Is the humane society the only place to adopt a pet?

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adopt a pet human societyTAKE ME HOME PLEASE


Not everyone thinks about the various places you can adopt a pet including the most obvious, the humane society.

Having a family pet is something that is common in many homes around the world.

Having a family pet can add some stress to our budgets as well as having enough time to care for them.

Making smart decisions when purchasing a pet can go a long way in saving you some of your hard earned money.

A Man’s Best Friend, Not Always a Budget’s Best Friend

While many people consider their pet to be a part of the family many do not think about how much money owning a pet may cost them in the long run.

Mr. CBB shared in a previous post the many costs associated with owning a pet.

If you have even the slightest concern that you may not be able to afford all the costs associated with owning a pet or the time required to care for your pet, don’t own one.

You may want to strongly consider not having a pet until you can make sure all of their needs will be met.

Where you purchase your pet, Humane Society, online or even a pet store can certainly have an effect on how much money you spend. This may also help avoid some unnecessary trips to the vet.

While I mainly refer to dogs and cats in this post, many of these points are also valid for purchasing any pet whether it’s a bird, iguana or a guinea pig.


Buying pets from pet stores


Mommy, daddy can we have a pet please? Please!

How many times have you walked past a pet store with your kids to hear one of them say this?

All of those cute, adorable puppies staring at us through the window as we walk through the mall are put in those windows for that reason. The shop owner is hoping the cuteness factor will draw people in to buy one of those cute puppies or kittens.

Remember that when purchasing a pet it’s for life just not for the day, week or the season.

Unfortunately many of these animals are purchased from puppy mills and sources that do not have any regulations.

You may also find that a lack any kind of inspection of the environment in which these animals are raised is also not regulated.

It can be very hard to back-track to find where your pet came from originally to really have a good idea of what kind of living conditions your new dog or cat was exposed to.

There is what can be compared to a black market for pets, people and ‘businesses’ out there looking to make a buck any way whether it is humane or not.

Buying your new dog regardless of how cute it is from a pet store creates a demand for these animals that may have health problems.

You may unaware of these problems when you leave the pet store because you really don’t know where and how they were brought into this world.


Buying pets online


In this day and age there are many people posting ads on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist with their main focus being to make a few extra bucks.

Unfortunately honesty often gets overlooked by some people when posting these for sale ads. I am not saying there is a lack of honest people in the online world but you need to be weary and ask the seller lots of questions.

How do you know what they are telling you is true?

I have heard of a few cases over the years where the new owners were given documentation stating the animal has had its first shots when in fact they haven’t. Then the pet owner is surprised at how quickly they find themselves with a sick animal requiring a trip to the vet.

You may end up with a large vet bill to pay to treat a condition that may have been avoided if you were given the initial correct information that your pet did not in fact receive their shots.

If a seller offers to bring the animal to you rather than allowing you to see the environment in which it is coming from, be weary. I wouldn’t go ahead with the purchase because you just never know.


Buying pets from breeders


Buying from a breeder can be as misleading as buying a pet online.

Even though many breeders advertise that their animals have had all their shots unfortunately there are no regulations for even licensed breeders.

Having no regulations makes breeding animals an easy money making opportunity for some and often under the table money.

Often this is accompanied with inhumane living conditions and abuse to occur while they are advertising to sell you a new puppy to have as your family pet.

Again, if the breeder offers to bring the animal to you, say no!


Why buy when you can adopt a pet?


The over-breeding, unregulated breeding and unprepared pet owners have contributed to the over population of unwanted or uncared for animals. These animals are ending up at our local humane society or animal shelters.

While many of these animals may have been originally obtained through the means mentioned previously in this post you can be sure you are getting a lot more honest information about your pet.

Keep in mind you are also not contributing to the demand for unethical, inhumane breeding of animals.

Adopting an animal from the humane society is also significantly cheaper than going to a pet store or buying online.

The following list below is taken from my local humane society. While your local prices may be slightly different, respectively they will be comparable.


Humane Society pet adoption costs


Below are some  actual costs of adopting a cat or dog from the humane society in my Ontario city.


Cats & Kittens $180.00
Dogs & Puppies $300.00
Vet Services Included in Adoption Fees Cat Dog
Veterinary Health Exam $75 $75
Spay/Neuter $250 $300
First Vaccines $85 $85
Deworming $20 $20
Microchipped $55 $55
45 Days Free Pet Insurance $45 $45
Total Value of Vet Services Included in Adoption Fees $530  $580
Savings By Adopting at the Humane Society $350 $280


If you are looking for a particular breed consider calling around to multiple humane societies or animal shelters. There is a good chance you may find what you are looking for.

