Reader encourages pet lovers to adopt animals, not buy them

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To the Editor:

I was recently saddened to read a story on the Internet about a Chihuahua puppy that was stolen from a pet store in Virginia Beach.

Chances are this puppy was born in a puppy mill, shipped across the country to be sold for $1,200 (originally $1,600) while some irresponsible breeder hopes to get rich.

Luckily, the puppy ended up being returned. But, I thought, what a shame it is that people will actually steal or pay that kind of money for a dog when there are thousands and thousands of dogs who die in shelters every year because there aren’t enough homes for them.

Just the other day as I was driving out of town, I passed several spray-painted, plywood (yeah, that looks really professional) signs in yards advertising puppies for sale — pit bulls and labs, two breeds that are particularly plentiful in shelters. Those signs were just another sad reminder that more animals will die because people will opt to buy.

I want to encourage readers who may be looking for a pet to visit local shelters, go online to or research rescue groups within the state of Virginia before they buy from a pet store or from an unprofessional breeder. When you adopt, you save a life and that is so rewarding.

Holly Fowler