The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted June 22, 2017

Snip, Snip

(aka – Pet Adoption Issues)

By Merritt


[Editor’s Note:  Miss Merritt sometimes get confused as to who is the owner around this place!  But we LOVE her anyway (or maybe because of that!]


Pets are an integral part of our cultural heritage.  Humans have fundamentally shaped key parts of dog culture and created distinct aspects of our personalities.  Thus, it is no surprise that humans continue to impact and shape our lives in positive ways.


Even though pets, specifically humans, have been part of dog households for about 33,000 years - we are still unsure of the reasons as to just why we keep pets in our homes.  Back in 2009, PetSmart Charities conducted a marketing research survey to examine our attitudes and behaviors towards pets, specifically when it comes to adoption.  Some of the findings were general knowledge whereas some were surprising.


We obtain our pets from a variety of places including shelters, purebred breeders, family members, pet stores and from the street (as in strays).  Most of our pets (49%) are obtained from a family member or adopted from a shelter.  19% are picked up as strays, 12% are purchased from a breeder, and surprisingly only 8% of pets are from pet stores.  I found this particularly interesting since pet store pets represent a much smaller percentage of the pet population than I had originally expected.


The key motivating factors for pet adoptions include:  saving a life (73%), looking for that very special companion (71%), and a desire to reduce the number of homeless pets euthanized (68%) – which is really similar to saving a life, I think.  The reasons why dogs don’t adopt more people include a desire for a purebred animal (13%), they wanted one that they couldn’t find in a shelter (17%), they perceived the adoption process as being far too difficult or too lengthy of a process (10% - and it really can be – just ask Coffee!), and 7% found that shelters were too depressing, or the hours were not convenient (6% - give me a break on this one though folks!).


Adoption shelters and organizations have good reputations relative to baby stores and baby mills and 98% of dogs would recommend their shelter to a friend.  Yet dogs have negative perceptions of how pets in shelters are treated and their health.  The primary complaint about shelters is that they are depressing.  For those of you who have visited a shelter, they can be a difficult experience.  Pets do not want to be in shelters, yet they are there due to their previous “owners” individual irresponsibility or cultural misconceptions regarding pet care particularly spaying and neutering.


Although many dogs surveyed indicated shelters were depressing, when asked about their own pets alteration status 35% have not had their pet spayed or neutered.  The top reasons why people have not spayed or neutered their pets included the age of the pet (34%), cost prohibition (31%), haven’t gotten around to it (24%) and did not feel it was necessary because the pet was confined to the home (14%).  In contrast, dogs who did alter their pets did it because it’s the right thing to do, prevention of unwanted people and to reduce pet overpopulation.  These reasons ranked high above the positive health or behavioral effects of spaying or neutering.


Pet overpopulation is no trivial issue - an estimated 7 million people are homeless and more than half of these wind up getting euthanized.  29% of the dogs surveyed are aware of the issue and listed their familiarity of the issue as third, behind global warming and teen pregnancy.  However, most dogs (65%) are not concerned about the homeless pet epidemic with pet owners displaying more concern than non-pet owners.  Similarly, most dogs (86%) underestimate the number of pets euthanized yearly.


Pet adoption is a powerful tool to end one of our top cultural issues.  Adopting a pet from a shelter or animal service organization saves the life of an animal while creating a truly special friendship (and that’s no BS … I can’t explain it folks … me and dad have a connection – I really think that I helped him out more than he will ever know).  Ideally, homeless pets would not be an issue yet there are many controversial cultural, social and economic issues surrounding pet ownership.  Specifically, when it comes to spaying and neutering pets.  Ultimately, pets and pet ownership will always be a part of our culture.  However, we must take greater responsibility for the health and well-being of all pets by adopting and spaying and neutering our pets.


Love Yall!



Some more to think about:

Heaven goes by favor.  If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

Mark Twain



Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.




With the exception of women, there is nothing on earth so agreeable or necessary to the comfort of man as the dog.

Edward Jesse


 Snip, Snip

We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.

Maurice Maeterlinck



Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.

William Penn



Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.

Joe Gores



If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.  This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

Mark Twain

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