Would you rather adopt a pet from an animal shelter or buy one from a breeder?

@Erratic (723)
Australia
June 8, 2008 4:27am CST
A friend of mine recently adopted a 1 year old German Shepherd. They told me that no-one locally had any shepheds available so they went to the shelter and found Trixie. I was wondering how many would consider adopting rather than buying and which do you yhink is better - the shelter or a breeder?
26 people like this
94 responses
@Seraphine (385)
• Finland
8 Jun 08
I prefer to buy from a breeder but I'm also the type that have the patience to research breeders for months and even years, don't mind being on a waiting list for a puppy and only pick the best of the best. I don't want a dog whose history I know nothing about and its health and genetics are too uncertain. I want to know what I get and that I feel I can only get from a good breeder who knows how to breed responsibly.
4 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Everyone is making very good points for either option.
1 person likes this
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Can I add here that mixed breed dogs generally have less health problems than purebreds?
@Carmetaf (309)
• United States
9 Jun 08
Seraphine, I like your way of thinking. People like you are music to a responsible breeder's ears. Most really work hard and want to work with folks like you because the patience you employ in FINDING a puppy gives us confidence that you will employ the same patience training and nurturing a puppy. Many of us feel as though the puppies we bring into the world are part of our extended family, as well as their owners. NOTHING wrong with that.
• United States
9 Jun 08
Shelter. Breeders only breed for one purpose, cold hard cash. Shelter animals usually get put down if they're not adopted by a loving family within a certain time period. I'd rather know I was giving an animal a second chance at life than giving into breeders that just want money and could care less about the animals.
3 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Seems to be the concensus of most here.
1 person likes this
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
8 Jun 08
Honestly, I would rather get one from a breeder. You never know what the history was for that dog at the shelter. You can train the puppy or kitten from a baby and it really feels like a member of the family that way. I would maybe consider adopting an animal later on when my kids have grown because if the animal had some sort of personality issue or bad habit it would not break my kids hearts if I were to have to adopt him out or give him to someone else if the situation did not work out.
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
8 Jun 08
It can be hard to integrate an pet already set in its ways into a new household.
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Jun 08
I think that a dog in a shelter deserves to be adopted. People think that dogs in shelters are savage so they buy one from a breeder. Son the dogs in the shelter get put down. And also in most cases dogs are very, very expensive. I would say your far better off getting a dog from the shelter.
10 Jun 08
I agree. I have a friend who got a dog from a breeder and they just had to put him down because he had so many problems. He went blind for one thing and had some other rediculous and painful problems. You can usually visit animals at the shelter before you get them and have them checked by a vet. There isn't really any reason not to adopt. Most of the animals are loving and have just fallen on hard times. They tend to be all the more affectionate and appriciative.
@Hatley (164170)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Jun 08
It depends on whether you want a pure bred dog or not. and whether you want to breed the dog for puppies, if you just want a pet I would go to an animal shelter and posssibly save a dog's life by adopting it. If you buy from a breeder you will get papers on your dog and can 'possibly use your purebred to make some money on puppies. It just depends on what you really want.
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Is it just me or is the idea of breeding an animal for money just disgusting? Whatmakes us think that we can take control of an animal's reproductive organs for our own monetary satisfaction?
@Carmetaf (309)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I'm a hobby breeder. Trust me there's no $$ to make in breeding two dogs with papers. You're lucky if you even break even selling puppies. If you do things right, (health testing avg. $200-$500/dog prior to breeding, Showing avg. $500 - $1500 per show) you are not going to make $$ breeding a dog. Good reasons to buy from a breeder - if your a dog hobbyist who wants to show in conformation, agility, obedience etc and want a well bred animal to improve and / or represent the breed. Yes, buy from a GOOD breeder. Good reson to buy from a BYB? Really none, other than maybe the puppies raised in a home environment, around kids or whatever, but health may still be questionable and these people don't really care what they put out in the pet population and wouldn't accept the dog back if it were a problem for the new owner. Good reason to buy from a puppymill, pet store etc...NONE _ NO good reason TONS of good reasons to rescue from a shelter or BSR - as many mentioned a lot of dogs who are fostered have had temperament evaluations, are acclimated to a home environment, possibly potty trained and basic obedience, a good choice for most any person. Also you know what the dog will be all grown up cause most of them ARE all grown up :)
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
10 Jun 08
Most people who show animals spend entire weekends away from home, travelling to and from shows. Its a hobby like playing football or flying kites and they get a lot of enjoyment from it. Only a well cared for animal will stand a chance at winning.
