Exploring the Pros & Cons


Susannah Otstott, Staff Writer

When it comes to our beloved fur babies, there is nothing better than when they curl up to cuddle you and you can tell just how much they love you. Our pets will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we adore each and every one of them, but many people tend to question, which animals need our love the most? Is it better to adopt or shop through a breeder? iUniversity students Eylee, Linden, Mia, Natalie, and Sophia share their perspectives on the matter.

But first, let’s meet the pups! Sophia has “one dog named (…) She is a lab, and we got her from a breeder. She’s very playful!” Eyelee has “two dogs, one is a french bulldog named Chewy, and the other is a beagle mix named Shoester. Chewy is from a breeder and Shoester is from a shelter,” she says. Natalie has two dogs as well, “Mandy and Bella. Both of them are from shelters, but Bella is a beagle-dachshund mix and Mandy is an australian shepherd and havapoo mix.” Mia, on the other hand, has twice as many fur babies in her house! “I have four dogs. Yoshi is a maltese from a breeder, and Annie is a 9 year old schnauzer from Craigslist. Our two other dogs are Yoshi and Annie’s puppies.” 

No matter what age you may be, getting a dog is a memorable and wonderful experience! “I got (…) from a breeder but she was the only one there,” Sophia says. “The owner had gotten her as a puppy so he could breed her but didn’t, and I remember he lived on a large ranch.” Eylee got Chewy at “a person’s house, not a facility. All the dogs were playing on the couch.” Mia says she “went to a lady’s house who had at least 20 dogs. We weren’t going to get Yoshi but the other dog kept running away and Yoshi didn’t.” Natalie, however, got both of her dogs from a shelter. “When we got Bella, she came with a brother but he was too aggressive so we had to give him back. I remember it was a no-kill shelter and very run down. We got our second dog, Mandy, at the Allen Animal Shelter. The two dogs have a mutual friendship, but don’t play together.”

Though the students had different experiences when getting their own dogs, there are pros and cons to be found in both situations. Eylee and Linden share their perspectives.

One positive is that “You can get whatever dog you want, meaning that if you want a golden retriever, a boxer, or a pitbull you can get it from a breeder,” Linden says. “Dogs from a breeder tend to not have a traumatic past so they are not as traumatized or as scared as dogs from shelters.” Eylee agrees, saying that “Not all breeders are bad. Breeders (not breeding facilities) usually don’t mistreat their dogs. Adopting from a breeder has many benefits such as the dogs are usually treated well and in great shape. If you want a dog that won’t need so much medical care, breeders are usually a good option!” 

However, there are cons to be found as well. “Many breeders are abusive or harmful towards the animals that they are breeding,” Linden shares. “Luckily we did research on breeders that take care of their animals, and that’s where we found my dog.” Eylee gives her thoughts on the matter, saying that “Breeding facilities, such as puppy mills, don’t take good care of the animals. Some dogs live in cages their whole life, and their sole purpose is to reproduce as much as possible! Often the dogs are taken away from their mom’s to early, and this causes behavioral issues later on. The crates/cages are often uncleaned, unsanitary and unprotected from weather and bad temperatures. This can cause starvation, dehydration, and disease! However, not all are like this! Some are good.”

Shelters have their ups and downs as well; Sophia, Eylee, Natalie, and Mia share their perspectives. When adopting from a shelter, Eylee feels as though “you save two lives, the dog you buy and the dog that takes its place.” Natalie had similar thoughts, saying that “You’re saving a dog’s life and your life. The love of an animal is different because they love you unconditionally and show more forgiveness. Every dog just wants to be loved.” Mia agrees, adding that “You put them in a more loving home with a warm place to sleep.”

Nonetheless, there are still cons to adoption from a shelter. “I think one of the biggest [cons] is that the dogs will feel scared,” Mia says. “It’s most likely that all shelter dogs have had a rough life and have been abused, going from a shelter to your home can be different for them. It’ll probably take them a few weeks to months for them to become used to you.” Sophia agrees, adding that “finding the perfect dog for you at a shelter may be difficult especially if you want a dog that has had no past abusive experience.” Natalie says that often “You don’t know where the dog was from, unless the shelter is able to tell you where the dog was picked up and the situation. The dog could also have diseases and illnesses badly in need of taking care of, so it’s a risk not knowing the dog you’re getting until the vet takes a good look.” 

After exploring the different positives and negatives to each situation, the students answer this question- if given the choice to get the same dog from a breeder or from a shelter, which would you choose? The answer was unanimous, all deciding that they “would pick the shelter because you’re saving [the dog’s] life.” “You’re giving them a chance to be loved and heal some of the mental and physical wounds they may have,” Natalie says.

Next time you’re longing for another fur baby, consider these points to determine what is best for you and your family. But remember that wherever your pup comes from, and whatever their background may be, every dog deserves kindness and affection. So today, go give your pooch a hug, a kiss, and some snuggles to remind them just how loved they are.