DON'T PURCHASE A PET ON A
"WHIM!" Responsible people NEVER acquire pets on a
whim. Research the pet you think you want to make sure the animal's needs match
your home situation and life style. Are you ready to make a commitment to the
animal for his or her LIFETIME? If not, please don't acquire a pet until you
are fully ready to accept the responsibility of pet ownership.
DATCP: Shopping for a Puppy for points to consider when
shopping for a puppy or a dog, as well as information on Wisconsin's Dog
DO RESEARCH THE BREEDS THAT
INTEREST YOU. There are many resources available both on the
internet and at your public library to help you learn about the traits,
temperaments, and characteristics of various pure-bred dogs. For basic
information, start with
Breeds Listing and
UKC Breed Information section. Also note what genetic
traits and colors are NOT desirable; beware of "breeders" offering
"rare" colors. In some cases, color is linked to a genetic trait such
as deafness (many all-white and some merle dogs, for example). A responsible
breeder will tell you upfront any "faults" inherent in the puppy you
are buying, and why that puppy isn't considered "show quality."
The Purina website has a
Dog Breed Selector to help you find a breed that will fit
in with your lifestyle.
DO RESEARCH THE COSTS OF
BUYING AND KEEPING A PET FOR HIS/HER LIFETIME. The totals,
calculated by Karen Peak of
Pet Peoples Place may surprise you.
RESEARCH AND KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILIBIES TO YOUR PET! A good
checklist can be found on Canine Crusaders'
Responsible Pet Ownership page.
DON'T BUY A PET AT A PET
SHOP! Responsible breeders NEVER sell their dogs to pet shops for
resale. Pet shop puppies are puppy mill puppies. They may have been taken from
their mom too early and shipped hundreds of miles. The adult dogs left behind
in the mills suffer. Don't support the misery. Pet shop animals often suffer
from disease, genetic disorders and anti-social behavior. These problems are
expensive and difficult to handle. It's simple
Don't buy a pet shop puppy.
here for lessons learned the hard way by others who bought a pet shop dog.
DON'T BUY A PET ON THE
INTERNET, THROUGH A CLASSIFIED AD, OR AT A SWAP MEET, AUCTION, OR FLEA MARKET!
Responsible breeders NEVER sell their animals on the Internet,
at auctions, swap meets or flea markets. You are taking a huge risk by buying a
pet at one of these places.
That is not to
say that many responsible breeders don't have informational websites about
themselves and their dogs, but they will not list puppies for sale with any
type of commercial 'puppyfinder' site or in online classifieds.
DO CONSIDER ADOPTING A
HOMELESS PET FROM A SHELTER OR RESCUE. Nearly 6 MILLION homeless
animals are euthanized ("put to sleep" or "humanely put to
death") in the United States every year! At this moment, thousands of
wonderful dogs, cats, birds, small animals, and even reptiles are looking for
their Forever Homes through rescues and shelters all over the country. There is
a rescue for every recognized breed of dog and cat, as well as Macaw rescues,
ferrett rescues, pot bellied pig rescues, horse rescues -- you name it. The
only fault these animals have is, irresponsible former owners who abused,
neglected, or just didn't want to be bothered with them.
pet adoption organizations stand behind their pets. If you have questions they
will be there to help you. Humane care givers get to know their adoptable pets
and can share information with you about their temperament, health and general
needs. Shelters and rescue groups CARE about the PET and they CARE about YOU.
are many resources for finding a shelter or rescue near you, including
Pets 911, a coalition of
many major national organizations, and
PetFinder, sponsored by
the ASPCA. If you are looking for a particular breed or species, just do a
search through any search engine using the key words your breed and
"rescue" -- for example, "great Dane rescue" or
"Persian cat rescue." You will be astounded at how many choices you
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE
PURCHASING A PET FROM A BREEDER. Many pets advertised for sale in
newspapers and on the internet come from Puppy Mills or disreputable Back Yard
Breeders (BYB). These people are in the "pet business" purely to make
a profit. They do not care about the quality, health or behavior of the
"product" they sell. They are only interested in making a profit from
selling animals. The less they provide for the animals, the more money they
buying a pet from a classified ad seller, it is wise to call your local
shelter, groomers, and/or vet and ask if they have any information about the
breeder. These animal care professionals may be aware of the reputation of the
breeder you are considering. Your local police or sheriff's department will
also be able to tell you if complaints have been filed against the person.
a look at our Red Flags:
Disreputable Breeders, Identifying a Quality
Breeder, and Breeders With Pride: Responsible Breeders
Speak Out pages to help you make an informed decision. The WI
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection also has some
outstanding information. See
DATCP: Information for Consumers or click on the
Additional Resources links below.
Andy is a wonderful, purebred beagle whose only
fault was to have an uncaring former owner.
He found his Forever Home through a rescue, and if he could speak for himself,
he would urge you to share your life with a homeless pet like himself.