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Adoptions | Cowtown

Pet Adoptions

Consider adoption before buying from a breeder or pet store

Did you know that thousands of dogs and cats throughout Canada spend their entire lives in small cage?

Living in inhumane conditions for the sole purpose of breeding, again and again, to generate puppies and kittens to be sold in pet stores or online? These dogs and cats are animals used as breeding machines in puppy or kitten mills.

Unfortunately, puppy and kitten mills are all too common, especially in the province of Quebec. Despite recent progress in the Provincial animal welfare legislation in this province, large commercial breeding facilities are still permitted to operate.

In addition to pet stores and classified ads, websites and online classified sites are among the newer ways that puppy and kitten mills sell pets to naive customers. There is no way to know with whom you are really dealing by simply looking at a website or talking to someone on the phone. Many websites are set up to look like they are breeding animals in a “home environment”, showing photos of puppies on couches or with children and pet stores may tell you that “their animals don’t come from puppy or kitten mills” but this is in no way a guarantee and it is likely you are being duped.

Another pitfall to avoid, is the pity purchase, you may think by purchasing an animal online or in a pet store that you are saving them, but in fact, you are making space for another animal in a puppy or kitten mill while supporting and encouraging an industry based on exploitation. The only way to end mass breeding operations is to stop supporting them and to avoid purchasing an animal from a pet store or online.

Adoption is a better alternative

By adopting your pet from an animal shelter or a rescue group, you ensure that you are not supporting puppy mills and you are helping to reduce pet overpopulation. You will also be providing a home to a homeless animal in need. Here are some suggestions for responsible ways to acquire a new companion animal:

Petfinder: Go to the website, which is the oldest and largest searchable directory on the web for animals available for adoption in shelters and rescue organizations. This website includes photos, videos and descriptions of adoptable animals and shelter contact information. It permits you to search using a number of different criteria including species, breed, age of animal you are looking for and suitability with children or other animals.

Your local animal shelter: Shelters or rescue groups have a wide variety of amazing pets waiting for a loving home. These organizations check their animals for health, temperament and behavior problems. Also, did you know that 25 percent of dogs and cats in shelters are purebred?

A breed rescue group: If you don’t find the particular breed or animal you want in a shelter, you can look for a dedicated breed rescue group by searching, or doing a Google search (type in your city or province, the breed you want, and the word “rescue”).

A responsible breeder: If adoption is not an option and you decide to buy from a breeder, it’s important to do research. Unless you go to the home where your puppy or kitten was born and raised and see the parents of that puppy or kitten, there’s no way to know that your pet didn’t come from a puppy mill, no matter what a sales clerk, website, newspaper ad or breeder declares. Responsible breeders will not breed more than one or two breeds of a certain species, have a small number of animals, will require that all animals that are sold be sterilized and will do extensive screening of potential purchasers of their animals. Furthermore, responsible breeders consider their breeding animals as pets, not products and all of their animals will be living in a home environment, not in cages, sheds or runs

Help put an end to puppy and kitten mills and adopt a pet!