Toulmin-Based Argument in Support of Pet Adoptions Essay

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Toulmin-Based Argument in Support of Pet Adoptions From Shelters

More people who want pets should adopt them from shelters because many unwanted animals are being destroyed each year in favor of purebred species obtained from other sources which provide their operators with a profit. The worth of the lives of these otherwise-doomed animals, though, far outweighs the individual pet-owning preferences of owners and no animal should be destroyed in favor of one that is bred for sale. Certainly, as discussed further below, this does not mean that individual pet-owners do not have a right to choose what type of animal they want for their families, but it does mean that more emphasis needs to be placed on pet adoptions from shelters to save as many animals from destruction as possible. In fact, some American communities have gone so far as to adopt a "no kill" policy in their pet shelters that ensures no pets will be destroyed, making this an optimal solution where it is feasible.

Reasons in Support of Pet Adoptions from Shelters

The term "pet" includes a wide range of animal species, but typically refers to dogs, cats, fish and other commonly kept household animals (Fine, 2006). In the United States, millions of people own dogs and cats in particular, and animal shelters overflow with abandoned pets (Cherry, 2007). Although the reasons for pet abandonment differ, in many cases, they involve a lack of understanding concerning just how much work pet ownership entails. For example, Cherry emphasizes that, "Shelters are filled with puppies about six months old because people didn't think ahead about the animal being a 'kid' and needing time to learn what's expected of them" (p. 78).

In other cases, though, pets are not so much abandoned as they are placed for adoption through these shelters in the hopes that they will be placed in a loving home due to financial or healthcare reasons. In this regard Cherry adds that, "Many adult canines that get sent to shelters are well-mannered and loving, put up for adoption only because their owners couldn't keep them any longer" (2007, p. 79). A growing number of communities across the country have implemented so-called "no-kill" policies in their shelters that ensure animals are kept in a nurturing environment until they are placed in a new home or die of natural causes, and these shelters have successfully reduced their euthanasia rates and increased their placement rates as a result (Boks, 2005).

Warrants in Support of Pet Adoptions from Shelters

There is a growing recognition in the United States that animal shelters are overflowing and that something needs to be done to reverse this ugly trends. In response, a number of groups have emerged in recent years that encourage people seeking pets to adopt them from local animal shelters (Guither, 1998). According to Guither, "Recognizing the overpopulation of pets, most organizations promote spaying and neutering to reduce the number of unwanted animals being born. Vigorous campaigns for spay/neutering provide some evidence that euthanization of homeless dogs and cats dropped roughly 40% from 1985 to 1990" (p. 108). Moreover, pet ownership confers a number of healthy outcomes, and companion pets in particular have been shown to provide owners with a wide range of benefits, including longer lives that are characterized by higher quality (Fine, 2006). These are especially important considerations as the American population grows older and the Baby Boomer generation continues to join the retired ranks in increasing numbers in the future.

Data in Support of Pet Adoptions from Shelters

The Humane Society estimates that around 60% of all animals brought to animal shelters are destroyed each year and animal activists continue to search for ways…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Boks, E. (2005, May). Carrot & stick. Vegetarian Times, 331, 54.

Cherry, R. (2007, April). Puppy love. Vegetarian Times, 349, 78-79.

Fine, A.H. (2006). Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice. Boston: Elsevier/Academic Press.

Guither, H.D. (1998). Animal rights: History and scope of a radical social movement.

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