Buying vs Adopting

Little man a day after being saved from 'Death Row'! He was a full blooded Jack Russell Terrier in a kill shelter! His life was worth $25!
Little man a day after being saved from 'Death Row'! He was a full blooded Jack Russell Terrier in a kill shelter! His life was worth $25! | Source

Pros and Cons

When thinking about adding a new family member of the four-legged variety one of the questions to answer is if to buy or to adopt. There are pros and cons for either decision. And one of the decisions to make to prepare for this decision is to look at one's own skills and experience!

Some rescuers will jump up now and throw their hands in the air, stating that too many die and too many breeders are bad people! I have met both the good and the bad and have learned to be open minded about diversity. I also try to respect other people's opinions!

So you know which kind of animal you want and you honestly told yourself which experience level fits you!

Lets go 'shopping'!

The Pet Shop and other Sellers

There are three kinds of breeders:

The responsible Breeder
The irresponsible Breeder
The 'Ooooops' Breeder

Buying a pet from any place will get you directly or indirectly in contact with one of these breeders; may it be directly or may it be via a broker type situation such as a pet store. So lets look at these three types:

The responsible Breeder
Pros:
- Low number of litters that ensures healthy parents and prevents birth defects and over-breeding the parents.
- Selection process for the parents that ensures a low/lower chance of the 'baby' having breed related health issues.
- Know the animal well and can match the wishes/needs of parents and the animal.
- Basic vet care is provided.
- Selection process that weeds out 'bad' adopters by using good adoption process, background checks, references and vet references, home-visits and follow-ups.
- Follow-ups that include additional home-visits and support such as being on-call for questions and providing information.

Cons:
- Steep prices ranging all the way to thousands of dollars for one animal.
- Overpopulation! Every dog, cat, bird bred is adding to the overpopulation!
- Breeding standards set by the major 'clubs' do allow for some leeway on what is allowed in breeding. That includes a certain level of inbreeding. This can lead to health issues.
- Pure bred dogs/cats/etc tend to have been bred for a certain look. This allows for some health issues that can be related to this 'look' and can also lead to a shortened life-span.
- Poor bred dogs often don't live as long as mutts.
- Papers do not guarantee a responsible breeder! Finding the right one takes a lot of time and luck!

The irresponsible Breeder
Pros:
- Usually a lower price for a full-blooded animal.
- They are everywhere!

Cons:
- Breed as much as possible for personal gain and often breed the parents to death.
- Commercial Breeders aka Puppy Mills will often keep parents in unbelievable conditions that are breeding grounds for diseases and other health issues.
-- Even if it is not a commercial breeder, the living conditions of the parents are often sub-standards or worse.
- No guarantee to receive a healthy animal and the chances to get a healthy one are like a win in the jackpot.
- If it looks like it, they breed it and sell it to you as pure-bred.
- Breeding without consideration to the emotional/character issues that parents may give their 'babies'.
- Overpopulation! This is one of the main contributor to the overpopulation problem!
- No vet care is provided.
- The selection process for 'adopters' is reduced to first come, full wallet, first serve.
- No follow-us, no information provided, no support when problems arise. "What you see is what you got!"

The 'Ooooops' Breeder
Pros:
- Usually a lower price for a full-blooded animal.
- They are everywhere!

Cons:
- Breed because they don't spay/neuter and often end up with lots of unwanted 'babies'.
- The living conditions of the parents are often sub-standards or worse.
- No guarantee to receive a healthy animal and the chances to get a healthy one are like a win in the jackpot.
- If it looks like it, they sell it to you as pure-bred.
- Breeding without consideration to the emotional/character issues that parents may give their 'babies'.
- Overpopulation! This is one of the main contributor to the overpopulation problem!
- No vet care is provided.
- The selection process for 'adopters' is reduced to first come, full wallet, first serve.
- No follow-us, no information provided, no support when problems arise. "What you see is what you got!"

Pet Stores
Pros:
- They are everywhere and as easy to use as a supermarket!

- Pet stores buy from either one of these breeders, but less likely from a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder most likely won't deal with a Pet Store or advertise on a classified website.
- Prices often meet the prices of responsible breeders, but they don't provide any of the service a responsible breeder will offer.
- Pet stores tend to buy from puppy mills and backyard breeders to get supposed full-blooded animals for low prices and questionable or not paperwork.
- Pet stores will often take in animals that Joe Smo Public needs to 'get rid of' and sell them for $50 or more!
- Pet stores rarely provide medical care, information and support.
- Pet stores have one simply 'adoption' process: First come, full wallet, first serve.

Ally
Ally

Rescues, Shelters and independent Rescuers

Adopting is not everywhere the same! The 'source' will make a big difference! And just like with breeders, there are good and bad 'rescues'.

There are several ways to 'adopt' an animal. They are:

Breed Rescues
Non-Breed Specific Rescues
Animal Shelters
Independent Rescues/Rescuers
'Bad' Rescues

Breed Rescues
Pros:
- Usually provide you the breed they advertised.
- Vet work is provided.
- Adoption Process is usually very good.
- Usually knows the animal well and can help match parents and animal.
- Follow-ups, information and support is provided.

Cons:
- Prices are very high and can often match breeder prices.
- Animals can come with some of the breed-related health issues.
- Pure-bred animals may have a shorter live-span.
- Very selective and their view on a good adopter may not match yours.
- Often hard to find if you are looking for a specific, uncommon breed.