• United States
9 Jun 08
If I had to choose, I'd probably go with the breeder. There's something about the idea of starting out with a "clean slate" that appeals to me, and so many of the "pound" dogs that I have known seem unstable because of an abusive past... The ones I have known have seemed just as likely to nip at you as not. (And I've been nipped. But I suppose you could get that out of a breeder animal, too.) Actually, the way that it would work out in my family is that we'd end up - not with a breeder or a shelter animal - we'd probably end up picking one up from a mall store, when the kids couldn't unglue themselves from the storefront window. :-) (Technically, I guess that's a breeder animal...)
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
11 Jun 08
Thanks so much for your response.
• United States
9 Jun 08
Well, it breaks my heart to see unwanted animals in shelters, and my first thought was to go to a shelter. However, the behavior problems would be a major problem as well. You just really dont know what you are getting in to. So unless you are prepared for the extra work, I would probably just go to a breeder.
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
11 Jun 08
An alternative is to see if the shelter has a return policy. Sure you can always take one back, but will they let you select a replacement if you get a 'bad' one.
@Pose123 (21660)
• Canada
8 Jun 08
Hi Erratic, I adopted my cats from an animal shelter, and that is my preference. Blessings.
2 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
10 Jun 08
Blessing to you too. Thanks.
@rrdj71 (696)
• United States
8 Jun 08
After seeing what breeders are REALLY about (puppy mills) I have NO interest in EVER getting a puppy or dog from a breeder. Adoption is my ONLY way. Go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0KucYppXO0 You will see EXACTLY what I mean.
2 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Thanks. I'll forego watching the video. I'm in a good mood and wish to stay that way.
@Zinkle (23)
• United States
8 Jun 08
I would prefer to get my pets from a shelter (I am not going to quote the statistic about how many dogs/cats get euthanized each year because no one wants them---I will start crying). I did want to point out an alternative to people that want purebreed cats or dogs--check out your local breed specific rescue groups. Most states have them and you can find everything from pug rescue to siamese cat rescue.
2 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
9 Jun 08
A very good point. At one time I wanted a Border Collie. I ssena few sites dedicated to there rescue on the internet, but never ended up getting.
• United States
8 Jun 08
i would not only highly consider it but i would also one hundred percent recommend it. theres something you have to understand about adoption centers like the Humane Society and the ASPCA. When they get an abandoned or abused animal they nurture them back to health and they put them through a process that determains how they will react under certain conditions. if they are deemed to be of a bad temperament...they are unfortunately put down. these entity's do what they can to ensure that the animal will be safe in their new home and that the animal is able to be placed in that new home and not be a threat to the new family. Watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet sometime. they actually show you some of the tests that they actually use to make sure weather a dog is safe to adopt out or not. of course you need a strong stomach to watch it at times because some of the things people do to their animals is just inhuman, so if you watch it be prepared that you might start crying. is very sad actually. I'm going to leave the give you the ASPCA website link in case you want to check it out. www.aspca.org . just copy and paste that into your browser. hope that helps quell your doubts. and while your there theres a pledge that you can take to help fight animal abuse. have a good one now.
2 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
8 Jun 08
Thank you very much.
@anex08 (868)
• Philippines
8 Jun 08
Adopting is better ofcourse, buying means those animals are being taking care of and is having a wonderful living from the breeder because they cannot sale those cutie pets when they are not healthy and adorable. On the other, adopting is better because you take care of those animals that are previously mistreated or being abused by its previous owner, although its not always the case but lets assume it was the case. In this way, adopting animals are like giving second chance for those creatures to live a second life and have second chances to be loved and taking care of. Cheers!!
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
8 Jun 08
My sentiments exactly.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16268)
8 Jun 08
If I was to have another dog I would go to an animal shelter. Although with a breeder you know what sort of dog you are getting there is no guarantee that it would turn out to be a good dog. With bred dogs as well it is more or less guaranteed that they are going to get a good home because they are not cheap to buy. But with the poor little things at the animal shelter they have less chance of being rehomed. Plus you can get some good breeds of dogs from there anyway.
