So you have decided it’s time to get a new dog. Maybe you want a pure breed. Where do you go?
You could go to a pet store, but I really, really hope you won’t. Pretty much all pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills. They may tell you they get their dogs from “brokers” and not puppy mills, but a “broker” is only a middle man between the puppy mill and the store. Puppy mills are horrible places where animals are bred solely for the money. They are kept in horrendous living conditions and are bred over and over again. Don’t buy a dog from a pet store.
You could get a dog from someone selling puppies out of a box in a Walmart parking lot or from someone who is the neighbor of a friend of a friend. Both are likely to be “backyard breeders”. That is, they know little or nothing about dog breeding and breeding to improve the breed. Maybe their dog got pregnant by accident. Or they thought their kids should see the miracle of birth. Or they thought they could raise a few dollars selling the puppies. All those reasons are hooey. We have too many dogs already. Vet care for puppies is expensive. We need to be smart enough to make sure this kind of breeding doesn’t happen.
Yes, you could do some research and find a reputable breeder. Someone who really knows about the breed you are interested in. Someone who stands behind the puppies they produce. They are careful to not over breed; the puppies are socialized and get the health care they need. They will let you see both parent dogs and will expect that you will return the puppy for any reason, even if the reason is you can no longer care for the dog. They are very responsible.
A reputable breeder might be the best choice if it weren’t for so many purebred dogs at shelters and rescue groups. What’s that you say? Pure bred dogs at shelters and rescue groups?? Yes. A lot of them.
There are rescue groups for most of the more common and some not so common breeds. These groups are in contact with all of the local shelters and pull dogs from the shelters that are the breed they dedicate themselves to rescuing. Do an Internet search to find a rescue group for your favorite breed.
Even still there are pure breed dogs in the shelters. Most shelters always have a lot of dogs to choose from. Smaller dogs go pretty fast. Bigger dogs don’t get adopted as fast. Big black dogs are many times the last ones to get adopted. I don’t know why, they are so beautiful.
Both rescue groups and shelters check out their dogs to make sure they are healthy and not aggressive. Rescue groups many times keep their dogs in foster homes so the dogs can get socialized and be treated for any health issues. Many rescue groups and shelters advertise the dogs they have on petfinder.com.
If you are looking for a new dog, consider a shelter dog. They aren’t “damaged goods” and they need a good home. When you adopt a dog from a rescue group or shelter, you are truly saving a life.
If you have a shelter or rescue dog, please comment below and tell me about your experience.
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