Thanks to modern technology you can get a new iPod, the latest Harry Potter book and even a new dog from the comfort of your own home. With the advent of online shopping and websites like eBay and Kijiji you can buy virtually anything over the net.
Although many major online sites such as eBay and craigslist prohibit the sale of live animals, it is still easy to buy a pet with the click of your mouse. Although legitimate animal breeders may advertise on the internet, there are also backyard breeders who are more concerned about profits than the well-being of animals, and they see the internet as a lucrative method for boosting sales.
Dangers of Buying a Pet Online
Because the internet is so convenient and efficient, people may tend to make impulse purchases. Getting a pet is a major commitment that requires a lot of thought and research and it’s important to avoid making hasty decisions. The Canadian Kennel Club strongly suggests visiting the kennel before buying an animal.
Using the Internet to Buy a Pet
The internet is a great research tool and can help you decide on what type of pet or breed of animal you are interested in and what is involved in proper pet care. The internet can also help you get in touch with an animal rescue group, SPCA, humane society or local breeder. Many animal shelters have pictures of adoptable pets online for you to browse before visiting the shelter.
Finding Specific Breeds at Animal Shelters
Shelters have a variety of different kinds and breeds of animals including purebreds and crossbreeds. Visiting a shelter will allow staff to assess your needs, lifestyle and preferences, then help you to find a pet that would best suit you.
Traits of a Responsible Breeder
For a responsible breeder, the welfare of the animals is paramount. The breeder will show you where the dogs spend most of their time, explain in detail the potential genetic problems inherent in the breed, offer guidance on caring for and training your puppy, provide references and encourage multiple visits to get to the know the dogs.
Ask for a written contract and a health guarantee. A responsible breeder should also request things from you to guarantee that their animals will be well taken care of! They may ask about your reasons for wanting an animal, your family structure, your work and leisure schedule, and your plan for care and training.
Be wary of sellers that want to meet you somewhere other than where the dogs are raised. It is really important when meeting the breeder to see the facilities where the animals are being kept and to get to know the person you are purchasing from.
Do your research! Make sure you are ready for an animal, investigate where you want to get your animal, and make sure that the welfare of the animal is a top priority.
For more information please visit the following links.
- Humane Societies and SPCA animal shelters around Alberta
- The Canadian Kennel Club – Finding a good breeder
- Canadian Federation of Humane Societies – A common sense guide to selecting a dog or cat
Source: Alberta SPCA