Rescue or Adopt

Are you feeling confused by the choices of adoption or rescuing?

How do you know you are supporting an ethical source of pets, and not a substandard breeder or rescue?

Aren't you just trying to find the right choice for you and your family?

With open hearts, we would like to share a bit of our story, 
why we do what we do, and ways you can help.

We have been supporting rescues and shelters longer than we've been breeding Labrador Retrievers. 

It started in 2006, when on our honeymoon in Mexico, we found a street dog in need of medical attention. 

Frightened by what would happen to this dog if we didn't help it, we were delightfully surprised to find an organization that was happy to help.

The dog was treated, restored to health, spayed, and re-homed locally.

Since that day, we have donated to and volunteered with that same family-run organization. While we also support Canadian-based charities, the Mexico-based rescue quickly became our favourite for animals for one very simple reason - money goes a lot further and helps more animals.

There is another reason for this as well, which is that some of our attempts to donate to rescues in Canada have been rejected, because we are breeders. 

We understand the confusion, and frustration that comes from this issue.
But wouldn't it be better for
if we just worked together for animal advocacy and supported each other?

What can you do? Great news! There are many ways you can help protect and save animals abroad, and at home too!

Instead of supporting the importation of rescued animals, we support using those resources to spay/neuter and re-home them in their own communities.

"You don't know what you don't know" - Unknown

Here is what we learned: Importing animals for rescue purposes has resulted in disease outbreaks (Parvo, Distemper, and Brucellosis) which has lead to the death of countless animals.

We also learned that importing one animal means leaving dozens behind, and the same money could be used to humanely spay/neuter and vaccinate them all.

But you don't know what you don't know, and so many people (trying so hard to do the right thing) will import individual animals to save them... not knowing how much harm this brings to other animals. 

  • Adopt From Local Shelters

Contact your local shelter or humane society to set up an appointment to adopt

  • Volunteer Locally

Not ready to adopt? You can still help! Dogs need walking, kittens need cuddling.

  • Send Money

Whether local or abroad, do the research to find an organization you trust, and donate!

  • Take Supplies

Many have a wish list, and you might have something they need! Blankets, toys, and food are always thoughtful donations.

  • Volunteer Stay/Vacations

Usually 2-4 days, volunteer during a spay/neuter campaign and make a trip out of it! We did! 

Okay, but back to the point! Should you adopt from a breeder or rescue? You've heard the chants, "Adopt Don't Shop!" and "Don't Breed or Buy While Others Suffer and Die!"

But hold on one second. 

While we agree with rescuing when possible, one shoe doesn't fit all sizes. We can't all be expected to rescue, and no one should feel guilted when making life-long commitments. 

Can you imagine getting the same advice for dating?

"How dare you look for a clean slate in a life partner! You should only look for someone you can fix!" 

If you do decide to support and ETHICAL BREEDER, then let's take a moment to frame that thought.

What IS an ethical breeder, anyhow? How do you know you aren't accidentally buying a pup or dog from a "bad source"?

What makes up Ethical Breeder Anyhow? At least, the basics. 

Ethical Breeders:

  •  Warranty Health

Breeders who have invested in health testing will offer a lifetime warranty in writing, offering money, not exchange.

  •  Return Policy

Good breeders care, and don't want their pups in shelters. A good breeder will have a written return contract.

  •  Vetted By Third Party

It is tough to know who to trust, but look for veterinarian recommendations, and not just social media or personal references.

  •  Bonus Bits

Breeders are a funny batch of people. The good ones become very apparent  and are very passionate about their pups. The health of their dogs, and selective placements should be paramount.

What if buying a dog or puppy from an ethical breeder can be just as impactful as rescuing!

Did you just roll your eyes, or scrunch up your nose? GREAT! Then you need to read this: BUYING FROM AN ETHICAL BREEDER is going to choke out puppy mills, and PREVENT dogs from needing to be rescued in the first place!

Don't believe me yet?

Think of this - if your friend was in an accident, and was profusely bleeding from the neck, and had a small cut the hand, would you put a bandaid on the hand, or pressure on the neck?

I hope you said neck, otherwise your friend wouldn't be your friend much longer!

It isn't so different with dogs. If you rescue a dog, it helps that individual dog, if you want to prevent more dogs from suffering, you have to change the way those dogs are born and raised. You have to change the source.

If you support an ethical source, the mills and backyard breeders will dry up. Ethical breeders won't allow for their dogs to end up in shelters and rescues, so those dogs never enter into the problem. If pet owners were diligent about either supporting ONLY ethical breeders and ethical rescues, there would be fewer and fewer dogs in need of rescuing in the first place! 

The Answer? 

There is no easy answer, and you can't go wrong asking questions. 

The truth is we need to work together, supporting and encouraging rescues, breeders, and veterinarians so prospective pet owners can make informed decisions about Pet Sourcing. 

Countless times, we have encouraged families to rescue, because we felt they were capable and better suited for it. 

For other families, adopting from a breeder is a better fit. Rather than pushing them to chose differently, wouldn't it be lovely for them to have support and education about ethical breeding, and how we can all help prevent unwanted animals together?  

Would you like more help deciding what type of dog is best for your family?