Think Twice Before BUYING a Pet, Adoption Is The Ethical Choice


While millions of dogs are in shelters, backyard breeders are putting more animals’ lives at risk by continuing to unethically breed animals. Currently, there are no laws that regulate how much a breeder can use an animal for a profit, meaning that buying a pet from a backyard breeder takes away the chances of a homeless animal finding a home.

A backyard breeder is an animal breeder with little to no knowledge of breeding, who will solely breed animals for the purpose of making a profit off of them. Whether it be accidental breeding or on purpose, breeders add to the overpopulation of domestic pets. These breeders won’t even do the bare minimum of caring for the future health of the animals they’re taking advantage of.

The effects of this type of breeding can be seen in behavior, health, and physiological issues. Many studies state that one of the most common outcomes of dogs born in high-volume commercial breeding is an increase in aggression. This behavior is most often directed towards owners, family members, other dogs, and unfamiliar people.

Another concern is selective breeding. Selective breeding in the context of animals is the process of choosing two parents in order to produce offspring with more desirable features or characteristics. This is alarming because selective breeding leads to skin problems, blood disease, neurological and behavioral issues, hearing and vision issues, and cancer.

When it comes to not spaying or neutering a pet, it can be detrimental to a pet’s health, and it contributes to overpopulation. Dogs can produce up to four litters a year with an average of five to eight puppies in each litter and cats can have up to five litters a year with a range of one to twelve kittens in each litter. Spaying puts an end to the stress and the discomfort females undergo during heat and reduces the risk of mammary cancer and uterine cancer. When neutering males, it can prevent prostate and testicular cancer.

While “ethical” breeders exist, many believe that any type of breeding is unnecessary. Although “ethical” breeders are caring for their animal’s health, they still breed their animals with the intention of making a profit off of them. There are millions of animals that die every day in shelters as a result of irresponsible humans, so adding to the population whether it’s “ethical” or not, is unwise in the eyes of many, as it takes away a potential home for an animal in a shelter.

Although backyard breeding may feel like an ongoing cycle, there are steps that could be taken to make sure it’s prevented.

To prevent overpopulation and future health complications, spay/neuter your pet! The Fauquier SPCA offers low-cost spaying and neutering as well as many other services.

Adopt! It gives a pet a proper chance to be loved and cared for.

Local shelters have policies that require a dog or cat to be vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and microchipped before adopting. If a person is not in search of a dog or cat, the local Fauquier SPCA has more options including guinea pigs and rabbits.

Adopting should be the first choice but if you find yourself buying a pet from a breeder, make sure they meet these requirements:

  • Make sure the breeder is willing to show you the pet’s environment.
  • Make sure they explain the pet’s medical history and gives you their veterinarian’s contact information.
  • Be conscious of all-year-round breeding; this is a major red flag.
  • Most Ethical breeders will create legally binding contracts for the people adopting the pet. Creating a contract with the breeder is necessary to prevent scamming and to maintain the health of your animal.
  • Puppies must be at least 8 weeks old in order to be adopted and kittens must be older than 12 weeks, any younger is not a good sign

Backyard breeding will continue to spread if we don’t educate ourselves. Animals should be able to live a happy life without irresponsible humans disturbing them.

For more information on the Fauquier SPCA visit their website: