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Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Pet

             Every year eight million dogs and cats enter animal shelters and rescue centers across the United States (25% of the dogs are purebred), and tragically, due to pet overpopulation of these facilities approximately 55% (3.7 million) of them will have to be euthanized/killed! .
             II. Thesis Statement - Statement of Purpose.
             17 million Americans get a new pet each year, and only 20% obtain their pets through adoption. However, if the remaining 13+ million people considered pet adoption versus store or breeder purchases this would reduce the shelter population to meager figures thus eliminating the need to euthanize sheltered animals, and trim down irresponsible breeding; which is the primary cause of pet overpopulation in this country.
             III. As human advocates for sheltered pets we need to educate ourselves, our families, and associates first; about pet overpopulation, and secondly, on the important subject of considering adoption when looking for a companion pet. .
             IV. Ethos - Establish Your Credibility.
             About two years ago, I decided I wanted a small breed dog, and visited several pet stores quite excited over all the cute lil' dogs they had to offer. As soon as I found out the prices they wanted; I was immediately turned off. I didn't have $1,000 to $1,700 that they were asking for purebred puppies. I then turned to the internet to look for dog breeders, and while some of their prices were lower than the pet store; I was leery of purchasing a dog online. A co-worker suggested I adopt a pet. So, I looked up and visited several animal shelters and rescue centers. It was at the Clifton Animal Shelter that I found my baby; a year-old fawn colored, purebred Chihuahua who I named Maximus.
             V. Reason #1: Most pet stores get their animals from breeders or puppy mills. .
             A. This creates a demand for negligent breeding in despicable conditions. Inspection reports show serious animal welfare violations. Among many are; the animals are served contaminated water, food infested with beetles and maggots, and their bodies are unclean causing untreated lesions to appear.

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