Instead of Buying a Pet, Adopt at the ASPCA

This past November, two long-time family pets (who were both adopted) had to be put down due to old age and sicknesses. We were — and still are — heart-broken. Enough so that I actually couldn’t write about our experiences on my blog. It was just too much to put it all down on virtual paper.

And then Mom Central and the ASPCA invited me to a breakfast event last week to tour the New York City ASPCA facilities and meet all the animals that are ready to be adopted. Since it is the holiday season, I bet some of you are thinking of buying a pet for your kids, nieces, nephews or grand-kids. So here are some reasons why you should ADOPT, NOT SHOP.

The adoptable dogs waiting for their Forever Home at the ASPCA

Most Pet Store Puppies Come from Puppy Mills. Puppy mills are just that:  a factory-like environment with the purpose of breeding dogs with no regard to their health, safety and well-being. Most mills are crowded and have un-sanitary conditions and .  According to the website , “Puppy mill dogs are typically kept in cages with wire flooring that injures their paws and legs—and cages can be stacked up in columns (which means waste falls on the dogs housed below them). Compromised health and conditions like matting, sores, mange, severe dental disease and abscesses are often widespread.”

Some people like to buy a dog because they want “papers” because they are looking for a pure breed group. Instead simply Google a pure breed rescue group. For example, I Googled “Golden Retriever Pure Breed Rescue Group” and came up with several organic search links. You get to save a dog’s life and you get the breed that you want.

You Save Money. Instead of spending hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, you can simply adopt a pet from your local ASPCA for a $125 adoption fee. The ASPCA’s adoption fees cover spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping and registration, as well as FeLV/FIV testing for cats and heartworm testing for dogs. And if you tell them the hashtag #HappyHOWLidays, you save 10% off the adoption fee.


Cute and adoptable kittens and cats waiting for their Forever Home, too.

So did I convince you to Adopt, not Shop? Well, here’s your first step:  Visit your local ASPCA’s adoption center. Through the ASPCA’s “Meet Your Match” program, you will be matched to the perfect pet for your family’s needs and lifestyle. Here’s how it works: The ASPCA’s fully staffed Behavior Department assesses each adoptable animal and assigns a score to it based on its friendliness, playfulness, energy level, motivation and drive. You fill out a one-page questionnaire and based on your score, they match you to an animal who has a similar score. You get to spend as much time with your potential pet by socializing, holding and playing before you make the big decision. And remember, if you mention the hashtag #HappyHOWLidays, you get 10% off your adoption fee!

In honor of Bacon and Marmine, my mom and step-father have already put in paperwork to adopt a rescue dog and we will be visiting the ASPCA in the New Year to adopt a new kitten. We feel that giving two other pets another chance to live a long, healthy life filled with lots of loves, hugs and kisses honors both Bacon’s and Marmine’s memory.


Our beloved Bacon


Our Marmine, right after we adopted him from a family who found him and his brother in a Long Island parking lot, 12 years ago.

For more information, visit the ASPCA’s website.

For pet behavior tips and information on bringing new pets into the family, visit