Archive for September, 2010

The Choice is Yours

When choosing a new pet for your family, much time, thought and research into your decision is required. Pet ownership is not something one should enter into lightly. Owning a pet should be a LIFE LONG commitment, however, there are those that enter into pet ownership for the wrong reasons and with the wrong expectations, and more often than not it is the pet who suffers in the end. If Fluffy doesn’t fit into the owners lifestyle or live up to their expectations, then we get a phone call, and another animals comes through the doors of the shelter.

Contrary to popular belief, puppies and kittens grow up to be dogs and cats. Said dogs and cats don’t come pre-programed; any behaviors that you want/don’t want them to exhibit, YOU are responsible for teaching, this includes house-training!

Now that you’ve done the adequate research and you feel you are ready for the next step of choosing a pet,  you need to decide WHERE to get your new family member from. There are several options for this. Dogs and cats are not in short supply. In fact, there is a pet overpopulation problem, and sadly there are not enough homes for the amount of animals that are out there.

The 3 main sources of pets are Breeders, Shelters & Back Yard Breeders/Puppy Mills.

Seeing as this is a Blog for a HUMANE SOCIETY, there’s no question as to where we encourage everyone should get their pets from! But we wanted to provide information on the other sources of pets so you can make an informed decision.

BREEDERS:

When done responsibly and properly Breeders are excellent at providing families with specific dog/cat breeds that can make happy and healthy life long pets. It is the owner’s responsibility to do the research and locate a reputable breeder to purchase their pets from.

The following are traits of a good breeder:

– They demonstrate detailed knowledge on the breed’s traits, history and temperament as they have years of experience dealing with that particular breed.

– They do not sell their animals through pet stores. They require an extensive adoption application, interview and approval process to ensure that their offspring are the right fit for a person’s home and lifestyle.

– Will have the mother of the litter on the premises for potential buyers to observe her health and temperament.

– They evaluate the health of their litter’s through health and genetic testing. They also vaccinate and deworm their offspring, and will not let them leave the mother before they are 8 weeks old. They will also provide a health guarantee.

– They are focused on improving the breed and will only breed healthy animals with good temperaments.

– If for any reason the purchaser is unable to keep the pet, the breeder will take it back or assist with re-homing it.

BACK YARD BREEDERS

These are people who breed animals for fun, or profit, without thinking of the quality of puppies/kittens they are reproducing, or the health and well being of the breeding dogs/cats. Their animals are seen as “breeding machines” and are forced to pump out litter after litter. They do not see puppies or kittens in need of homes. They see dollar signs and will sell them to anyone who is willing to pay the price, regardless of what type of home situation they come from. Back Yard Breeder’s do not test their animals for health problems, nor do they strive to maintain the reputation of the breed they are selling. They breed any available male, to an available female, regardless of genetic makeup or temperament. Back Yard Breeders ruin the breed that so many professional and reputable breeders strive to maintain.

If you are looking for a new pet, a Back Yard Breeder is the LAST place you should go.

SHELTERS

Shelters are literally full of dogs and cats looking for forever homes. They come from a variety of places and backgrounds. Some are surrendered by owners for a number of reasons: for not meeting their owners expectations, got too big, too hairy, allergies, moving, the arrival of a new baby, their cat/dog had a litter etc. Others are abandoned after their owners moved away. Most are strays, found wandering the streets left to fend for themselves.

Shelters literally have something for everybody. Large breed dogs, small breed dogs, old dogs, puppies, and yes, sometimes we even get Purebred dogs! We have big cats, small cats, loud cats, quiet cats, playful cats, reserved cats, short haired, medium haired, long haired, and in any color imaginable (except rainbow!). When choosing a pet, a shelter is a great place to start. Although we cannot provide a detailed lineage or genetic makeup of your dog, we do try to ensure that they have a good temperament, are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and dewormed and healthy before they leave our shelter. We also provide 30 days of free health insurance just in case! These animals are one unique and one of a kind! And the best part of all? They NEED you! Breeders and Back Yard Breeders produce their dogs based on supply and demand. People want these breeds, therefore each puppy/kitten will get a home because there is someone out there who wants it. If you don’t purchase a dog from a breeder, chances are someone else will. It is different for a shelter animal. They are unwanted, abandoned, neglected and are in need of homes. We don’t have people beating our door down for these animals. They need loving and caring people like you to give them a safe, warm and happy home. It is my personal philosophy that every animal in our shelter has an owner…they just haven’t found them yet. We work hard to keep these animals as long as it takes for them to find a home, but in other shelters there are those that are not so lucky, and they never find their forever home.

If more people spayed and neutered their own pets, there wouldn’t be the problem of pet overpopulation. And if more people adopted from shelters, there would be less animals facing euthanasia due to lack of space.

When it comes to choosing where to adopt a new family member, the choice is yours.

But keep in mind: Somewhere, a life depends on your choice.

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