Looking for a new Pet?
For years, this argument ensues: Adopt from a shelter or purchase from a breeder/pet store?
Although I highly recommend adopting a shelter pet, I do believe the choice CAN be either.
When seeking to add a pet to enhance your quality of life your first course of action should be to visit a local animal shelter. There are hundreds of pets of all ages and sizes available for a low-cost adoption fee. Adopting a shelter pet not only saves that animal’s life, it also opens up available space for another lost animal to have a chance for adoption.
Some families are only suited to handle dogs with specific temperaments. Your local shelters are filled with animals that would make perfect pets in just the right homes. Strict screening of your needs combined with the animal’s temperament and history can make for a successful adoption process. The misconception of shelters is that they are only filled with undesirable animals.
Here are some obvious pros and cons about purchasing from a shelter
· You are saving a life
· Adopting an adult (over 1 yr old) dog from a shelter results in less training time in your home (all the “puppy behaviors” are usually outgrown)
· Most often, these dogs are altered, chipped and have all their shots
· If you prefer a pure breed, there are many breed-specific rescue organizations on the internet
· You don’t know the behavior history of the animal
· Often, it is not known what breeds these animals are mixed with which can make a difference in temperament and size of the dog
Many people purchase puppies from pet stores or breeders without first researching the historical temperament of the breed. A responsible breeder will weed out someone who is an impulse buyer and will educate the individual on the specifics of that breed BEFORE accepting an application for purchase. Sadly, pet stores often purchase from puppy mills and do not weed out candidates who are not suitable for pet ownership. Puppy mills are responsible for many of the pets you find in the large chain pet stores. Animals are kept by the hundreds; and in some cases THOUSANDS; in small cages and under inhumane and unsuitable conditions. Please be responsible when shopping for a puppy as the only way to stop this type of breeding is to stop purchasing from stores who buy from puppy mills!
Here are some obvious pros and cons about purchasing from a breeder or pet store
· Quality breeding can filter out genetic defects known in specific breeds. For instance, hip dysplasia is a 100% genetic disorder and will be passed onto future generations if an animal with that trait is bred. If an animal shows genetic aggressive behavioral traits he should NOT be bred as there is the potential that this trait will be passed on as well. Responsible breeders will recognize these conditions and will not breed the pets that carry these and similar traits
· You know the breed and thus can predict the size and historical temperament of the animal before you buy it. Although this isn’t an exact science, it is a guideline for ownership
· Having the mother and father on premises gives you a visual idea about your own puppy’s size and temperament
· Backyard breeders or puppy mills are not focused on the quality of life of their animals which results in animal abuse and neglect
· Some breeders/puppy mills do not breed for quality but breed for puppy quantity which can result in genetic defects such as hip dysplasia being passed from generation to generation
· All sales are final so if the dog doesn’t fit your lifestyle you’re stuck (or you bring the animal to a shelter) or, if you are able to return the dog you have no idea what will really happening to it
· Cost prohibitive
Finally, there are many pros and cons on both sides of this argument, however, whether you prefer a pure bred dog or a mixed breed, your first choice should be to check your local shelters and rescue organizations for adoptable pets as they can often meet the specific needs of your family.