The Meaning of Adoption and why it's Best

Story by Diana Al Shammari

The holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means: buying presents. The holidays are usually a great time to spend with family and loved ones, and what better gift to receive than the love and loyalty of a new family member?

Whether or not you have adopted pets before, I’m sure you have heard the expression “adopt, don’t shop.” Companion animals should be considered members of our family, so it makes sense to call it “adoption” when you bring one into your home. But what exactly does “adoption” mean?

“It means saving one of the more than 6 million cats and dogs or countless other animals who enter U.S. animal shelters every single year,” said Karen Wells, a staff member at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. “And it means never buying dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, birds, guinea pigs, mice, or any other living being from a pet store or breeder.”

If you are looking to bring home a fur baby this holiday season, here is why you should adopt instead of buying it:


1. Your wallet will thank you

Adopting an animal makes good fiscal sense because it costs less to rescue a pet from a shelter than it does to buy one from a breeder or a pet store. While animal shelters do charge adoption fees, they are far less than what you will be charged if you purchase a pet from a breeder or a pet store.

The average cost of adoption fees is usually around $90 (sometimes less depending on the shelter), while you could be spending anywhere from $500-$1,000 on a pet from a breeder.

This brings me to my next point.

2. You will be saving a life

There are not enough homes for all the animals that are born every year. Shelter animals are in need of a second chance. They might have been lost, given up or abandoned. You could be giving them a new life in a loving home.

“Adopting from a shelter helps weaken the pet overpopulation cycle,” said Wells. “Each year eight to 12 million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are euthanized because there are simply not enough homes for them.”

 Picture of Al Shammari’s cat who was rescued from a shelter.

Picture of Al Shammari’s cat who was rescued from a shelter.

3. You could get a pet you never expected

Although you may have an idea of what you are looking for, there are a wide variety of animals waiting to be adopted from shelters. This may mean an animal you never imagined could turn out to be the best match for you.

Many people want to adopt puppies and kittens without considering the advantages of having an older pet. Older pets are more likely to be trained and will probably require less supervision and less time and energy spent training them.


A pet is a companion that will never judge you, will love you regardless of whatever happens and will always be there for you. Their unconditional love makes you feel great.

It is said that animals know when they have been rescued, so the bond between you and your rehomed pet will be especially strong. What is a better act of love this holiday season than saving a life and giving an animal in need a second chance and a loving home?

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