Molly Ellenberger is a sophomore news major and writes "Indiana Scones" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.
For all the shelter dogs in the world; I am so sorry. Humans sometimes see beautiful purebreds on television, in magazines and on sidewalks and think, “I need one of those.”
My fiance and I have a Doberman Pinscher that we bought from a breeder, and we love him with all our hearts. But I sometimes feel guilty for not adopting a shelter dog.
Sure, many purebreds have perfect genes, a shiny coat and the poise of royalty, but sadly that doesn’t always mean they will be loved forever. 3.3 million dogs per year enter animal shelters according to ASPCA. Dogs that were once a gift such as a Christmas present sometimes make their way back into the shelters, and make up 0.3 percent of the dogs per year in an animal shelter according to ASPCAPro.
That percentage may seem like a small number but out of 3.3 million dogs, that is 99,000 lives. Those unwanted presents all have a heart, and just want to be loved. Sadly, many of them die dreaming of the day their families will come back for them.
Among many other heartbreaking reasons, this is why people should adopt before they shop.
If someone is going to get a dog, whether it is from a shelter or a breeder, they need to realize it is their responsibility to love and protect that dog for the rest of its life. Getting rid of a dog because it is old, tears things up or has accidents on the floor is not a valid reason. A dog is a permanent choice and a forever responsibility until it takes its last breath.
When we got our Dobie named Moose, we made the commitment to love him for the rest of his life. Yes, he had accidents all over the floor, he chewed up three of his dog beds and was so high energy we wanted to pull our hair out, but everyday we reminded ourselves that we loved him with all our hearts, and he just needed some guidance and training. Moose is six months old now, and with all that guidance and training, he has come a long way. He has become our best friend and the dog we’ve always wanted.
Instead of giving up on an unruly dog, people need to use training and guidance to show the dog what is right and wrong, just like a child. There are days when the dog will act up terribly and really make you angry. But please don’t give up on a dog — he or she doesn’t deserve to go into a shelter.
If any one feels unsure or needs help with training and guidance, they can get online or call a local dog trainer for help. There’s an awesome app called Puppr that has really helped me learn how to train Moose.
The next time you are thinking of buying a purebred dog, take a look at your local shelter. You just might find a purebred in there that was once a cute Christmas puppy, or maybe you will fall in love with an old lab that has sad eyes and just wants to be your best friend. I know the next time we get a dog, it will be from a shelter because no dog deserves to be behind bars. Although Moose is a purebred, my fiance and I are doing our part by giving our Dobie a forever home with lots of love and guidance.
To all the unloved, shelter dogs I hope one day you will get a forever home. To all people looking for a dog, I hope you look at a shelter and give an unloved dog the love he or she deserves.
Contact Molly with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.