The costs of caring for these animals at the Humane Society is funded by donations. Whether its donations of pet food or blankets to make beds for them to sleep on all donations are appreciated.

If you have recently lost a pet or have extra blankets, toys or food around consider making a donation to your local humane society.


Farley Foundation


Do you know about the Farley Foundation?

I didn’t until I did some research to write this.

While life doesn’t always go as planned, our pets get sick or injured at times and require veterinary care. These costs can add up quickly and if you are already struggling to make ends meet where do you get some help to take care of your family pet?

There are some eligibility requirements that need to be met but if you are an Ontario resident and are a recipient of Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Payments, or a senior citizen.

You may qualify for up to $1000 per year of funding towards veterinary bills if you fall into one of those categories.

The Veterinary clinic does the application for you as long as they are a member of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, which is not a mandatory requirement in Ontario.

If your pets requires care it may be worth your while to look into this program if you think you may eligible for funding.

Many dogs, cats and other animals may never have the chance to make it into a loving home. Making smart choices when you purchase your new pet can avoid supporting the overpopulation of sick, abused and uncared for animals in our humane societies and animal shelters.

These animals will most often sadly be euthanized if no one adopts them as well as saving you some unnecessary expenses.

In the famous words of Bob Barker, “Help control the pet population and remember to get your dog spayed or neutered”.

Do you have any experiences or advice to share when buying a family pet?




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Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/


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  1. We bought our dog from a rural breeder and don’t regret it. It wasn’t cheap but we feel it was worth the cost. The breeder gave tours of the facilities and we could tell the dogs were well taken care of. I’m sure the quality of breeder effects the long term health of the dogs and a quality breeder can likely save owners from hefty vet bills later on

  2. Our local pet store, gets their cats/kittens from the SPCA. We rescued a hamster once from the pet store. It had one eye closed (we thought it was missing) and looked beat up. We still had to pay for it, but I couldn’t let it become snake food. He only lived a day, but “Jack” (after pirate Jack Sparrow) died surrounded by people who cared.
    Contact you local landlords. They will have animals left behind, on occasion (we know, because we’ve re-homed about 14 cats)
    Kijiji/ Craigslist are full of people looking for homes for pets, for whatever reason.
    Ask your vet too. Sometimes they know elderly people who may be going into a nursing home, and their pets need a new home.Or leave a poster there. wanting a pet.

  3. We have had a number of cats over the years from various sources. Our first was from friends who’s cat had kittens. That was Bulldog, a lovely tortie.We had her 16 yrs. Whiskey and Francis came from the local Humane Society. Whiskey lived 4 yrs until she got sick, there was nothing the vet could do. Francis was my cat for 17 yrs. Mooch came from hubby’s Aunt. Other cats in the house were picking on her so we took her. She was 8 when liver disease hit. And then we had Gunky, a big orange boy that loved everyone for 20 years. Sapphire, our siamese, we got from the pet store here in town. I was fine getting her there as the lady that owned the pet store breed her from her own cat. We had her for 19 yrs. My sweet Cookie came from that pet store. We had her for 13 yrs. We know have Stuart, he came from the humane society. A couple of yrs ago we had little Suzie, I wanted a black cat, so we brought her home from the humane society after looking at a number of furballs. Sad part was that she was never healthy and died the day after she turned 4 months. We still loved her and I still would like to have a black cat. No idea why I just do. All our cats were loved, well cared for and spayed/neutered…. that is a condition of living with us.

  4. GREAT POST! Chicago just passed an ordinance yesterday that banned pet stores from selling dogs from breeders. They must only “sell” dogs from rescues, humane societies, or shelters. They can only make so much money from it, and they are now heavily regulated.

    It really gets me when I see how many people think breeders are the best option. I can write a book about how it’s often not.

  5. Another place to get pets are strays from the streets and friends. Ive bumped into many people who are trying to rehome. Ive never paid for any of my pets, initially. Life costs, they costs as much as any, sometimes more, 1 of my cats I think was dumped because she had a medical issue, yet once I got her into the vet, the cost was not so bad. But the inital cost, mise were free.

  6. I have only owned rescue dogs. Our first one was brought to my attention by my girls and we left with her the same day and shortly after she died, we went to the local pound and brought home our second rescue dog. There’s no way I can buy a dog from a breeder and possible puppy mill when there are so many unloved animals out there being killed off due to lack of adoptions.

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