A pet is not a toy. A pet will not always be a cute, cuddly baby in perfect health. A pet is not a passing fad or trend. Pets are living creatures that need long term love and nurture just like a person does. Far too many animals end up in shelters because someone decided to purchase a pet without thinking through the long term responsibility of caring for it.
Pet stores that sell animals will generally sell the pet to anyone who has the money to pay for it. There is no screening to ensure that the pet is going to a suitable environment. There is rarely an attempt to educate the individual about the needs of the pet beyond the very basics.
Most people do love and care for their pets, but pets being sold in stores to any consumer must end so that less fortunate animals do not end up in the hands of neglectful or abusive owners. Or end up euthanized in a shelter because their owner did not know what else to do with the pet once they tired of it.
If one is considering pet ownership, adoption of an unwanted animal is the best route. Organizations such as the ASPCA genuinely care about the health and well being of the animal, not just making a sale, and can provide potential pet owners with the proper information needed to care for the animal. Plus, an animal is being given a second shot at a decent life.
The potential pet owner must then take a hard look at their lifestyle, their finances, their expectations, their family life, etc. to ensure that the new pet truly is a good fit and will be taken care of for the rest of the pet’s life.
Most people would consider it horrifying to abandon or abuse a human child because the child no longer fit into the person’s life. There is no reason to think that abandoning or abusing a helpless animal is any different.