There are a lot of people who overlook the value that shelters add to animals. These same people often look for purebred dogs. While there is nothing wrong with buying a purebred dog at full-price, why would you want to?
Purebred dogs tend to have a lot of genetic problems because of inbreeding and selective breeding. They also live shorter lives than their mixed breed counterparts. Add up all the genetic disorders inherent in a particular breed and you will soon find yourself shelling out tons of money on veterinary care.
Shelter animals are terrific alternatives to purchasing a dog from a breeder. Many times you can find a purebred dog in a shelter at a deep discount. For example, a purebred AKC German Shepherd puppy in Louisville, KY runs about $1200. You could find a similar German Shepherd mix puppy at a local shelter for $80. At Hardin County Animal Control in Elizabethtown, KY, this price includes: the dog’s spay or neuter surgery, distemper/parvo vaccine, rabies vaccine and license, deworming, and county license. That creates tremendous value for prospective pet parents.
Buying a similar dog from a breeder will cost more because the added services of vaccines, surgery, and licensing will be performed by a veterinarian and not the breeder.
You can buy a dog from a breeder if that’s what you really want but I would caution you never to buy a dog online. If you find a breeder, make sure you go and visit the breeder. Inspect their facility. Find out what kind of care they provide to their litters. Meet the sire and dam as well as the pups. Interact with them and determine if the dog you want fits your personality.
Your local shelter is a great resource for finding a pet that will match your personality. In fact, sometimes when visiting the shelter, you might find that a dog or cat will adopt you.
PHOTO CREDIT: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com