After promising his two daughters that they could have a dog if he won the election, President-Elect Barack Obama and his family will adopt a dog from a shelter.

Everytime someone buys an animal from a pet store or breeder, an animal in a shelter has one less opportunity to find a loving home. There are a number of problems with buying pure-bred animals, such as health problems and the cruelty of puppy mills. Less obvious are the sheltler animals who go unadopted for so long, and are sometimes (usually, in fact) put to sleep.

Hopefully the Obamas’s choice will be influential to others across the United States. I also feel that the adoption of a shelter dog is just one more action that proves that the presidency of Barack Obama will be different from anything we’ve had in the past. He will be more connected to the American people, and his non-elitist ways form a bond between him and the people that he governs.