Hi there! Who’s Poly you say? Well, me, the many-toed cat of course. I live at Ambassador Animal Hospital and until I am adopted by the PERFECT person or family,(a nice family tried but I was mean to their other kitty) I am forced to earn my keep by occasionally updating you on all things veterinary. Since I am after all–a cat–I am entitled to be both temperamental and opinionated. If you cannot abide this then you will need to find a dog blog–he,he,he.
So seriously, what do we discuss in Poly’s first blog?
Well, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon when I sit at the receptionist’s desk and watch animals entering the building. They come in all shapes and sizes–short dogs, tall dogs, fat dogs and skinny dogs, furry dogs and even hairless dogs. And then the cats–fat cats and skinny cats, purebred cats and stray cats, mean cats and happy cats. So how do humans decide what to adopt to bring into their home? Well, like most cats I have a few opinions.
One of the largest questions facing prospective pet owners is whether to acquire a purebred animal from a breeder or a rescue animal from a shelter or other rescue agency. Obviously I am biased since I AM a rescue, but here’s the way I see it.
Every rescue animal adopted from a shelter is one less animal that will be euthanized when it fails to be adopted. Maybe it’s just my imagination but sometimes it really seems that rescued animals are more appreciative of good care having experienced less than ideal circumstances. But in all fairness, there are a few caveats to the rescued animal. If the rescue is a mixed breed pet and a juvenile, it is hard to predict just what the adult version of that cute little puppy or kitten is going to look like.
Similarly, we really have no idea as to the temperament or behavioral characteristics of the parents of the adopted pet. Some animals in shelters have significant behavioral problems that either landed them in the shelter in the first place, or which may be the result of poor upbringing or traumatic past experiences. Finally, some shelter animals will be harboring contagious diseases either acquired at the shelter or as a result of poor preventive disease care prior to being adopted.
So what about the purebred animal? The primary advantage of the purebred animal is predictability. Purebred animals can be expected to share certain characteristics. The Persian cat is going to have long hair, and possibly some breathing difficulties resulting from the pushed in face.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is likely to be a great home companion but don’t expect him or her to guard the house when you are away. The Labrador Retriever is going to eat or carry everything that is not tied down, but isn’t going to be most people’s ideal lap dog unless they have a very big lap! Genetic diseases are more prevalent in the purebred animal and unfortunately, from some sources, contagious disease may still be a problem. Animal rights activists will sometimes argue that all purebred dog breeding should be outlawed, but I would argue that there is a place for predictability in this world. (I like knowing that I will be fed when I finish writing this!) There are situations in which predictable size, temperament and coat characteristics may be essential to the prospective pet parent. Perhaps the very worst reason to acquire a purebred animal is to breed it so that “you can get your money back”, but that’s another whole article.
So there you have it from Poly’s perspective. Purebred or rescue? It’s really up to you and your family’s needs. Save a life if you are able to and have considered the downsides to rescue adoption. If predictability is a must, then either adopt an adult rescue or a purebred of any age. And of course, always remember that a pet is for a lifetime, and not just until the children leave home. Enough said, and hey! Be sure to pet me when you see me or at least say “hello”!
“Poly” (the polydactyl cat)Share