Pet acquisition is the first step on the path towards responsible Guardianship. There are many options out there and that make it very easy to buy a pet for your family. The Guardianship Movement asks you to consider this decision more carefully. Here are a few things we all need to consider:

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Pet stores have been accused of getting their puppies and kittens from pet mills; this is not necessarily true. However, many stores get their animals from backyard breeders, commercial kennels/catteries or brokers who are in the business of selling puppies and kittens, without further consideration for the welfare of the animals. Puppies and kittens are simply a commodity to them. Some pet stores will also buy puppies and kittens locally directly from backyard breeders who produce a few litters from one or more breeds or “breed types” each year.

The convenience of internet shopping has also seen an increase in the amount of backyard breeders willing to sell animals to the first person who comes along. Backyard breeders put little to no consideration into who purchases their animals, and are simply in the business to make a little money on the side. They are not government regulated, they require no certification, therefore when purchasing an animal this way, you can never be guaranteed a healthy, well adjusted pet.

So how do you find a pet for your family that you know will be a good match?

Seek out a Responsible, Reputable Breeder

Responsible breeders breed their dogs because they love them and want to improve the breed. They are happy to talk to you about the pros and cons of their breed. If they do not think their breed is right for you and your family, they will tell you so. A responsible breeder cares about the welfare of their puppies and wants to ensure that they go to the proper environment for their personalities. They also want to ensure that a family that takes one of their puppies will learn to love the temperaments and quirks of their breed, just as they do.

Consider Adoption

By adopting an older pet, you are not only giving a previously unwanted animal a new chance at life, but you are able to chose a fully grown animal who is most likely already house trained; you know what you are getting. If you still think you want a puppy, remember this; puppies also find themselves at shelters-you don’t need “buy” one.

For more information on Responsible Pet Acquisition, please visit our Pet Education Centre. There you will find an entire library dedicated to Responsible Pet Acquisition. Because it matters!