I ran across a troubling headline on the Raining Cats and Dogs blog on the Chicago Now website. The headline: “Why you should think twice before you adopt a dog.”
My first reactions included: ‘What? – They prefer you purchase a puppy?’ and ‘Oh no – they’re anti-adoption.’
But the body of the blog post offers more in the way of a primer for people who want to add a furry family member. And it seems to be an effort to make sure fewer homeless pets are returned to shelters, because some people might go into the decision with blinders on.
But the writer is not suggesting people go out and buy puppies.
It is important to note that people can be better assured of matching a dog or cat to their families if they adopt – as opposed to buying a pet. This is one myth often promoted by supporters of breeding and breeder groups.
But those who buy from a breeder before they’ve fully researched the operation and before they have taken a full tour of the breeding facility, are taking the risk of not knowing what the outcome will be. And those who purchase puppies who are younger than 12 weeks are making a risky choice. In both cases, it’s risky for the puppies and the breeding dogs.
So the best choice is to talk with the volunteers at local rescue groups, who have fostered or otherwise cared for the homeless pet you might want to adopt. Often, they have a clear picture of the pet’s behavior and health and how well they might get along with other pets and children.
In every way – including the fact that a life is being saved – adoption is the best option.
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