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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Where does your pet come from?

Know your pet’s background and breed before you buy it home
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - March 6, 2011
By: Adele Ong
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Where does your pet come from?

Was that cute little pet you are buying from the store born to a healthy, happy mother? Is its father in good shape? Was it birthed in a clean and comfortable environment, or in a filthy and miserable one? Does any of that even matter to you?

It should matter. That adorable puppy in the window of the nice, clean pet shop you are visiting may have been one of endless puppies born somewhere else, to a mother imprisoned in a tiny cage all her life, lying on her own waste matter, squeezing out pup after pup, undernourished, and untreated by veterinarians for ailments.

The puppy itself may be healthy and clean now that it is for sale, but its parents may be little more than factories churning out pups so that unscrupulous breeders can make money from them.

How can we, as the consumers with the cash, encourage more pet breeders to be responsible and ethical? How do we encourage breeders to treat the animals in their care well? What are the things to look out for, and what are the questions to ask when we buy pets? And can more of us aim to adopt abandoned pets, rather than purchase them from businesses that may be abusing their parents?

For starters, choose to patronise only pet stores and pet farms that allow you to view the puppy’s parents, and can prove that the parents are happy, healthy and well, with appropriate housing, exercise and play. Patronise only those stores and farms that proactively question you about how much experience you have with the type of pet you are interested in, willingly offer you pet-care tips, and are ready to help you apply for a licence if you are buying a dog from them.

Those are just a few signs which show that the store or farm is interested in the welfare of the pups it is selling, and does not merely see the animals with dollar signs in their eyes.

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