While local pet store owners should know exactly where the pups are housed before receiving them, most of them either don’t care or take the ‘wholesalers’ word that the animals are happy and healthy. The plus side: more and more cities are taking steps to either ban pet stores or enforce stricter rules on where they obtain their animals. (PS: You can get involved too. Tell your local officials that you support animal welfare laws – like those limiting the amount of pets a person can own and breed, and establishing standards of care for anyone intending to sell animals for profit. Seriously, it can’t hurt and may even elevate your community.)
Backyard breeders, on the other hand, are a little easier to spot, as they’ll have an abundance of “designer” breeds available ‘right away’ (usually around the 6-week mark, when 8-10 is recommended), they’ll be very evasive when asked questions, and will probably want to meet off site. We want you to get a happy, healthy companion from someone who cares about the integrity of their animals. If you are getting a dog or cat from an independent breeder, here are 5 things to look for to ensure they’re responsible:
✔ They don’t have multiple litters available at once; most breeders who care about the wellbeing of their animals usually have a wait list.
✔ They let you see where the puppies are housed and ‘meet’ the parents.
✔ Can explain their medical background and care up until they become yours.
✔ Don’t pressure you in any way to purchase from them.
✔ Ask YOU questions, as that’s a clear indicator they care where the pup is going.
The best way you can help is to be informed and share the information with anyone who may be considering bringing a purebred pal into their life. Protect Pet Choice is a phenomenal resource in educating yourself about breeding standards and the evolution of laws and legislation regarding such. And, of course, never forget about the amazing breed-specific rescues out there – not only will you get the dog of your dreams, you’ll be giving them a new lease on life!
Don’t get us wrong, we’ve got nothing against purebred pals – so show us your beauties online! (Even if they’re not pure, we’d still love to see their floofy little faces!)