Survey finds young adults less likely to adopt pets

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Forty-six percent of adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to purchase a pet from a breeder or pet store than to consider adoption, versus 31 percent across age groups, according to a national survey on pet adoption by Best Friends Animal Society.

The survey also found that nearly four of 10 young adults, in comparison with three of 10 people across age groups, think animals in a shelter are not necessarily at risk and will remain in a shelter until adoption. Forty-six percent of young adults, in comparison with 33 percent of the total surveyed, think shelter animals are less desirable than animals from breeders.

“We were sad to learn that to some extent, animals in shelters are stereotyped by young adults as damaged goods,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer and co-founder of Best Friends. “The fact is that every day in this country, perfectly wonderful family pets land in shelters through no fault of their own, all of whom need and deserve a home of their own.”

Americans do love their pets, according to the survey. Nine of 10 people consider themselves pet lovers, whether or not they own a pet. Nevertheless, only 66 percent believe in regular veterinary check-ups, and just 65 percent believe in getting their pets spayed or neutered. 

The survey found that most people are advocates of pet adoption (86 percent), praise the virtues of providing an animal with a home (82 percent), think they save money adopting over purchasing (46 percent), and see it as a benefit that shelter animals are already spayed or neutered before adoption (55 percent). Yet, only six of 10 say they would first look to adopt over purchase.