There are other ways to get a pet but if you have already narrowed your options down to these two choices which would be best for you?
Animal adoption is an emotive issue. Thousands of animals are abandoned every day. Not just dogs and cats but horses, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters. If it lives and breathes it can be chucked on the street it seems in this sad, disposable society. So speaking from the heart I say go to your nearest dog or cat home, horse sanctuary or small animal refuge and save as many of them as you can. Today.
But I only want a German Shepherd!
Some people grow up dreaming of owning a particular breed of animal. A pure-bred German Shepherd or a magnificent Arabian stallion. For these people especially if they are intending to enter the competitive circuit with their new four legged friends going to a reputable breeder is most likely the best option.
Breed Specific Rescue
If show or agility competition is not in the animal’s future then a breed specific rescue would offer the best of both worlds. There are dedicated volunteers working to save the breeds they love all over the world. If this route appeals to you then research breed specific rescue in your area. Look up breed forums and association websites. These websites always have a section on shelters that are dedicated to their breed. They are also a good source of information about the quality of breeders in an area.
One reason given for not adopting from a shelter is that there must be something wrong with the animals there. Perhaps this one was is a biter or that one refuses to be house-trained. The truth is more depressing. Most of these animals have been tossed out like yesterday’s newspaper because the owners tired of them.
Come Easter shelters swell with Christmas pups and kittens. Having outgrown the cutest of the puppy stage these babies are dumped at the nearest shelter to make room for the owners’ next whim.
Just as bad are those dogs which grow into wonderful examples of their breed only to be dumped. To tell a heartsick shelter volunteer that the six month old Great Dane you are handing over, …just got too big! is to risk a belt in the mouth, but this and other statements just like it are heard in rescue shelters every day.
One must wonder what these people are teaching their children? I like to imagine that one day in the distant future when little Billy drops his ancient Mum off at the roadside he will tell her, ‘Now, come on mum, you know you are getting too old and smelly and besides with the new baby on the way, we just don’t have time for you anymore.’.
Don’t be under the impression that animal shelters are like prison where bad dogs go to serve their time. They are stuffed with loving and faithful companions who only need a second chance with a loving and faithful owner to show how great they are.
If you are looking for a dog, finding it at a local animal shelter is an optimal solution. An otherwise condemned pet gets a second chance, while you have the opportunity to find a perfect new addition to your life.