I love The Dog Snobs! They are dog smart and succinct and savvy enough to recognize the value of humour as a teaching tool! In my (somewhat) humble opinion, their posts on how to find a good breeder and on how to find a reputable rescue ought to be required reading for any potential pet owner!
But of course, here in the real world, when it comes to picking a pet most folks lead with their heart not their head! When love comes to town, nobody wants to have anyone raining on their parade with pesky details!
No sir! Some folks simply do not want to hear about big dogs that will need lots and lots of exercise! That some dogs might do poorly as couch potatoes! That cute little dogs still need to be walked … and trained! That veterinarians do not normally provide their services for free! Or ( gasp ) that some breeds might simply not be suitable for small children!
Lets face it … we live in a culture where pets are portrayed as an essential part of the domestic bliss package! The good news is that potential pet owners actually do have resources they can turn to for help with the decision process! They are called reputable breeders and reputable rescues / shelters!
Perhaps because I do not run a rescue, I am not one of these angsty people who insist that there is no such thing as a good breeder! The good ones love their breed of choice and devote a LOT of time and energy to maintaining the breed standard! When my daughter was tiny, we went to a good breeder for our Labrador puppy! We did not just show up, pick out a puppy and pay! Before we got to that place there was much the same screening process as good rescues use!
The problem of course being that there is money to be made peddling puppies if one does not bother with tacky little details like genetic screening tests and X Rays! If one does not worry whether the progeny can be registered!
Even worse .. this is often provided under the guise of providing a public service by offering ‘reasonably priced’ purebreds!
Saddest of all of course is that these back yard breeders and puppy brokers and puppy millers all LOOK like normal everyday people! Why is that a problem? Because here in the real world, folks still expect the bad guys to wear black! It is beyond their imagination that the ‘nice lady’ down the road might be more focused on profit than providing them with a healthy pet whose temperament represents their breed of choice!
But I am wandering afield here … as I am often wont to do in my meandering way! Good breeders and rescues .. and yes shelters … provide an invaluable resource for potential pet owners! Why?
Their screening process is not meant to be a nuisance! They are not being difficult by demanding details about one’s home and history! Nor is anyone reluctant to let a pet go …. to the right home for THAT pet!
So how DOES one tell the rescue wheat from the chaff? At one time, I only listed proven reputable rescues on the homeless pet site! Why did I change that policy? Why do I list EVERYONE now?
That answer is simple! Some are new … and are (hopefully) going through a learning curve! Others might simply be the only option in their area! And of course there IS that teeny little detail that I realized it was a bit hypocritical to nitpick when I was listing all the society branches! ( Before the keyboards catch on fire, while some have come a long way, others are still ‘a work in progress’)
As a sidebar note to that …. I know of at least one Positive Dog Trainer who offers a New Dog Package to help kind hearts find the best fit for their real lives! What a great idea, eh? Kind of frosting on the cake that this ounce of prevention could save pounds of money AND heartache!
In a world where there is no consumer legislation to protect potential pet owners, folks DO have to do their homework!
What time is it? It is always time to remember the red flags! Otherwise … one is simply adding to the problem instead of helping with the solution!
And of course … It is always, always time to applaud the reputable breeders and rescues who DO get it right! At the end of the day, where WOULD we be without them? In the words of the Fab Four … PS I Love You!
Do you recognize the fellow at the top of this post? Regular readers should! This is Buster who is now avaialble for adoption from The Animal Rescue Coalitions!