Sometimes it just blows my mind how some people get pets they’re not prepared for/proceed to not take responsibility for...some people act like pets are just some cute little object to decorate your home or something. I’ll never understand ppl getting pets they’re not prepared for and then just getting rid of them like they’re trash.
Like, having a pet, any pet, is serious work. It’s so ingrained in me to include my pets in all my decisions, even small ones, and to be thinking about them constantly. This occurred to me earlier when I was shopping, bc with many of the purchases (for my home)I make I have to think “okay, is this cat/dog/ferret proof?” And if it’s not, I simply don’t buy it no matter how much I want it. Pets are dirty, they’re messy, cleaning up after them is a chore. You have to dedicate hours of your life to cleaning up after them, spending time with them, training them etc. They won’t always do what you want, sometimes they break stuff. Their care and food is expensive. So many things you have to be prepared for, no pet is “easy” especially not fish or reptiles, as so many people believe.
The misinformation and irresponsiblity regarding pets sometimes makes me so goddamn angry. If you go out of your way to get a pet, any pet, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to do anything and everything in your power to take care of them, and keep them healthy and happy. No pet is an “easy pet” every pet requires time, money, and patience. They are not disposable, they are family.
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asking out of genuine curiosity: what’s the problem with “adopt don’t shop”? (implied but not explained in a post you reblogged)
When it’s applied to mill breeders and pet shops, I’m in complete agreement with it. If I remember right, that’s what it was originally MEANT to apply to. Then it became co-opted by Animal Rights Activists, who are generally against pet ownership completely. It became a blanket statement against breeders of any sort, vilifying responsible and ethical breeders and those who purchase from them.
So, four years ago, I started looking for a prospective service dog. It was natural for me to start my search within rescues, because most of them were known to me already. I look like a pretty good applicant: I work in rescues, I specialize in handling animals with difficult temperaments, I have vet records stretching back to when I came of age (basically, I’ve been fully responsible for my cats’ vet care since I was 18), and all of my animals have either died of old age or random chance (I’ve never rehomed any of my personal animals for any reason, including health issues).
But it turned out to be borderline impossible.
The fact that I was looking for a service dog prospect was an immediate disqualification for most of them. This is because a lot of dogs (especially rescue dogs) wash out of training and can’t go on to become fully trained service dogs. Since most disabled people can only afford one or two dogs, most of these dogs are returned to the shelter/rescue. That knocked out about 60% of the rescues I was looking at.
Another rescue asked for an ‘application fee’, which smacks of a scam to me. It was around 40 dollars, but still. That’s a shitty fucking thing to do. :/
Another priced their dogs around 800 dollars, which is on the low end range for popular purebred dogs from pet-quality breeders. There was no way I was going to pay 800 dollars for a dog with an unknown genetic background and no health testing if I could pay the same thing and get a dog WITH all that.
Another asked me to take pictures of my fenced in yard, including the gate and ALL the fencing. My land is 22 acres. While it IS fully fenced, many of the fences are inaccessible to me because they’re on cliffs. There was no way I could physically get all the pictures.
Most require that you own a house. I rent.
Another rescue had a sneaky little addendum in their policy, stating that they can visit my home at ANY TIME without permission or knowledge and take the dog back within two weeks of adopting it. This place also had a very high adoption fee (around 500 dollars). I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of, “You’re not ADOPTING this dog. This is a temporary foster for two weeks, and the adoption fee is non-refundable if we take the dog back within those two weeks, which we may do so at any time for any reason without your knowledge or permission.”
I was feeling pretty good about the next rescue, until it came out that my pet reptiles are all intact. Like… they’re non-breeding. But the fact that they weren’t spayed or neutered was enough, apparently, and I was denied. “Come back when they’ve been fixed,” I was told. The fact that they’re reptiles, housed separately, and literally have never made contact with each other was deemed irrelevant, as was the fact that attempting to alter a 50 gram gecko would likely kill her. It was the LOOK of things that was important, rather than the actual animal welfare.
The local poodle rescue had a waiting list of approximately 5 years.
There was no way I was going to wait that long. So I started looking at shelters. There are three in my travel radius (did I mention that, as a disabled person, my travel radius is quite small? Because it is). One was immediately knocked out because it has a long history of transphobia against me in particular. One was knocked out because it was going through a panleuk issue at the moment, so I wasn’t going to risk bringing it home or to work. The third was almost completely bully breed mixes, chihuahuas, or huskies (which are all fine breeds, but not compatible with my lifestyle).
Another issue with ‘adopt don’t shop’ is that it implies ALL rescues/shelters are equal. They aren’t. I’ve also encountered some extremely unethical rescues who outright lie to adopters about an animals’ temperament or health. I’ve seen rescues who actively purchase puppies from mill auctions, because demand for ‘rescue purebreeds’ is so high. This is especially common with cavalier spaniels and other in-demand small breeds.
I recently cut ties with a cat rescue who actively refused to report a bad breeder for animal abuse/neglect—-this breeder was mass-producing cats and not socializing them or treating them for heavy health issues. Every few months, they’d turn over whatever they couldn’t sell to the rescue and these cats were inevitably poorly socialized messes who couldn’t even be touched (and these were cats who required a high amount of grooming). The rescue didn’t want to turn the breeder in because these cats were in high demand; they were 100% sure guaranteed adoptions. People didn’t care that they weren’t healthy animals; they just wanted something pretty with a sob story.
Not every breeder is responsible. Not every rescue is responsible either. The saying SHOULD be ‘adopt responsibly, shop responsibly’. On a purely pedantic note, you SHOULD be shopping responsibly regardless, because adopting is also shopping. You shouldn’t adopt the first cute animal with a sad backstory. You need to look into everything and make sure they’re the right fit for you and your life.
I fully support rescues. But I also support breeding. My goal as a rescue worker is to create a world where every animal is born with a home already waiting for them and the shelters are empty. For that, we need breeders to keep producing healthy animals.
Basically, don’t vilify people who buy from responsible, ethical breeders. We have our reasons for doing so.
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