Responsible pet ownership begins with responsible procurement - before you even bring your pet home. An important goal of responsible pet ownership communities is to reduce the number of homeless animals and to reduce the number of healthy, behaviorally sound animals being needlessly euthanized. We all contribute to this goal when we responsibly procure new pets to bring into our homes.
Responsible Procurement Options:
Adopting a pet: Animal care and control shelters, humane societies, and animal rescue organizations have animals available for adoption. These organizations help animals find new homes. Many of the animals in the care of these organizations are in this circumstance because a human relationship has failed them.
Purchasing a pet: Responsible breeders offer animals for sale. Some communities are making it easier to identify responsible breeders. For example, in Palm Beach County, Florida, any pet shop that sells dogs or cats must disclose the breed, sex and date of birth of each dog and cat as well as the name and address of the breeder of each dog and cat. In addition, any person in Palm Beach County that breeds a dog or cat, must first obtain a permit. (See Palm Beach County Ord. No. 98-22, § 4-23. Palm Beach County is making it easier for residents to identify responsible breeders.)
Responsible procurement helps build responsible pet ownership communities, and responsible pet ownership communities are safer communities for all people (pet owners and non-pet owners alike) and all pets.