where to get pets
Where is the best place to get pets from?
So you have decided you want a pet, but now you're wondering where to get them from. The most obvious place to get a pet would be from a local pet shop. These days there are so many pet shops, especially since chain stores have opened, most people live close to one of these, making it an easy option for everyone. Although this is the easy option, is it really the best?
Unfortunately animal shelters are often full with animals desperately needing homes, especially dogs and cats, but also many small animals can be found in these shelters. For example, rabbits are one of the most neglected animals found in rescue shelters.
It can be a very vicious cycle, which can only be solved if more people choose adoption, or if more pet shops begin to properly inform people about the animals welfare needs and the commitment involved. Unfortunately it is just far too easy these days for anyone to go to a pet shop and buy any animal.
What difference will adopting make?
Adopting from a shelter makes a huge difference. No matter how small the animal, the money you give helps support an amazing cause, and you are allowing more space for other animals to be rescued. Even if you are looking for young animals, rescues often have many available as animals regularly get handed into the rescues pregnant. It's a great feeling knowing that you are having a positive impact - giving a homeless animal a second chance they deserve, whilst contributing to a great charity.
What if my local shelter doesn't have the animal I am looking for?
You may have to travel further if your local shelter doesn't have the animal you are looking for, but it will definitely be worth it! If the distance is too far, I reccomend looking on websites such as Preloved, Pets4Homes & Gumtree to find small animals that are looking for a new home. If you choose to do this, make sure that the animal is for rehoming and not for sale (as many breeders advertise on these websites).
If I still can't find what I am looking for, what do I do?
First of all I would advise waiting a few months. Animal shelters are getting animals brought in on a daily basis so if you regularly check their websites, you may eventually find what you are looking for. On the other hand, you may still be waiting and never find what you are looking for, in which case you may have no other option than going to a pet shop. If that is the case, I recommend going to an independent pet shop rather than a chain store, as the breeding conditions of the animals in chain stores is usually not as good (because there is a higher demand for small animals, the breeding of these animals is not necessarily done with as much care). Rehoming should always be the priority, but the same time, don't feel bad if you have no other option than going to a pet shop.
It can be very tempting when you walk into a pet shop and see all these adorable small animals, and what makes it even more of a temptation to buy them is the fact that they are usually very young when brought to these pet shops (and everyone loves baby animals!). Even if you are feeling a great urge to buy one of these, I think it is important to remember that the vast majority of these animals will get bought very quickly as people can't resist how adorable they are. A problem with the way most pet shops work is that it is generally far too easy to purchase an animal without being properly informed of their welfare needs. After a few weeks of buying an animal from a pet shop, many people realise that they were not prepared for the work involved, or perhaps they realise it's not the right pet for them, and as a result many animals become neglected or brought into rescue shelters.