Breeder vs. animal rescue: Where should you get your pet?
- According to the ASPCA, there are approximately 2,000 “federally licensed dog breeders in the US.”
- The Human Society defines ‘puppy mills’ as “inhumane high-volume dog breeding facilities that churn out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. Dogs from puppy mills are often sick and unsocialized. Puppy mills commonly sell through internet sales, online classified ads, flea markets and pet stores.”
- The American Kennel Club ranked the Labrador Retriever, French Bulldog, and Golden Retriever as the three most popular dog breeds in the US in 2021.
- As of 2019, the ASPCA estimated that “Approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year (2 million dogs and 2.1 million cats).”
Bre (Animal rescue)
Pet ownership is a deeply rewarding experience that offers numerous health benefits. Tragically, millions of pets are still euthanized each year, as shelters are constantly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, roughly 70 million cats and dogs remain homeless on the street. Facing such devastating realities, continued intentional breeding simply doesn't make sense.
For-profit animal breeding is a highly unregulated, often illegal system. Pet stores are known to source from and support puppy mills, infamous for animal mistreatment and horrific conditions. Backyard breeders lack accountability and, even in the best cases, actively contribute to the massive, overarching animal welfare problem of overpopulation.
Perhaps most importantly, controlled breeding is harmful to animals. Purebred animals result from generations of inbreeding, leading to painful, chronic, and life-threatening health conditions. The severe risks, potential heartache, and additional costs associated with merely controlling an animal's appearance are cruel and unnecessary.
On the other hand, there are countless upsides to rescuing a pet. Of course, it feels great to save a life; owners of rescue animals report a more profound sense of appreciation observed in their pets. Adoption also costs less. In addition to already being house trained, animals rescued from shelters tend to receive free initial veterinary care, like vaccines, microchipping, and spaying/neutering.
Consistently housing plenty of healthy animals, rescues and shelters offer an abundant variety of companions, ready to adopt. They have up-to-date online databases with detailed, reliable information, making the process swift, accessible, and trustworthy. Finally, by opting to rescue rather than purchase, pet owners voice their disapproval of harmful animal trafficking systems, which are responsible for the needless suffering of millions of animals worldwide.
All pet lovers are, first and foremost, concerned with the health of their animals. For several reasons, breeders produce the most healthy animals. By researching back many generations, breeders ensure that they are matching healthy animals to create strong representations of the breed. This means owners will have a better idea of what potential health issues may arise in the future, as well as how large the animal may grow and what its temperament is likely to be. Knowing an animal’s bloodline makes it easier for owners to identify health trends and create nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle plans to ensure long and healthy lives for their pets.
Purchasing from a breeder means getting the unique opportunity to bond with a young puppy, raising it from a very early age. Because of this, the animal will adapt and become a part of the family early on. Further, research has shown that bonding with animals helps children to create empathy. Getting an animal from a breeder ensures that both the animal and its adopters have the opportunity to form deep and lasting bonds.
Some people may insist that adopting animals from shelters is better because it reduces “puppy mills” and other unseemly operations. With the multitude of responsible breeders available, as well as expert guidance from organizations such as kennel clubs, would-be pet owners can be assured that they are purchasing an animal from a responsible breeder without fear that they are contributing to the problems associated with less than reputable breeders.