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You have choices when deciding where to purchase your Pet.
The best that we can do is to prepare ourselves by doing as much research as possible before we decide to acquire a new pet. Then we need to research the species of animal that we are hoping to acquire and prepare ourselves for the pet’s arrival. Things will usually go a lot smoother when we have everything in place and set up prior to bringing a new pet home.
Ideally pets should be purchased from an experienced and conscientious ‘Specialist Breeder’ but sometimes finding the right breeder to deal with can be a challenge. Not all breeders raise animals for the same reasons and even the best breeders do not always have the same goals in mind when they decide to pair animals. Most reputable breeders raise a certain type because they have a passion for the breed or species.
Sometimes less scrupulous people start farming animals for profit. This is often referred to as milling. High-volume breeders usually keep their animals confined to cages seldom allowing them exercise or have access to sunshine or fresh air. They usually don’t give a lot of thought or planning into breeding the pets that they raise because they are more concerned with making a profit and not truly committed to the welfare of animals. This perpetuates a cycle of irresponsible pet ownership and somehow seems to legitimize that it is okay to breed animals without giving much thought to health, personality and the overall wellbeing of the animals they produce.
Sometimes you will find a pet person claiming to be a breeder who allows litters to be born because they think babies are cute and that they can always ‘sell the babies’. I hope they have buyers lined up around the block. If they do, do they screen these buyers before allowing one of their pets to go to live with them? Usually these people who allow their pets to breed have not given much thought into genetics, health or many of the other concerns that goes into responsible species management. Most often these people will not be breeders for more than a year or so.
We have been in the hobby of raising a few species of animals that are kept as pets, for several decades. We do not look at breeding animals as a business. It is our hobby and it is our passion. We make a lot of sacrifices for our animals and do not cut corners. Our animals are not deprived of proper nutrition, exercise, adequate housing or veterinary care. The hobby of raising and caring for animals is an expensive hobby. We sell our animals at a reasonable price and still we are lucky to break even.
I am not sure how a person can ever make a profit without cutting corners. I suppose you could make a profit but to make a profit raising pets you may need to make too many sacrifices. You would need to settle for substandard food supplies and husbandry equipment and this can often lead to neglecting the basic needs of the animal so why bother with the hobby at all, if you truly enjoy keep and raising animals.
There are good and not so good breeders. So, you'll need to decide whom you feel most comfortable with when you are purchasing your pet.
Not all 'Pet Stores' are bad, nor are the people who work in them. Pet stores, usually do not breed their own animals. They often purchase their animals from high-volume breeders. Certainly, you will meet some pet shop employees who lack the experience and the knowledge that a specialist breeder has gained over the years but it is up to you to seek out a knowledgeable person who you can trust and who can teach you some of things that you need to know regarding the care of that species. After all, it is retail and the sales people are hired to do a job they are paid to do…sell! Although they may enjoy pets they sometimes lack the experience.
Pet Fairs and Expos
Pet Fairs and Expos certainly do offer a variety of pet related services and sometimes they can be a good place to interact with different animals. Being that many breeders, hobbyists, pet stores and vendors come together under one roof there is usually a wealth of information being shared. But be aware, these venues also provide a place for dealers to sell and unload their wares and unfortunately sometimes this includes live animals whose origins can be questionable.
Shelters offer temporary sanctuary for homeless pets that need permanent caregivers. Some shelter animals make wonderful companions and come without too much baggage. Others have been scarred by years of neglect and in this case, it may take a certain type of person who has experience and is willing to work with this type of shelter animal.
As heartless as this sounds, do not take in a shelter animal unless you a fully prepared to except all responsibility for it. It has already been abandoned at least once and it should never experience it again.
Adopting a shelter animal can be very rewarding but it is not for everyone.
Sometimes you can find people who are looking to re-home their pets. Whether the person is looking for someone to purchase their pet or if they are willing to give it for free, you need to be careful.
If this is a choice that you make and if you decide to get a pet this way, be prepared that you may never get the truth as to why the person has decided to re-home their pet. Most people are honest but there are some people who want their pet gone and they want it gone ASAP. When this happens, you could be inheriting problems that you have not bargained for.
The Choice is Yours
If you have done all your research and feel that you are able to detect a red flag and if you are comfortable with the people that you are dealing with then wherever you choose to purchase your new pet from should be okay. It is important to always be mindful whenever dealing with living things (plants or animals) that often things happen that no one can predict, sometimes things do not always go the way we had hoped so be prepared! Make sure that whenever you take on a new pet that you are certain that you are making an educated decision and are fully aware of the responsibility and commitment that you are making to any animal. Its life depends on your decision.