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
8 Jun 08
It's funny I always beleive that all dogs are good, or at least start that way. If they are mistreated or raised by someone who doesn't care for them, then they go bad.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jun 08
I would rather adopt an animal than buy one. Just seems to make more sense to give a home to an animal that needs a home. I have two dogs so I'm not in a position to want another dog now, but if I were I would look at the shelter. I did search shelters before I got my first dog. However I could not find one that was small enough for me because I live in a small place. I put in a note at several local shelters that I was on the lookout for a small dog good with children because I wanted it for my daughter. The only thing they offered me was a beagle which was a definite no as she was way too vocal for my tastes. I ended up getting a Peke (no papers) from a local guy. Our Pommie puppy was a gift from my daughter's father. His dog had a litter and she was told she could choose one. We are thinking about adding a kitten to our zoo soon and my daughter was already told if we do it will come from a shelter. She agrees with me on that point.
2 people like this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
8 Jun 08
The girlfriend selected the last dog we had. When we seperated I let her take the dog. She got it from a friend and it was a half-bred mongrel that used to spend most of its time trying to break out of the yard. But it was an okay pet that was a pleasure to spend some time with.
1 person likes this
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
9 Jun 08
I had such a HORRIBLE experience trying to adopt at the SPCA that I would NEVER try it again! To make a long story short: I decided I wanted a dog. I went to my local SPCA's website and found a precious 1 year old pit named Polly. She had only one owner and the lady could not keep her due to moving (which I think is ridiculous! If my dog can't live here, neither can I). I filled out the application online and went to see Polly that next Saturday. A friend of mine accompanied me (another dog lover) and we totally fell in love with her. She was so sweet and she was totally trained- knew all her commands. WELL, needless to say- I spent a couple hours with her Saturday and returned on Sunday for another visit. I was to pick her up on Tuesday morning. On monday morning I saw a call come through on my cell from the SPCA-- my immediate thoughts where- OH, maybe they will let me come get her a day early- THAT WAS NOT THE CASE. Apparently- the SPCA does not do their homework on the types of breeds of dogs they choose to take in and give up for adoption. Anyone- who knows anything about the breed of a pure Pit Bull knows that you are not to let her around other dogs unless they know each other already- or are both on leashes where they can be controlled. They went to take Polly out of her cage and the person who did it decided to walk the chiuaua that was caged next door to it at the same time- letting the small dog out as Polly came out- in all the excitment- Polly went after the other animal- they thought to aggressivly- so they put her to sleep. Their exact words on the phone to me were "We had to put Polly down, I'm calling so you can come and pick out another dog"- WHAT!!!!! Just like that you think I can just pick another dog!! I bonded with this one. I took time out of my weekend to spend it with her- getting to know here- so she would be okay coming home- and you think I can just choose another dog and be okay with that!!!! How heartless!!!!!!!!!! I could not believe the audacity of these people. So I would rather get a dog from a breeder ANY DAY over adopting one from a shelter!
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
10 Jun 08
They are looking to outlaw Pit Bulls in this country - too many attacks on people and kids.
1 person likes this
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
10 Jun 08
Precisely my point. People are quick to put them down- instead of looking at every situation. A pit bull is NOT usually made to be a family pet. They are NOT usually kid friendly dogs- unless raised with them. There are many horror stories in my area on the news as well....and they NEVER tell the whole story. I remember a story not long ago about a woman who owned two pit bulls- a girl and boy. They left them with their houseguests and returned to find the pit attacked the houseguest....WELL...the whole story was that the pit just had puppies- and both were the parents. The houseguests was blind- and tripped over the new mother and her puppies- the dogs attacked for fear of someone hurting their young! They were defending themselves- but they were still put down- why - because the owners were too stupid to put them in an environment they would be safe in while they were away!
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9789)
• Canada
9 Jun 08
I have gotten cats from a shelter - I'd never get one from a breeder much much too expensive. Dogs - well I've gotten them from generally the shelter although I'm VERY leery of who i choose as I dont know the history of the dog. I have gotten other dogs from breeders - we raised cocker spaniels for YEARS and because we wanted purebreds we got them from breeders. I got my current dog from a breeder - who also happened to be my mom. I got her because I absolutely loved her dam and sire and wanted one just like them. I love her to bits and pieces. Either way before taking a pet home I make sure to research the breeder, meet them and the animal a couple times and then make a decision. If its from the shelter I find out if I can socialize with the dog/cat a few times before i take it home...If i cant well I have a hard time saying yes I'll take him
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
10 Jun 08
Cocker Spaniels are rally cool dogs.
@saundyl (9789)
• Canada
10 Jun 08
Yes they are. We got two Seventeen years ago and We still have the male of the pair. The female sadly we had to put down last spring due to cancer taking over too much of her body and medications not helping anymore. She was in a lot of pain and we couldn't let her suffer like that.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
9 Jun 08
All my animals have been strays that we found. I will never buy from a breeder as there are so many abandoned animals in need of a home. All have been great pets and I love them like my children, and grieve them like family when the die. When you look in those eyes (saying, please take me home), how can you deny it?
