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Pet Adoption – The Possible Avenues

There are all sorts of different ways you might go about adopting a pet. Some may be rather better than others, but it will help to be aware of the possible avenues.

You could simply get a kitten or puppy from a neighbor, if their cat or dog has babies. This has been a tried-and-true method, and has helped both the people who suddenly found their closet full of kittens, and their friends who always wanted a cat. You would need to be a bit careful doing it this way, though. These animals will not have been screened nor had their health tested in any way. You would need to be sure you took the young animals to a vet as soon as you can, to guarantee they don’t have an infection or disease. You will also have to cover the cost of all the initial health checks yourself.

Adopting from a shelter is another way of getting a pet, and this one is the most highly recommended as well as the most popular. People give many different reasons when they advocate doing it this way. For one thing, most of the animals in a shelter have been rescued from being lost on the street. They will frequently have been owned by another family, and therefore will be in good health and accustomed to living with people. An advantage of shelter adoption is that the animal’s health will have been checked, so you know it will not be carrying disease. And often, since the goal of the shelters is to reduce the proliferation of new, unwanted kittens or puppies, the cost of spaying or neutering will be covered in the (usually low) price of adoption.

Shelter adoption is often promoted as a way to save the lives of lost animals that might otherwise end up simply being euthanized.

Another way of adopting strays may be through a feral rescue organization. This sort of group works in a similar way to a shelter, except that it takes kittens from feral cat colonies, fosters, tames, and socializes them to adapt to living with humans, and finally adopts them to people who meet certain qualifications such as extreme patience. The group will also check the animal’s health, and spaying and neutering will likely be covered in the price.

But you may instead choose not to adopt a stray, but go to a breeder. And here you have two options. First, you can go through a reputable society with good credentials, knowing the pedigree of the animal. You will not only be more assured of the good health of the pet, but can be fairly certain that the breeding was done in a safe, approved way. For more exotic pets than your regular cat or dog, this may be the only option open to you. It’s not often you’ll find a parrot, for example, at an ordinary animal shelter. This method, however, is likely to be much more expensive than adopting from a shelter.

The worst sort of breeder, though, is what is known as a “puppy mill” (though this must exist for certain breeds of cats and other animals as well). This is a breeder whose only motive is profit, and whose method is to breed as many animals as quickly as possible, not paying heed to the mental or physical health of the pets, nor to the safety or sanitation of the facility in which they are bred and raised. You may be drawn in because these animals will cost less than those from a reputable breeder, but you may end up paying much more to deal with health and psychological problems.

You will need to check out any breeder very carefully before committing to this sort of pet. If you have the least suspicion that you may actually be dealing with a puppy mill, do not get a pet from these people. And you might do well to mention them to the Humane Society or your local animal control organization.

Puppy mills very often are the source of pets you’ll find in pet stores as well. This is why you should also check out these stores carefully to find out exactly where their pets have come from, before buying an animal here.

Learning what you can about all of these options is a part of making an informed decision about what sort of pet to get, or whether you should have one at all. The more reputable and humane way you can acquire this animal that is meant to be your companion, the better a life both you and the pet will have together.

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