If you and your family are looking for a new family pet to bring into your home, you have a lot of choices. How do you know who to believe, where to buy or adopt, and whether or not you’re going to be getting a good animal.
The first option is the breeder option.
PROS: While animals from a breeder can sometimes be more expensive option, if you find a reputable breeder, their animals will be in better health, well taken care of and well loved. The animals will have better social skills and temperaments.
CONS: However, if you find a bad breeder, say one that doesn’t know what they’re doing, or is just doing it for money (a reputable breeder will not breed animals just for money, they do it to better the breed), your experience with a new animal may not be a favorable one. Most likely you are going to get an animal that isn’t well socialized, has health issues and temperament and trust issues.
So how do you know if the person is a good breeder or a bad breeder? Check out my article on What Questions to Ask Your Breeder.
The second option in finding a pet is to visit your local Humane Society or Animal Shelter. There are a lot of people that are both for this option and against this option. Pets from the Humane Society can cost a little more, but the animals will be in good health or at least on treatment to be brought back to good health, will have been spayed or neutered and micro chipped. Also, your first visit to your vet for a check up and exam will be free if you adopt from our Animal Shelter/KS Humane Society.
The cons would be that you don’t know the history of the animal. While the staff at the Animal Shelter and Humane Society try their best to find out as much as possible about the animal, including temperament, likes and dislikes, you just won’t know for sure 100%.
I personally like the idea of adopting a pet from the Humane Society because there are so many unwanted, neglected, and abused animals out there, so come through the Humane Society’s doors and some never make it to that point. The Humane Society has programs to help these animals become adjusted to trusting people and being a great pet that recognizes love. The Humane Society also takes steps to insure that there won’t be more unwanted pets produced by the animals that come through their facility because they have all their animals spayed and neutered. They also make sure that if a family pet does accidentally get away there is a way to track them back to their owner by placing a microchip in every animal they adopt out. Any vet office or Animal Control Officer can read the chip and return the animal to their owner.
Some Humane Societies are what is referred to as no-kill animal shelters. This means they will not put an animal asleep due to the lack of interest in the animal after so many days. The Ks Humane Society in Wichita however has no choice to be a no-kill shelter due to all the unwanted animals that come in there daily, although they do try their best to get the animals adopted out. They try promotions and give deals on the price of the animal (for example, the last few years all adult cats over 9 months of age are free to adopt, and for short periods of times throughout the year you can adopt kittens for buy one get one free).
If you are looking for a no-kill shelter in Ks, I suggest Meadowbrook Safe Harbor Vet. Some people believe that they keep the methods of getting these animals a secret and suggest that they buy these animals out of bad situation which is just supporting the person that was creating the bad situation to begin with. However, its more important to me that they are able to rescue these dogs, bring them back to health and then adopt them out to a loving home for only the cost of the treatments the animal had to receive while in their care, and at least these animals will not be put down if they don’t find a home right away.
Both Meadowbrook and the Humane Society have foster programs that you can apply to be in and help out with these unwanted animals as well.
The third option in adopting the perfect pet for your family would to be to adopt from someone you know. Maybe a co-worker just found out her cat was pregnant and she has 9 kittens she needs to find homes for, or your best friend has Chihuahuas that just had pups, or your neighbor down the street is no longer able to provide care for his Great Dane and must get rid of it. The better you know the person, the more likely you are going to know how well they take care of their animals and why they need to get rid of them. By purchasing from someone you know you are also helping keep those animals out of the animal shelter and humane societies which are already over run with animals needing homes daily.
And last but not least is adopting from a rescue organization. Rescue organizations take unwanted or uncared for animals, bring them back to good health as much as they can and try to get them well socialized before adopting them out. They also have strict adoption process to make sure that the animal will not be going back to the same environment that it just came from.
The Con with a rescue organization is that many of the animals will have behavioral issues as well as health issues so you will need to be able to handle these special needs financially, emotionally and responsibly.