emotional stability.

Summary of Main Points:

    • a. As an animal lover myself, I find these findings to be very beneficial when I go to look for a new companion. I want to give my new pet a chance at life while giving them the love and care they deserve.
    • b. Shelters want what is best for the animal; puppy mills/breeders oftentimes can care less. The main focus of a shelter is to find a home, not a death sentence.
    • c. When you adopt your next pet, remember you are helping to keep the overcrowding of animals down. This in turn helps to keep animals from being euthanized.
    • d. Animals need to know they are wanted and loved.

Closing Statement: There is no logical reason why animals have to suffer at the hands of people. For some, animals are not just pets, they are family. We should all have that mentality and if we did we could all stop the purchasing of animals and just adopt. Puppy mills are notorious for the caring of financial gain over the animal whereas the shelters are looking to rehome the animal. Choose to adopt and not shop!


    1. 10 Things To Know About Puppy Mills | Facts and Statistics. (2013). Retrieved October 24, 2013, from Madonna of the Mills A Documentary About Puppy Mills:
    2. 2.) “Adopting from an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group.” The Humane Society of the United States,
    3. 3.) “Pet Statistics.” ASPCA,
    4. 4.) Sentient MediaSentient Media editorial. “Puppy Mills: Millions of Dogs Suffer Needlessly to Create Pets.” Reporting on Animals, Animal Rights, and Human Choices -, 24 Oct. 2019,
    5. 5.) “What Is Included in an Adoption Fee?” Petfinder, adoption/pet-adoption-information/what-is-included-in-an-adoption-fee/.

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