Don't Give a Broken Heart for Valentines Day.

Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for puppy sales after Christmas. Giving the gift of love to a furry friend this Valentine's Day is only truly a gift for both parties if your decision is a sound one based on responsible ownership. Too many people get caught up in the moment and give cute pets as gifts with no regard for the future of that pet, or, they purchase from pet stores and unknowingly support the cruel environment of puppy mill breeding operations. Also, giving pets to children has to be well considered: will the child really keep up with the pet's care for the entire life of that pet or will it just be a fad and neglected in time?
The best gift of love you can give for Valentine's Day is to not support puppy mills by purchasing pets from pet stores. There are millions of loving pets waiting to be adopted every day at the local shelters. While giving pets as Valentine gifts seems like a wonderful idea, please consider all the drawbacks and options first. The pet you choose for a gift may not be compatible with the person you are giving it to or their lifestyle. If you really want to give a pet as a gift, we highly recommend giving a gift certificate to a local shelter instead so the recipient of the gift can choose their own friend to adopt that they will be a better match for. And please, make sure you, your family, or the recipient of the animal are ready for the responsibility of a lifetime commitment to a pet.


The Circkles Editor's personal experience with puppy mill dogs:
Anybody who has ever witnessed or rescued a dog from a puppy mill operation has urged people to adopt from rescues and shelters instead. Our own editor has experienced firsthand the tragedy that is bestowed on puppy mill brood dogs. I recently adopted a female English Mastiff from a local Humane Society that was rescued from a puppy mill operation. I can attest to the fact that all the horror stories you hear about the despicable conditions and treatment of puppy mill dogs is true. I saw first hand the neglect to the health of the dogs and total lack of love or human interaction which can lead to behavior problems under such conditions. Read Elsie's Story for more.

 

Puppy Mill Facts:

Puppy mills are mass breeding operations designed to maximize profits as cheaply as possible and sacrifice the health and well being of their dogs to do it. As Human Society investigators and rescue teams have shown over and over again, it is common practice for operators of these facilities to disregard the physical, social and emotional health of the dogs. Mass breeding programs and poor living conditions cause puppies from puppy mills to have more physical and behavioral problems than dogs from reliable breeders. Dogs at puppy mills typically receive little to no medical care, live in squalid conditions with no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside cramped wire cages for life. Breeding dogs at puppy mills must endure constant breeding cycles and are destroyed or discarded once they can no longer produce puppies.

If you have your heart set on purchasing a puppy or kitten, deal only with a reputable breeder. You should visit the home in person to see how and where the mother is living. Quality breeders don't sell puppies through pet stores or over the Internet.  Puppy mills and the pet stores that buy from pet mills only contribute to the pet overpopulation problem and unhappy pet owners, which results in millions of unwanted animals euthanized at shelters every year.
However, many rescues and humane societies also have puppies and kittens, but adopting an older animal is favorable because you will know exactly how big that pet will be, the color and the personality, and a mature animal is typically already house-broken and done teething and thus chewing up furniture. Older animals have a much more difficult time being adopted out to loving homes because puppies and kittens are always easily adopted first. Mature animals find it very difficult to adapt to the conditions of being kept in a human society for too long. They often become depressed, hyper-active, or unhealthy just because they remember what it was like to be in a home, have a yard, or possibly a loving owner who just could not care for them any longer. So you are doing a mature animal a bigger favor by adopting them over a young animal. Young animals have a easier time adapting to captivity than mature animals who were once in a home of their own and free to roam as they pleased.


IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A PET OR CAN'T SUPPORT ONE YOURSELF: DONATE, BUT DO IT WISELY.
We highly recommend giving a donation to your local Humane Society rather than the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) since they have recently come under scrutiny for raising large amounts of funding that the actual shelters never see but that is spent on executive's salaries instead. Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group, and 68 percent wrongly think that HSUS spends most of its money on pet shelters. HSUS's tax returns reveal that less than 1 percent of its multi-million dollar budget goes to local hands-on shelters and rescues. We have supplied a handy tool on the top left of this page that will allow you to search for an adoptable animal within your zip code. So please, only give an adopted furry Valentine this year and give the added gift of life to a less-fortunate fellow creature.

© 2012 Redstone Publishing and Promotion for Circkles.com. All articles and images.

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"Don't Shop, Adopt. Give the Gift of Life for Valentine's Day."

"Share to Care."

Read and "share" Isaac's Story to spread the word on the need for better vaccine research, legislature, and vet disclosure for pets. Every "share" the Isaac's Story page gets is a vote for reform.
"Knowledge is Power."

 

Also read Elsies's Story for why it's so important not to buy pets for Valentine Day gifts.