Non-Breed Specific Rescues
Pros:
- Usually provide you the breed they advertised, unless the 'looks' are deceiving. These rescues pull from kill shelters and not always do the looks match what the animal actually is.
- Vet work is provided.
- Adoption Process is usually very good.
- Usually knows the animal well and can help match parents and animal.
- Follow-ups, information and support is provided.

Cons:
- Prices are high or higher than 'kill shelters'.
- Very selective and their view on a good adopter may not match yours.
- Often have to keep animals in kennel environment which doesn't help the animal's adoptability.

Animal Shelters
Pros:
- Often low prices or deals for vet work/spay and neuter.
- Great selection often includes as much as 50% of their animals being pure bred.
- There is at least one in every County.
- You are saving a life!
- You are helping reduce the overpopulation.
- Often a high turn-over that provides a 'great' selection (but means that many are euthanized if not adopted).

Cons:
- Often don't know the animal well and can't provide information on character and such.
- Often high kill rates and personal hardened towards the plight of these animals.
-- Animals receive only basic care and vet work is mostly not included.
- What you see is what you get!
- Due to the large amount of animals dumped into these shelters that weren't provided basic medical care, sometimes there are the chances of URIs (cats), Parvo/Distemper (Dogs) and similar health issues spreading. Parvo and Distemper outbreaks usually cause the euthanization of the entire shelter population as a preventive measure!
- No follow-up, no support, no information provided.
- Medical issues may not be noticed until you take your animal to the vet for a recommended health check.

Independent Rescues/Rescuers
Pros:
- Usually provide you the breed they advertised, unless the 'looks' are deceiving. These rescues pull from kill shelters and not always do the looks match what the animal actually is.
- Vet work is provided.
- Adoption Process is usually very good.
- Usually knows the animal well and can help match parents and animal.
- Follow-ups, information and support is provided.

Cons:
- Prices are high or higher than 'kill shelters'.
- Very selective and their view on a good adopter may not match yours.
- Since they are independent and often rescue 'out-of-pocket', their resources are limited and limited some of the things you will be able to get with your new family member.
- They don't have the same rules and standards than rescues (unless they chose to) that are bound to those rules and standards by their own bylaws.
- Requires a lot or research to find a legitimate/responsible one.

'Bad' Rescues or 'Fake' Rescues
These type or rescues are really nothing but a 'puppy' broker! There isn't really anything good to say about them!

Cons:
- They sell you anything; just like a irresponsible breeder.
- Prices don't match the 'service'.
- Vet work is often non-existent and documentation provided questionable.
- No support, follow-up etc provided, because they often provided you with false information about the animal and don't want you to come back when you find out.
- They barely know the animal, if at all.
- They operate under false pretense and can be compared to a car dealer selling lemons as high-dollar 'finds'.
- They are everywhere and it is not a good thing!

Little Man after he moved in with his Mom Barb, who he turned into a foster failure! She became his foster Mom for life!
Little Man after he moved in with his Mom Barb, who he turned into a foster failure! She became his foster Mom for life! | Source

Do your Research!

Your own skills have a lot to do with the 'source' of your new family member. I have pulled many problem dogs and cats from shelters and we 'worked things out'. But it takes experience and a lot of patience to overcome their problems.

Some animals are just not recommended for a beginner!

It is up to you what you want, but the two things that always provided a simple deciding factor are:

Overpopulation and irresponsible breeding causes the deaths of millions of adoptable animals every single year! So why become a reason to add more?!

Saving a life means more to me than a piece of paper confirming a breed! I don't look for superficial 'looks', but for character that will fit into my family!

As mentioned before, per multiple online statistics roughly 50% of the animals in kill shelters are pure bred! So why become a customer and cause a breeder to breed more?!

You may not be able to save them all,
but for the one you saved, you mean everything!

Adoption vs Purchase

If you were to chose a new 'family member', would you buy or adopt?

See results without voting

Puppy Mill Facts

More by this Author


Comments 5 comments

picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

very informative and fair hub!! I have done both and loved my dogs just the same, but am only going for the rescues from this point...too many pitiful dogs. vote up


Dragonrain profile image

Dragonrain 4 years ago

Good hub! It's refreshing to see someone who's open minded about this subject.


Cat R profile image

Cat R 4 years ago from North Carolina, U.S. Author

I try to be open minded about everything. Opinions are like certain body parts; everybody has one. And I try to respect that not everybody agrees with me.

I personally wouldn't buy from a breeder. While there are responsible breeders out there, I don't want to be a cause for more animals to die every year.

But I also don't blame the owners alone for not spaying/neutering their animals. Some of the prices I see should be forbidden!

If the Government would sponsor/support spay/neuter programs and put harder licensing requirements/taxes/frequent inspections on breeders, we wouldn't have the problems we have!

We always act surprised when a puppy mill is busted and we see all the mistreated animals. But you really can't hide such a large operation! So why did we know about it and not do anything about it?!


aslaught profile image

aslaught 4 years ago from Alabama

Wonderful hub! Most of my pets came either from the pound, or were dropped. I have one dog that was bought from a breeder. My daughter bought our little chic from a breeder. It was someone she knew personally, and I think she was repubutable. Personally, I just think there are too many sad, unwanted animals out there, and I will always opt for the pound. To each his/her own though.


Nature by Dawn profile image

Nature by Dawn 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this!!! I hope everyone who is thinking of getting a new pet reads this first. I only just found out about fake rescues. It seems they tend to post their animals on craigs list as rescued and sell for $100 to $150. But the animals aren't fixed and have no shots. These same groups also ask for donations! Not only do you have to be careful where you get your pets from, but you also have to be careful about who you donate to.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working