As we say goodbye to 2018, what better way to ring in the new year than by bringing home a new pet? Embarking on a new adventure of pet ownership could be just the thing you need to start 2019 on the right track — and they will still love you without judgment if your resolutions don’t quite pan out.
Finding the right pet for your lifestyle can be overwhelming, so here are some helpful tips to ensure you aren’t accidentally supporting cruelty in the process.
Visit a local shelter or rescue organization
You may be surprised at who you’re drawn to. Maybe that older, mixed-breed dog with his calming demeanor fits your lifestyle a little better than a puppy would. Or maybe that curious cat, pawing at you from her cage, is a better fit than a dog after all.
Find a responsible breeder
If you have your heart set on a puppy or particular breed, and you can’t find your perfect match at a shelter or breed-specific rescue, you can also consider going to a responsible breeder. Do your research in advance to learn how to sniff out the good from the cruel to avoid being tricked by one of the bad guys.
Sometimes you have to wait for the right dog to come along. It’s worth it.
Avoid online scams
There’s no shortage of perfect-looking puppies for sale online, but there’s also no shortage of unscrupulous breeders and brokers trying to deceive you. It’s hard to tell the good from the bad on the internet, so it’s best to avoid that route altogether.
Do not go to a pet store
Pet stores are not the place to buy a puppy. Responsible breeders do not sell to pet stores, leaving stores to primarily source their animals from cruel breeders who prioritize profits over animal welfare.
Pet stores are a major outlet for the cruel commercial breeding industry, and thankfully, hundreds of communities across the United States — including states like California and Maryland — are taking action to ban pet stores from selling commercially bred animals. When the California law goes into effect on Jan. 1, Californians will be at ease knowing they aren’t supporting animal suffering.
Jennie Lintz, Director, Puppy Mills Initiative, ASPCA, [email protected]