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Avoiding Puppy Mills and Adopting the Right Way
Avoiding Pet Mills and Adopting Your New Best Friend
Deciding to adopt a new pet may have been an easy decision. You walk into a pet store, look into that cage and see their cute little eyes staring back at you and the rest is all just paper-work. It seems easy, and the employee at the pet shop told you what a good person you are for giving the furry friend a good home. So this must be a good idea, right? Well there is a truth hidden behind the matter. People who find themselves passionate about pets have a hard time turning new furry friends away and those of us, who do this, could be making a serious mistake! In this article, you will find out why you should never adopt from Pet stores and pick up some great tips on how to find your new best friend.
So what is a pet store? They seem like all around good places, dedicated to taking care of homeless pets and finding new homes for them, right? Many people look at these animals and begin to imagine themselves at home with their new pet and how happy they would be together. In fact, many people never even take into consideration where the Fancy Rat that costs $12.00 came from. Well here is the reality of it all. Most pet stores buy these animals in bulk. Meaning they were mass produced to meet consumer need. These cute Fancy Rats, Gerbils and Hamsters are likely victims of what is referred to as a “pet mill”.
Pet mills can be defined as breeders who do not care for the health of the animals they are breeding, but instead breed in mass production in order to reach the needs of consumers. These animals, whether they are dogs, cats, rodents or reptiles, are bred under extremely bad conditions and typically have poor health. They are often victims of inbreeding, neglect and abuse, suffer from malnutrition, and often die of such horrible causes. These breeders sell their animals to pet stores who then sell them to the public, creating revenue. So do you still think the pet store is a magnificent wonderland dedicated to giving animals a second chance? Absolutely not; instead, pet stores are here for one reason, MONEY! Adopting a pet from such places will never help the problem. It only makes it worst; creating revenue for the mills and increasing demand, meaning more animals need to be produced!
So where SHOULD you adopt from? Local rescues should be your number one priority. Many pets are found to be victims of neglect, often the direct cause of impulse adoptions. The pets are either found by local pet rescues or brought to a humane society where they are often put to sleep after a period of time. As a prospecting pet adopter, you have the opportunity to save these innocent animal’s lives. Many people look down on these pets because they aren’t the cute puppy or kitten that you may be looking for. But they ultimately make wonderful pets and you can hold it in your heart forever that you gave the animal a second chance.
These local rescues often have days which they adopt through large pet stores such as PetSmart and PetCo. They will have tables and booths set up where you can meet some really great pets, fill out applications for adoption and hopefully find your new best friend. These types of adoptions are great! Be prepared though. The rescue will probably perform a background check on you and it may be several days or weeks before you are able to take home your new pet. Rescues ARE dedicated to finding good homes for abandoned pets and so this is a good chance to help make a difference.
Often times, the exact breed and age is unknown in a rescue animal which could pose a problem in your search if you happen to be looking for a certain breed of animal. Whether you are looking for a dog or cat or even an exotic animal such as a pet rat or hamster it is possible to find a reputable breeder or an accidental litter in your area. However, before adopting from a breeder be sure to find as much information on the breeder as possible. Visit the breeder’s home and see the animals in their homes. If the breeder refuses to let you come, mark the breeder with a red flag because he or she may be and probably is a “back yard breeder” which is basically the same as a mill. See what kind of environment they are given and if they are being cared for properly. Compose a list of questions you would like to ask the breeder. For example, if you are looking to adopt a pet rat, ask the breeder what kind of cage and bedding they use. If the breeder uses aquariums as their rat’s normal home, you may not want to adopt from them. If the breeder uses pine or cedar bedding, you may want to reconsider the adoption. More information on these items will be provided later in an article on Pet Rat Care.
Choosing your new best friend should be a task which you can take the time to complete carefully. Educate yourself on the animals you are looking to adopt first! Make sure that you are willing to care for the pet for its entire life. Shop around and not for the best price! Look for a quality pet that is healthy and affectionate. Find a reputable breeder. Just because an animal is registered doesn’t mean it is coming from a good source so registered does not mean reputable. So no matter whom you buy from, make sure to visit the breeder’s home and ask plenty of questions. Finally, NEVER adopt from a pet store as you will be contributing to the horrible pet mills. It’s never ok to support these mills.
Cameron Oz Robinson
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