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
10 Jun 08
I used to adopt all 'stray' dogs when I was a kid. Trouble is a lot of them were not strays.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
10 Jun 08
Haha! I bet you had a lot of people running around looking for their pets in your neighborhood then, huh? I used to take in injured birds. My parents never told me it was useless, as they would die, anyway, because they knew I had to learn this. They were good in telling me that God sent them to me to make sure they were happy before he took them home.
@coffeeshot (3785)
• Australia
9 Jun 08
Definitely adopt. All animals that are up for adoption are tested by an animal behaviourist to determine the animal's personality and what sort of home it is suited to. I got my dog Eddie from a shelter and he is the light of my life. Absolutely perfect. Sure, we dont now exactly how old he is or exactluy what breed, but all that matters is that he now has a proper home and people who care for him. I am wondering if anyone saw the Oprah show on puppy mills. It is rampant in the USA. There arel iterally thousands of puppy mills that are out of control, breeding purely with money in mind. This results in mothers being forced to reproduce over and over again and quite often they go without any medical attention and are kept in appalling conditions. It frustrates me to hear about people getting their little white fluffy designer dogs from breeders when there are beautiful unloved dogs in shelters that need families. Sure, everyone wants a cute little puppy from a breeder but the reality is that thousands of animals ins helters are being killed every day because no one wants them. We as animal owners must learn to prioritise and not be so damn selfish and picky.
@Reesers (1387)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I saw that episode as well. It just breaks my heart. There is also a documentary I saw on HBO once. I can't remember the name of it but a gentleman went undercover at a puppy mill and had a hidden camera to capture what went on. I'll do a search and see if I can find the name for it but again, it's heartbreaking.
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
11 Jun 08
Thanks so much for your thoughts on this matter. I have to say that I was unaware of some breeder practises before I started this discussion. Thanks for enlightening me.
• United States
12 Jun 08
if you would have asked me this last year my answer would have been different. i have always been inclined to get animals from a shelter to keep them from being put to sleep. also they deserve a good home after the life they have to put up with in these shelters. but last summer my mom got a dog that the shelter vet said was 6 years old and it had to be put to sleep 2 weeks ago and the emergency vet said he was at least 13 years old. isn't that quite a big difference in age??? i would never go to a breeder...it's too much fuss and muss. i just love dogs and cats and want an animal to love. i got my 2 kittens from a lady nearby that takes in stray cats and helps get them fixed and gets them their shots. they are perfectly healthy domestic short-haired cats. when we decide to find another dog, it will NOT be at the shelter.
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
12 Jun 08
Seems a case of once bitten, twice shy. You have to go whichever way you are comfortacle with. Thanks for your response.
@jray002 (16)
• United States
11 Jun 08
I used to think that going to a shelter for a pet was a risky venture, until last February. That was when we got our awesome little kitty Butterscotch. She had a rough life to start out with because she was completely wild when she was found and taken to the shelter. It took her quite a while to adapt to us and our home. She spent the first three weeks hiding behind the entertainment center. When she realized she was in a safe loving place she came out. Now she's become a lap cat! All it takes is patience and time. :)
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
12 Jun 08
Glad it workes for you and you now have an adorable pet. Thanks so much for your response.
• Canada
11 Jun 08
Erratic - you, and all of the others who think that through a breeder is the only way to go to ensure a "good" dog, need to go out with or talk to an SPCA Animal Cruelty Agent to see how many "puppy mills" there are out there and what conditions these dogs live in. Do you think that when a person goes to a breeder to buy a dog that the breeder shows the buyer what conditions his animals live in? No. You get to see the happy little puppies playing but hoping they are the one that you pick to escape the crates that they are placed in when no one else is around. My wife is an Agent and even in her short time, she has seen too many appalling conditions that dogs are forced to live in so that their owner can make a few extra dollars. And do you know why there are so many dogs in shelters all over North America? Because there are too many breeders out there. It is not regulated - anyone can get two dogs to mate and then sell the pups. The pups that don't sell end up in the shelters. If you really want to help out an animal and still get a pup, call your local shelter, tell them what kind of dog you are looking for and ask them to notify you if one comes in. We got ouor first dog this way and have had a most loyal, protective and loving pet for 9 years.
1 person likes this
@Erratic (723)
• Australia
11 Jun 08
Putting in notification and waiting for a breed of dog you would like sounds like a very good idea.