Tonawanda News

Features

April 22, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Obtaining and giving away pets

I have acquired pets from traditional pet stores, specialty pet stores, county fairs, markets, poultry shows, the Buffalo and Western New York Poultry Association, the Western New York Herpetological Society, the Internet, magazines, wildlife rehabbers, Petfinder, SPCA, breeders and through friends, all of which had their positives and negatives.

The health of the animals is what I valued first. In addition to the overall health of the specific animal I was interested in, the enriching environment and the well being of the animals in the surrounding area, was also important.

Many pet stores — though not all — and professional breeders are at the bottom of my list when I decide to make a new acquisition. I have visited both an exotic animal and dog breeder’s house, both of which made me feel a little uneasy.

Seeing all of the animals for free or low cost at the local SPCAs and companion rescue groups, I can’t help but think that these people’s time and energy could be better spent on caring for the animals that need help currently.

Pet stores usually give me the same feeling. I wonder how they acquire their animals.

Usually one or two birds are looking a little under the weather or at least a few fish are floaters. If they are not in the business of keeping their animals healthy, then they do not need my business – this includes the sale of toys and food.

Online and magazine orders can be tricky because you can’t see their facilities. The reason I have used these venues, though, was because the breed of ducks I was interested in was not located in Western New York. I used two companies based on friends’ reviews of their past orders, the size of the company — mom-and-pop size — and online reviews.

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