In case you haven’t been keeping up with Justin Bieber news, the star recently spent a total of $35,000 on two Savannah cats, which is a part-exotic breed. He is now facing criticism from organizations like PETA for fueling the dangerous demand for hybrid and exotic animals.
According to PETA, purchases like these are what’s fueling cruel kitten and puppy mills. Irresponsible and inhumane breeders care more about quantity than quality, and the animals suffer while the breeder profits from their high-volume breeding facility.
Some breeders only care about profits, so they have no regard for the animals’ health, well-being, feelings, or temperament. The animals are sometimes kept in overcrowded and filthy cages infested with parasites. They receive little to no veterinary care, and are fed inadequate or poor quality food. And on top of that, lack of concern for defects and inherited diseases caused by rampant inbreeding causes plenty of genetic problems as well.
Not only is it dangerous to the animals that are being kept in cramped and unsanitary cages or bred repetitively, but it’s causing problems for homeless pets. These kitten and puppy mills are also big contributors to pet homelessness and overpopulation.
Shelters are already overburdened and overflowing with plenty of pets in need of their forever homes. In fact, about 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year. When you purchase a cat or dog from a pet store or directly from a breeder, you’re ignoring the millions of deserving animals that already need homes.
The number of healthy animals being euthanized could be reduced dramatically if more people considered adopting from shelters instead of buying them.
On top of that, kittens and puppies that weren’t lucky enough to get adopted or were born with undesirable defects often wind up homeless, dropped off at shelters, sold to laboratories or other testing facilities, or even killed. For example, adult cats who were bred repetitively will be sold cheaply, released to rescue groups or shelters, or killed once they can no longer reproduce.
If you’re concerned for animal welfare, the best thing you can do is encourage everyone to “adopt, don’t shop.” This goes beyond purchasing directly from a breeder, too. It includes buying in pet stores, through classified ads, or over the internet.
Puppy and kitten mills will cease to operate if people stop supporting them. By adopting a pet and encouraging others to do the same, you can be certain that you aren’t fueling these mills with your money.