Breeder Or Rescue Organization?
Adding a new furry little member to your family is a huge decision. The next big decision you will have to make is where should it come from, should you adopt from a rescue organization, go to a pet shop or purchase from a breeder?
Some people think breeders just use innocent animals so they can make a profit and they don't even care about the animals. The adult animals often spend their entire lives locked in filthy cages and producing babies. Sadly, in some cases this is completely true. They are called "puppy mills."
There are rescue organizations devoted to saving the lives of unwanted pets. Yes, these are the good guys and they do what they do because so many people fail to spay and neuter their pets and because many breeders don't care about pet over population, they just care about making money.
You might be surprised to learn that quite often some of the people who are rescuing unwanted pets are also breeders. Reputable breeders often require that you complete an application before you can purchase one of their puppies. Many also require you to sign a contract stating that you will spay or neuter your pet in an effort to control pet over-population. It is also very common for their contract to state that if you decide not to keep the pet then you must surrender it to them rather than an animal shelter. They understand that they were responsible for that baby being brought into this world and they understand that although you made a lifetime commitment to that baby when you purchased it, sometimes life hits us with unexpected events that change our lives in big ways. Some breeders take full responsiblility for the lives they brought into this world and they accept it as a life-long responsibilty. Some of them even rescue pets from animal shelters in an effort to find them good forever homes and by doing so they are saving lives.
Reputable breeders often take responsibility for the lives they brought into this world and the lives of those who came from uncaring puppy mills.
Decisions, decisions ....
When choosing a dog the first step is to decide what kind of dog you want. You should research your chosen breed and select one that will be appropriate for your lifestyle. Even if you choose a mixed breed you should know the characteristics of the breeds.
If your lifestyle is similar to that of a couch potato then you don't want to adopt a high energy breed such as the Jack Russell Terrier or the Weimaraner. If you are athletic and want a dog to run with you while you jog or ride your bike then a breed such as the Bassett Hound probably wouldn't fit your lifestyle. You also want to look into the breed's known health issues, temperment and grooming requirements.
Where should you get your new pet?
It doesn't matter if you want a puppy or an older dog please consider adopting from a rescue organization or an animal shelter. You will be saving a life if you adopt from either of these places because every time a dog that is "safe" is adopted from a rescue it makes room for another one to be saved from a kill shelter.
Many animal shelters do have puppies available at times while others typically kill or spay the pregnant females and euthanize the puppies even if the puppies were just days away from being born naturally. If you want a purebred dog you're probably thinking you'll never find one in a shelter and especially not a "kill shelter." You might be surprised to learn that approximately 25 percent of the dogs in shelters are purebreds.
Rescue organizations don't always have a lot of little puppies but they always have many wonderful candidates, both young and old, who are looking for forever homes. Many of them have been rescued from kill shelters. Some have previously suffered in abusive situations but have received neccessary medical attention and sometimes rehabilitation as well. Although due to their troubled past some will have ongoing issues but with a little time and a lot of love even those issues can often be resolved. When you adopt from a rescue you are probably also unknowingly saving the life of another wonderful pet that you may never even see. When the pet you have selected goes home with you that makes room for one more to be rescued and it could possibly come from death row at a high kill shelter.
Rescue organizations usually have an application / screening process. Some of the questions might seem rather inappropriate but they do have reasons for asking. One question that some people find rather disturbing is, "Do you have any children or do you plan to have children?" There is a very good reason for asking that question. Some dogs are not good with children, some have even been abused by children. The dog might be fine with adults, teenagers and other pets but could have issues with small children.
If you want a registered dog, a show dog or one from a champion bloodline then purchasing from a reputable breeder is the obvious option but do some research first. See if any complaints have been posted on the internet. See if you can find multiple ads placed by the same person offering various breeds of dogs or a history of frequent ads for the same breed placed within a rather short period of time. Never allow the breeder to meet you somewhere, you want to see where the puppies came from and the conditions they live in. You should always insist on seeing the puppies, the mother and whenever possible the father too. Look for any obvious signs of health issues, abuse, neglect and temperment is very important.
If you suspect that the breeder is actually running a puppy mill you might be tempted to purchase a puppy from them anyway. Yes, you could be saving one dog from that horrible life but purchases such as yours will only encourage them to continue over-breeding dogs that are often forced to live in horrible conditions.
I've often wondered how many puppies they actually sell and who buys them? Surely some pet shops are stocked by puppy mills but what happens to the puppies they can't unload? The puppies grow, it costs more and more to feed them and they become a financial burden. I suspect that many of them end up being turned over to animal shelters or they are dumped in the laps of the good hearted rescue organizations so they can find good homes for them. If you do decide to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder you can probably find one by contacting a breed specific rescue since many of them are breeders as well as rescuers.
Rescue organizations depend on adoption fees and donations to support their efforts and I'm sure many of the foster parents spend a lot of their own money to meet the needs of their furry foster kids. Please consider adopting from a rescue organization or a reputable breeder who also does rescue work.
If you want a wonderful campanion then please do consider adoption either from a shelter or a rescue group.
And don't forget to research the breed you are interested in. Many dogs end up being turned over to rescue groups or animal shelters simply because the humans failed to educate themselves about the breed and bought the dog because they like the way it looks.
Be fair to the dog and to yourself, know your breed before you buy or adopt.