There are many ways where you can acquire a pet, make sure that you find the best solution for yourself and one where the animal’s welfare is put first.
Adoption is the best choice
Adoption of a pet from a shelter is the best way to find a new companion. There are many animals in shelters waiting for a new home to call their own, including a large variety of breeds, sizes, and ages of animals. Some shelters also rehome small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters who are often sadly taken to shelters when the children they have been bought for have lost interest in caring for them. The benefit of rehoming from a reputable animal shelter is that the animals will have been assessed both in terms of their health and behaviorally and will have been vaccinated, microchipped and neutered ready for their new home. Read more here!
The pet trade is a big business, that is often exploited by unscrupulous breeders and dealers.
Some tips to help you find your pet and avoid buying from unscrupulous breeders and sellers:
Finding a Reputable Breeder
Taking the time to find a reputable breeder that responsibly breeds healthy animals will increase your chances of ending up with a happy, healthy, and well socialized dog/cat. Take time to research different breeders including looking at breed clubs and assured breeder schemes, where breeders are inspected by the kennel club. A responsible breeder will be happy to answer all your questions and ask you just as many to make sure that their puppies/kittens are going to a good home. They will also provide you with genuine paperwork/certificates for puppy vaccinations, microchipping, worming and results of any health tests where relevant. A responsible breeder will not rush you into parting with your cash in exchange for a puppy, they will not avoid showing you the mother dog/cat by saying she is not available, or offer to deliver the puppy/kitten to you or hand over the puppy/kitten in a random place such as a car park, they will also not try to cover up any apparent health issues such as runny eyes/nose and will be available for any questions you may have after buying your puppy/kitten.
- Avoid buying from pet stores/markets: Animals sold in pet stores/markets often come from mass-production facilities such as puppy farms. Their health status is unknown as is their origin and the animals sold often have not been properly bred or socialised resulting in health and behavioural issues later in life.
- Be very careful when buying online: it is very important to carry out thorough checks when buying from a breeder online such as on a classified ad site. There are many illegal and irresponsible dealers online who have bought animals from puppy farms to sell on for a profit, claiming that the puppies are ‘home bred’ when in fact they may have been imported from abroad. Often these puppies are bred in poor conditions, removed from their mothers far too young and transported hundreds of miles to be sold online. Generally, they are advertised with very little information and no reference to the mother. The dealer may offer to deliver the puppy and will be reluctant to answer lots of questions. Be vigilant: dishonest online dealers have developed all sorts of clever ways to appear reputable to unsuspecting buyers. If you are not sure, step away from the purchase!
- Avoid cross-border adoption: Adopting animals from abroad has become a trend lately however there are thousands of animals available for adoption in local shelters, who desperately need loving homes as well. Helping animals in other countries, while making a difference for the individual animal will not solve the problem in that country. If you are concerned about the stray animal issue in other countries, then it is best to support local animal welfare organsiations that are lobbying for change in legislation and animal protection in those countries.