There comes a day in the lives of many of us when we have finally decided to get a pet. Now the real challenge starts. Where to get that so longed for addition to your household.
There are several options when searching for the special dog or cat to fill the void in your life. AKC (American Kennel Club) breeders for puppies and dogs for sale; and CFA (Cat Fanciers of America) and TICA (The International Cat Association) for cats and kittens. Breeders of specific types of dogs and cats allow the person searching for a pet to know what to expect since certain breeds have particular traits indicative of that specific animal. Some breeds will have a tendency to be more friendly, some breeds more protective of their territory (including their people). This is one reason some choose to go to a breeder when looking for an animal that will fit into their home and lifestyle. You may have a better understanding of that animal’s personality traits than if you picked up a stray.
While breeders are reliable, and generally sell only healthy animals there is a popular movement over the last several years to adopt a homeless dog rather than purchase a puppy. This is a great option as the animal shelters are overflowing with abandoned, unwanted pets. While most of these animals make fine pets there is something to consider, what is their background. If they are fearful, or skittish it may mean there was abuse of some kind in their past. Often times it takes a special person to help animals overcome such a past. This is often the argument in buying or adopting a puppy, or kitten rather than fully grown adult. I certainly agree that there are downfalls to adopting a grown pet, but just think of the lives that would be saved if more people adopted their pets. Animal shelters generally require adopters to have the animals spayed or neutered, this in turn helps reduce the unwanted births of litters. *a side note: Animal shelters often have other animals for adoption besides dogs and cats. Birds, rodents, and even horses can sometimes be adopted through shelters.
Another kind of shelter is the “No Kill” pet adoption agency. These agencies are usually staffed by volunteers who not only help place animals in homes, but they find foster homes for them until they can be permanently placed. It is not at all unusual to find these same volunteers with several foster pets in their homes.
This brings to mind another place a person can find kittens and puppies. They are often given away in front of grocery stores and other shopping areas. While this can be tempting, again, you know nothing of that animals parentage. These critters usually do not have their first shots, and can be carrying fleas. Once more, the temptation is great, the babies are cute, cuddly, our kids love them, we love them, and to think– we can buy food for them as we are buying our groceries. How many of us can bravely walk passed that cardboard box filled with warm, squirming,cuddly, lumps of love. This is why giving puppies away in front of a store is usually quite successful.
As you can see there are many choices when beginning the search for a pet. These are only a few, but it’s a good place to start your search.