There are so many choices when thinking about getting a new pet. First you need to decide if a purebred is necessary or if adoption is best for you.
Purebred pets provide a known genetic history and likely size and personality traits based on their breed. When looking for a purebred dog, choose a dog from a reputable breeder who only breeds AKC registered dogs. Anyone can register a dog with the ACA, AMV or APR, and even AKC registry does not guarantee a good dog. A good breeder only breeds one, maybe 2 breeds of dogs, waits until the female is over 2 years of age, has no more than 1 litter per year, guarantees the hips, eyes and elbows to be free from genetic defects (and has paperwork to back this up), and will refund your purchase price if the pet develops a problem. There should also be no history of seizures, skin problems, or excessive shyness or aggression. A good breeder will be glad to show you the mother of the puppies and should be interested in finding each puppy a good home. Additionally, good breeders either show their dogs or use them for field trials or agility. Do not buy a puppy from a pet store or a "puppy mill" a place where multiple breeds of puppies are sold. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill just allows more puppies to be sold and bred.
Purebred cats should also come with a guarantee including hips, knees, and heart and should not be sick.
The most important part of selecting a pet is researching the breed traits and knowing how they will fit into your lifestyle. Don't get a high energy breed such as a Weimeraner, Pointer, Border Collie, or Labrador Retriever unless you can provide the dog an hour of running and playing minimum per day! If you are looking for a low-shedding breed, consider a Bichon or Poodle. Chihuahuas are cute, but can be very protective and can show aggression to strangers. Do your research before selecting a breed. The mother dog's behavior is also a good indicator of what the pup's personality may be like.
Lehigh Valley Kennel Club www.lvkc.org
In most cases, adoption of your next pet is the best option for all concerned. An unwanted pet gets a good home, and you can choose a pet with the personality you desire. An adult animal may already be housebroken, and its personality is already developed. Mixed breed animals tend to have less medical problems due to a condition called hybrid vigor and can make wonderful pets. Even purebred animals can be adopted from rescues and shelters. Whatever the age, sex, shape or size, and adopted pet can meet the need.
Some staggering statistics to consider:
Every year between 6-8 million pets enter a shelter!
Of those pets, 3-4 million healthy pets are euthanized!
25% of dogs in a shelter are purebred.
One cat and her offspring can produce over 400,000 cats in a seven year time period.
Be part of the solution- spay and neuter and adopt from rescues and shelters. You have a better indicator of a pet's personality by adopting an adult pet from a rescue or shelter, plus you're saving a life!!!!
Some places which are good sources for adoption include the following:
Pennsylvania Federation of Dog Clubs www.paonline.com/pfdc This organization has a list of rescues by breed and breeders.
Ruth Steinert Memorial SPCA 570-544-2920 or www.petfinder.com/shelters/PA18.html
Hillside Shelter 570-622-7769 www.hillsidespca.com
Peacable Kingdom 610-432-2532 www.peacablekingdom:info
Forgotten Felines and Fidos 610-760-9009 www.forgottenfelines.org