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How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

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After spending some time working for my local humane society, my eyes were opened to the number of pets who are euthanized simply because there is no room for them. Remember what Bob Barker always ended "The Price is Right" with? "Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered". He was right, this simple inexpensive surgery will not only ensure you are not adding to the overpopulation of pets, but it will also make sure your pet is free of behavioral or health problems caused by their sexual hormones. Aggressiveness in males as well as marking their territory and uterine infections and cancer in females are just a few. Allowing your female to have a litter so she can "experience the feeling of being a mother just once" or using it as an example for your children to show the facts of life are both out-dated and completely unnecessary concepts. Your pet will not notice the difference if she does not have the opportunity to be a mother and your children will learn a lesson in responsibility from you.

The best thing you can do when welcoming a new pet into your home is to seek out other sources of pets rather than a pet shop. A common misconception is that shelters, rescue agencies, and humane societies are filled with adults with behavior problems and issues from their previous homes. Adult pets do end up in these places because of a common issue. Once passing their cute and fluffy puppy/kitten stage (6 months) they are often ditched by people who no longer see the novelty in them and realize how much work a pet really is. This means that there are often many pets between the ages of 6 months and 1 year old there. Often a pregnant female will end up there and her as well as her young will be seeking homes. Another myth is that in order to train your pet properly and raise them without issues, you need to get a puppy or kitten. This is untrue, many pets seeking adoption are healthy and completely stable. It can also be incredibly rewarding to adopt a pet who may have had a rough start to life and show them what a true loving home can look like. Pets that are past their puppy or kitten stage will also be calmer and will have figured out basic concepts like house training or litter boxes in many cases.

If you are seeking a specific breed, there are actually many rescue agencies set up by the people who love their breed. They are experienced and knowledgeable and will prove to be a great resource for puppies or kittens from reputable breeders as well as adoptable adults within the breed circle. They are also the people that are called to rescue the puppies and kittens when a mill is shut down by animal cruelty officers. Opening up your newspaper and picking out an ad for the $500 puppy might be very easy, but with a little more time and research you will find that you can still get the breed you desire while contributing to the positive acquisition of your pet.

It's all about our attitude and the lessons we choose to teach a future generation. If we can learn from our past mistakes and stop unnecessary over-breeding and the demand for puppy milled pets in pet stores. We can be the ones who change the future of our animals. Imagine a time where pets are not euthanized simply because they exist, but where we can responsibly acquire our pet and offer them a loving home. We are in control of this, lets change it.

Some great resources for locating local rescue agencies for your breed can be found online.

Simply type "(your city or province)(breed or species of pet) rescue agencies adoption" into Google and you will find what you're looking for.

Here are a couple great sites I found .

Happy Hunting for your new pal.

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