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OUTLINE: Persuasive Speech

Title: Why You Should Adopt An Animal

General Purpose: To Actuate Change
Specific Purpose: To Persuade the Audience to Adopt an Animal and/or Support Animal Shelters
Persuasive Proposition: You should adopt, rather than buy, a pet.

I. Attention Step/Introduction:
A. Opening Statement of interest: Good morning everyone. This is my dog Duncan. He was just over a
month old when my family adopted him from The Humane Society. Now he is 9 and continues to have a
loving home. If we had not adopted him, where would he be now? The sad truth is, he might not even have
been alive.
B. Reason (s) to listen: Have you ever wondered why adoption is so important? It is not just about owning an
animal; it’s about saving a life. Today I will tell you why you should adopt an animal.
C. Speaker credibility: My name is Eric Feeney, and I have extensively researched the topic of adopting
versus buying animals. I also own a pet that was at first given to an animal shelter before being given to me.
D. Overview main sections: In my speech, I will talk to you about why adoption is beneficial to animals, our
society, and you.
II. Need Step (for each argument you present):
A. State argument: Adopting a pet is better than buying a pet because it supports humane ways of treating
B. Illustration: If you buy a dog from a pet store, you are unfortunately supporting puppy mills, which
according to The Humane Society, “are ‘factory style’ dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the
welfare of dogs.”
C. Ramifications:
1. There are also kitten mills that commit the same kind of brutality on cats.
2. The dogs and cats that are used to breed are housed in cages with little to no physical and social
activity, and after being bred enough times, they are killed, abandoned, or sold because they are
considered useless.
3. If you buy a pet rather than adopt, you support this animal cruelty, whether you wanted to or not,
because these breeders will continue breeding these animals if they know they can make a profit off
of them.
D. Pointing: Adoption ensures that you don’t support this animal abuse and encourages others to adopt as
III. Satisfaction Step
A. Persuasive Proposition: You should adopt, rather than buy, an animal, for the reason that it will improve
the lives of animals, our society, and you.
B. Explanation of solution: As you already heard, buying pets means supporting puppy and kitten mills,
while adoption saves lives.
C. Theoretical demonstration:
1. Animals usually end up in shelters not because of something they did, but because of “people
reasons”, such as a divorce, a move, or financial reasons.
2. Adopting an animal gives them a second chance at life.
3. You actually save 2 pets when you adopt one: the one that you adopted and the one that fills the
space in the shelter that would have otherwise been left on the street.
4. Your adoption will reduce the number of the current 2.7 million dogs and cats that are euthanized
(put down) annually in the United States.
D. Practical experience: According to Best Friends Animal Society, they house “the nation’s largest no-kill
animal sanctuary,” housing approximately 1,700 animals. All of these animals are raised until they are
ready for adoption. There are many shelters like this one scattered throughout the country, but most
people don’t pay attention to them. I, and several of my friends, own pets from shelters and have loved
them very much. This is how it has worked in the past.
E. Meeting objections:
1. “I have so many pets already and I do not have the time or energy to adopt another.”
a. You can donate to animal shelters so they can continue housing them. According to Best Friends
Animal Society, it costs just $83 to save an animal.
b. You can volunteer at animal shelters or at their fundraisers.
2. “There is absolutely no way I can afford a pet and its treatments.”
a. According to Helping Hands Human Society Incorporated, adopting an animal ($50-$100) is
much less expensive than buying a pet ($500-$1000+).
b. Most pets that are adopted come with thorough medical examinations, as well as vaccinations,
screenings, and being housetrained and spayed or neutered.
3. “I’ll never be able to find the pet I’m looking for in an animal shelter.”
a. There is actually a larger variety of animals at shelters than in pet stores (since puppy and kitten
mills typically breed only one type of dog or cat).
b. According to Helping Hands Human Society Incorporated, approximately 25% of all dogs and
cats in animal shelters are purebreds.
c. In animal shelters, you can get an adult pet if preferred, while most pet stores usually sell only
puppies and kittens.
4. “I just don’t see how having a pet will benefit me.”
a. Caring for an animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
b. Animals ease loneliness and isolation.
c. According to The Humane Society, studies have shown that being around domesticated animals
lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
d. Studies have also shown that animals make people happier.
e. Dog walking, pet grooming, and even petting are all forms of physical exercise and strengthen
the heart, improve circulation, and slow the loss of bone tissue.
IV. Visualization Step
A. Restatement of proposed solution: The lives of animals and you both benefit from adopting a pet.
1. Contrasting Visualization: Imagine a dog on the street. He is trotting along, looking for the house
he calls home. He has the most pitiful face and is very skinny. Then you see an animal shelter
truck pass by. They would stop if they could, but they don’t have enough room in their shelter.
You go up to the dog. You try to find his tags, but it seems that he has lost them. That means
that hundreds of people could have seen this dog but no one has been able to help it. As you
look around, you see dozens of people, all unable or unwilling to help him. You’ve had enough.
You pick up the helpless animal and decide to take him home. You put a lost dog advertisement
in your local newspaper and put up some posters, but no one ever claims him. Meanwhile, you
have grown to love him and decide to adopt him. You get him screened, neutered, and
vaccinated by the local shelter. All the volunteers there admire your initiative. The adoption is a
success and you love the dog as you both age. The dog is very happy and will always love you
V. Action Step
A. Restatement and summary: In conclusion, adopting a pet is better than buying a pet because it supports
humane views on how we should look at animals.
B. Urge audience to take action or attitude change: I strongly encourage you all to think about adopting an
animal and/or helping animal shelters.
C. Statement of personal interest: I personally will continue to care for my dog Duncan, as well as put my
time and effort in caring for animals.
D. Reason to remember: So, will you be the one who just walks by a mistreated animal, or will you be the
one who adopts and does something about it?


"Our No Kill Mission." Best Friends Animal Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2014.

"Top 10 Reasons to Adopt from an Animal Shelter." Helping Hands Human Society Incorporated. N.p., 2014.
Web. 10 July 2014. <>.

"Top Five Reasons to Adopt." The Humane Society. The Humane Society, 3 May 2013. Web. 10 July 2014.