I have to admit, 12 years ago I did not know anything about puppy mills, breeders, or the history about store bought animals. All I knew was I wanted a cat and my local Humane Society would not adopt out to a renter, so I went to my local pet store. I saw Dickens, a Siamese mix kitten, (they told me he was 6 or 8 months old, but he was full grown and could have been a little older). It was love at first sight. He looked gorgeous with his blue eyes and white and grey coat. I paid 80 dollars for him. He needed to be neutered, and had his initial shots. I soon discovered he was absolutely covered in Fleas. I brought him to a vet to be fixed and get all his shots.
I had many cats over the years before him, but none with his personality. From the start he was very playful and I discovered by accident he would play fetch! We had a game where while I was sitting at my computer, I would wad up a piece of paper into a ball, throw it out the door into the hallway so it would bounce down the stairs to the ground floor. He would go running after it, bring it back and drop it next to me and just wait for me to throw it again! We bonded very quickly and he always stayed near my side wherever I was in the apartment.
A few years ago he stopped playing fetch, but to this day never leads my side. In 2008 I got my dog Buster from Craigs list for the same reason. I could not adopt, and I certainly could not afford a purebred. I knew I wanted a small to medium sized dog. Buster has been a challenge since he was a puppy, but I could not ask for a better companion.
Now I am quite familiar with puppy mills, and my local shelter has now made it easier for renters to adopt. I would never buy again. When Buster and Dickens have crossed over and if I want another companion, I will adopt, but i do not regret what I did. Buster and Dickens have meant so much to me and been such a big part of my life, through thick and thin.
Have you bought a dog or cat and feel guilty now for doing so? Please share your thoughts below.