I’ve been thinking about this lately because, as I wrote yesterday, my partner and I are trying to adopt a dog and are having a hard time. I know it’s a controversial issue, so I’m interested in hearing other people’s take on it.

When we decided to get a dog, we both felt strongly that we wanted to adopt, for several reasons. For one thing, there are so many animals in shelters already and we really wanted to rescue a pup that needed a home and possibly save a life. Also, a mixed breed dog would likely have a better disposition and/or be physically healthier (although some disagree with this). I know there are “reputable” professional breeders out there, but some of the breeding practices associated with certain breeds strike me as ethically questionable at best, regardless.

At this point, however, we’ve been trying to adopt a dog for several months and have been rejected a few times. We have found the process to be very competitive and stressful. We had the best of intentions going in, but we haven’t been able to do what we set out to do - adopt a dog and save a life. Moreover, there seem to be way more applicants than dogs at every shelter we’ve been to. Right now, the Toronto Animal Services website only lists two dogs that meet our criteria, even with no preference for age or gender.

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I’m not sure either of us are comfortable with buying a dog from a breeder, but I am starting to understand why some people choose to go that route. I guess I’m just starting to question my hardline stance on rescuing/adopting. It seems like there are more people trying to adopt dogs in this city than there are dogs that need homes, and not every breeder is an unethical backyard type or a puppy mill. That being said, I’m still averse to the idea of buying a dog and tend to think, if we can’t adopt, we’ll just not get a dog at all.

What do you guys think? I know there are some folks here who work in animal rescue and/or have adopted pets before, and I’m interested to hear what you think. Not just about our situation but about breeding vs. adopting in general.

ETA: Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences! There’s a lot of valuable information in here and lots for me to think about and talk with my partner about.