By Jenny Anderson
Special for today’s News-Herald
If you’ve ever weighed the cost of buying a popular breed, like the French Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, or Golden Retriever, you know they’re expensive. The minimum price is in the hundreds, sometimes several thousand dollars. And that price is just the start. Some require special procedures, such as tail docking, depending on breed standards. The irony is that you can often get these same animals from human society or purebred rescue for a fraction of the price from the breeder.
Another factor to consider is the potential for genetic defects that tend to be passed down from one generation to the next. Unless the bloodlines are checked for genetic health, you risk facing serious future medical issues. That’s the beauty of mixed-breed animals. The potential for genetic disorders, as well as certain negative behavioral traits, is reduced.
When we adopt a dog from the Western Arizona Humane Society, we receive a dollar value greater than the actual amount paid. All animals are modified before being released. The $155 for an adult dog or $70 for an adult cat covers services that would total much more if purchased separately. Consider this: The neutering or neutering procedure, when performed in a private veterinary practice, can cost between $300 and $500. Every dog comes with a microchip, and both cats and dogs need vaccines. Additional charges apply for required city dog licenses.
Also consider that we have the support of WAHS staff when adopting pets. You just don’t get that kind of deal buying dogs from breeders. Many breeders, especially puppy mills, are notorious for their lack of medical care and genetic testing; with them, it’s all about profit. They may have a great website, but who knows what goes on behind the scenes—never buy without seeing the establishment and the parents. Do your research!
If things don’t work out, you can return the pet within 30 days at no additional cost and maybe find another pet that’s a better fit. Please do your homework from the start, so this doesn’t have to happen; however, sometimes it’s just not a good match.
WAHS staff may be able to help you find a pet that suits your lifestyle. Staff and volunteers know a lot about animals, so listen to their suggestions, especially when children and other pets are part of the family. Active pets should be paired with active people, and senior pets are great for many seniors. Cats might be a better choice for workers who have to be away from home for long periods of time. The average dog definitely needs more attention.
WAHS tries to identify health issues, but that doesn’t guarantee your dog will be perfect. For example, heartworm is a common disease caused by mosquito bites from an infected mosquito. WAHS is unable to routinely test for heartworm, but your own veterinarian may suggest it. This disease is preventable with medication; however, veterinarians should do a blood test before giving the drugs. Even if an animal is house trained, expect some mess during the initial adjustment period.
There are so many healthy, adoptable dogs and cats available at the Western Arizona Humane Society. If you don’t see the dog you’re looking for on your first visit, check back often. Make a request for a specific type of dog on the “wish list” at the office and attend local adoption events. I have found that if we don’t give up, the right animal comes our way!
According to the ASPCA, “Every 10 seconds of every day, a homeless dog will enter a shelter. That’s millions of dogs every year, waiting for a second chance in real homes with loving families.
Don’t forget the drive-thru vaccination clinic on April 2 from 8-11 a.m. at the WAHS facility. The Western Arizona Humane Society is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with kennel hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is located at 2610 Sweetwater Avenue. Call 855-5083 for details. To find lost pets, call 855-4111. To see the animals found, see www.lhcpd.com.