So- you want a new companion and a new addition to your family. Congrats! New pet owners should primarily consider if they have the time, money, space and over all life style that would be compatible with your new family member. If seen fit, the next concern owners should take is: where should you shop for your new furry friend? A great place to start is at a rescue group or animal shelters.
75% of animals in shelters will be euthanized due to not being adopted and having no room left. Lots of people have a misconception of shelters and often think that they’re “no good” animals with health and behaviour problems. But this could not be farther from the truth. Shelters offer second chances to animals that have been left behind because their owners could no longer take care of them either their own health issues, they are moving to where animals are not accepted, divorce and many other reasons. Not because they are aggressive or bad. Employees or volunteers spend quality time with each and every animal so they get to know them individually. They then create a profile for them so that when the time comes, they can pair each pet with the perfect family.
Finding Responsible Breeder
If you have checked out rescue groups and shelters and still haven’t found “the one” then here is what you do. It is very important that you take precautions when purchasing animals anywhere but especially from breeders. Issues with breeders come more commonly with those who breed dogs and sell them in places like pet stores and online websites who are mass breeding facilities- more commonly known as puppy mills. If you have decided to buy from a breeder, you will want to support those who have their dog’s best interest at heart.
People who breed responsibly typically will not just give their puppies to just anyone who shows up with cash. Too many people unsuspectingly buy puppies from mills and other places that would like to make a quick buck or two simply because they have a dog “with papers”. Unfortunately too often, these cases result in poor genetic health due to where they came from and can cause suffering, pain and temperament issues. Sometimes these issues won’t arise until later in the animal’s life and can be extremely expensive to treat and it we can’t always promise a happy ending.
Do your homework! There are lots of things to look for if you purchase a dog from a breeder. A breeder worth trusting will have nothing to hide and should be willing to show you the warm, clean and spacious room where their dogs and puppies live happily, not where it is not dirty, over-crowded and where they’re confined to cages. Their dogs and puppies should all meet psychological and physical needs with proper exercise, toys and socialization that animals require in order to keep their minds stimulated and happy. Sellers should be able to share with you the genetic history/pedigree, papers from veterinary visits to prove that they have full intention of healthy parent dogs who will have healthy litters, written contracts of health guarantee, and three thumbs up if they have reliable references from other buyers. Interest in keeping contact after you have purchased your furry new friend is also an important quality to look for as well.
Not only should you do your research, but the breeder should be doing some of their own investigating too. They should ask general questions to their potential buyer as would a rescue shelter. They should know that their puppies are going to good homes, so it would be appropriate for them to ask why you want a dog, basic knowledge about your home life (if you have kids, who will be responsible, if your schedule is fitting etc.) and maybe even a contract stating that if something does not work out, that you will return the puppy to the breeder. If the breeder does not fit the description above, we encourage you to walk away and wait until you find another and better opportunity.
For more information, please visit:
Finding Responsible Breeder
Brianne Stewart, Vet Assistant