Proud mother of- the Fab Four!
|Purred: Wed Feb 2, '11 1:07am PST |
|By the way, DO breeders have licenses in the U.S.? We do in Japan, but I hadn't heard of it in the States. Interestingly, in Japan, you don't necessarily need a license to breed, but to sell. Thus, any kind of advertisement for animals, whether it be in a magazine, on the Internet, or through any other medium, requires that the advertiser possess a license--which is not easy to get. In the case of a breeder, a breeder's license is required. In the case of pet shop employees, they also need licenses (I'm talking about places where they sell pet supplies). Pet hotels, pet sitters, groomers, petting zoo managers, anyone who works with animals needs a license.
Yes, there are sleazy licensed breeders. There's one in my neighborhood, and it isn't me. But limiting advertising to licensed breeders (who receive periodic inspections from the local health department, and must renew their license every five years) does cut down on the dangers of buying from an advertisement or over the Internet.
Bad breeders are a problem. Bad customers are another. If you're going to buy an animal, first you must research (1) about the breed(s) you're interested in (sounds elementary, but if you know what the breed standard is, you'll know if a breeder is trying to sell you an inferior animal or, worse yet, a fake); (2) about animal diseases and what to ask the breeder regarding tests that have been done (HCM for Maine Coons), require health and vaccination certificates (yes, some customers neglect to do that); and (3) see the cattery (or kennel or whatever) IN PERSON. Anyone who is not a professional breeder with a network of professional breeder friends, who know all about the quality of other breeders, has no business buying an animal sight unseen from a breeder they don't know from a bar of soap. Caveat emptor. Buying an animal over the Internet without seeing it first, interacting with the breeder, or seeing the cattery is stupid, and yet people do it.
A customer who is stupid and irresponsible enough to buy an animal without doing the above three things is probably also the kind of person who will relinquish the animal to a shelter when it turns out not to be the kind of pet the owner wanted. Client irresponsibility breeds breeder irresponsibility. The medium used to advertise has nothing to do with the ethics of breeding, unless the breeder is trying to scam customers, and customers are stupid enough to be scammed.
EBay? Craigslist? No legitimate breeder would advertise there. But legitimate breeders DO advertise on the Internet, whether through their own website, or through classified ads. Every year, CFA Japan produces cats who have placed in the top three for that breed internationally, and yes, those breeders use the Internet. I know many of them personally, have visited their catteries, have bought their cats, and can say that their standards are as high as those of any breeder in the States. In fact, American breeders often do business with Japanese breeders. Of course, if you are of the opinion that all breeders, whatever their nationality, are sleazy, then that may mean nothing to you. But the Internet as an advertising tool is not evil. It's the people who use it (both buyers and sellers) who make Internet advertising either good or bad.
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