So you’ve found yourself scrolling down your Facebook feed, looking at all of the pictures of cats and dogs, and you’ve decided, you want to bring home a pet. You have everything ready, now all that matters is – where should you get your pet? What’s the ethical thing to do and what is the safest place to go? Read on below for a detailed discussion on how to find the perfect animal to become a part of your home.
Even before getting your pet, you need to decide on what you want and what is best for you. This changes from person to person. For example, you may want a cat, but one that is hypoallergenic so the members of your family don’t get sick all the time. Or, you may want a dog, but want one for guarding instead of for ‘show’.
These preferences of yours should be clear to you, and they include a lot of research. If you go in blindly, you may end up bringing home the wrong pet. Either this will end up in a lot of stress for you, or it may result in the return of animal . Chances are, both these scenarios may be very difficult for both you and the adorable animal who thought he or she was going to its forever home.
The main ways to get pets
So now that you have it all figured out, you can focus on the way to get your pet. You can either buy animals, or you can adopt or rescue an animal from a shelter. Read on below for details on the ethics of getting animals from each of these sources, and how you can go about it to get the perfect furry animal.
This option is often used when the owner is looking for a special breed or exotic animals, which can be found through several sources. Especially when it comes to the selling and buying of animals, you may feel like you may be crossing some ethical lines.
This can be the case if you are not careful when you are choosing the place to buy the pet, as you may be inadvertently fueling businesses that are unlicensed or illegal, and end up mistreating the animals that they are selling.
Your best bet when it comes to the purchasing of pets is breeders who have a breeding license. These are people who have the right training and knowledge to not only carry out breeding properly, but also ensure that the puppies and kittens are kept safe, and the mothers are not put in exhaustion and harmed through continuous breeding.
Usually, breeders place the puppies and kittens for sale after they have been certified and vaccinated. Before you purchase the pet, make sure that you have all of the documentation to make sure that he or she is the right breed. You can even ask to see the rest of the litter or the parents to make sure the pedigree is correct. Commercial breeders can ensure that:
- The animals are raised according to strict ethical guidelines.
- The puppies or cats are true breeds and certified.
- Proper techniques are utilized to make sure the mothers are not misused.
- The young puppies and kittens will not be sold until they are old enough.
In some parts of the world, unlicensed breeders tend to buy male and female animals, mate them, and then sell their litter on to pet lovers. Although this may seem to be ethical, this can have disastrous outcomes, not just for the people purchasing the pets, but also for the animals themselves.
When you buy from an unlicensed breeder, you have no assurance that the animal is purebred. Secondly, because of a lack of training, these breeders won’t use approved techniques for breeding, which can result in the birth of animals that have special needs. Because of the fact that they have no license, you can also not guarantee that they will adhere to the rearing guidelines that licensed breeders must follow.
A lot of times, unlicensed breeders may also separate their cats and dogs from their litter very early. This is a bad idea because not only will they suffer health wise from the absence of their mother’s milk, but they may also develop behavioral problems. Their mother was not around to tell them what is or isn’t ‘good behavior’.
You may look at those adorable faces of animals in cages in your local pet shop and be tempted to buy from them. This can be a big mistake. Animals at pet shops are frequently at risk of contracting diseases because of their living conditions and proximity.
Additionally, you may find these animals are harder to housebreak and have behavioral problems, as the pet store employees won’t be bothered with training them like a licensed breeder. These animals may cost more than what you would normally give to a breeder, and you probably won’t get the right documentation to prove the dog or cat’s breed.
You must be wondering, why should I not buy animals from unverified sources? The fact is, when you buy from an illegitimate or unlicensed breeder, you may be unknowingly financially supporting puppy mills and such businesses. These are illegal businesses which keep animals in awful conditions and keep producing puppies so they can make more money.
If you are careful where you buy your pets, you can starve out these businesses. If your country has the right laws, you can report unlicensed breeders and pet shops mistreating animals. In some parts of the world, pet shops are actually restricted from selling any animals that can potentially be from puppy mills.
You have a part to play in making sure the animals get the right care, treatment, and training and are only bred by people who have the knowledge and means to do so ethically.
If you aren’t specific about the breed of animal you want to bring to your home, a great option for you is adoption. This will help you give a home to an animal that really needs it. Read on below for information about where and how you can adopt animals.
Rescues and strays
You need to make sure you are up to date in your research and are fully informed about the responsibility you are taking up when adopting. Make sure you get full health information and are financially able to cater to the needs of these dogs and cats.
The thing about rescues is that usually, they just show up with little planning. However, you need to carefully evaluate whether you can give the animal the best possible life. For example, you can’t plan for whether you see an injured animal on your way to work. However, whether you chose to later adopt them or not, always get injured animals the help that they need whenever you see them.
A great and wonderful option is adopting animals at your local shelter. What this means is that you can visit shelters or humane societies, interact with the animals, and take the one who you love to take home. There is usually an adoption process, and some follow-up by the shelter to make sure that the animal is safe and healthy.
This form of adoption is very beneficial to shelters because it helps support other animals in the area that could need the help. In addition to this, in some shelters, animals are euthanized after some time. You could very well be saving the life of an animal by taking him or her into your home.
Finally, a wonderful option for you is to take on animals that are being rehomed. The biggest benefit of this is that these animals are already domesticated and probably have been taken care of medically before. All you need to do is give these animals love, and they will adapt to your home in no time. Not only are you helping out someone who might be in a tight spot, but you’re giving hope and a chance at a happy life to an animal along the way.