You’ve decided to bring a new pet into your life. Maybe you’re a first-time pet owner; maybe you lost a beloved pet and now you’re ready to love a new one. You’ve done your homework about the animal you have in mind, and now, the only decision you have left to make is where to get him or her. Do you adopt, or do you shop? What is the right way to go?
Adopt: There are many rescue groups to choose from. Some have been around for a long time and have built up a very good reputation and a very low return rate. These groups do everything possible to help the animals they take in find loving forever homes. Whether they’re babies, seniors, or they have special needs, these animals are given everything they need by these groups so that they can have another chance to live a happy life. You can also visit your local Humane Society; they have many different animals available for adoption.
Shop: There are different ways to shop for a new pet. Some pet stores have animals for sale. Some people are re-homing, others are selling puppies; these types of people advertise online in places like Craig’s List, pet-related Facebook groups, and Kijiji. PLEASE NOTE: Registered, ethical breeders do not advertise or sell their animals to pet stores.
Before you buy, do your homework. If you go through a breeder, will the breeder allow you to meet the parents and see their living conditions? Are the babies vet-checked? Will the breeder willingly show you those vet records and encourage you to verify them? If you’re going through a rescue group, has the adoption coordinator set up meet-and-greet visits with you and the animal you’re interested in to make sure you’re a good match? Have they arranged – and followed through on – a home visit to ensure that the animal’s needs will be well met and that they will be safe? Have they talked with you about when or if the animal will be alone and for how long?
Whether you adopt from a rescue group or your local Humane Society, or whether you decide to go through a breeder, when you purchase an animal, understand that you are making a lifetime commitment to love, care for, and provide for that animal to the very best of your abilities. Make sure that the animal you choose is a good fit for you and your family. Make sure you learn as much as possible about the animal you’re choosing – temperament, sociability, ease of training, exercise requirements, and etc.
Whatever route you choose to take, make sure the animal is a good fit for you and your family. Make sure you can meet his or her needs, and make sure he or she will be a good fit for you, too. Be realistic about your own capabilities to care for and be there for a pet. If you’re away a lot and you don’t have a sitter or a day care in place, please don’t get a pet at all. We bring pets into our lives because we want to share our love and be loved in return. Getting a pet and then leaving it alone all the time is just plain cruel.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.