Just to clarify right off the bat, when I write "get the pet you want" what I really mean is "get the pet that, after doing your research, you decide is the best fit for you/your family" - but that doesn't make for such a great blog title! Read on to see exactly what I mean...
My little paw pack is, and has pretty much always been, a diverse lot. Ever since I was young I've always been very drawn to exotic pets - reptiles especially. In 2009 my fiance and I got our first dog (at least the first dog that we were fully responsible for ourselves), the amazing Mr. Kitsune. Besides keeping a number of different species at any one time, I've also acquired said pets from various sources. Many of my animals over the years have been rescues, but not all of them. I'm not ashamed to say that some of my animals have come from reputable breeders.
I'm not going to get into what makes a breeder reputable today. That's a whole post of it's own. I have a lot of respect for people who rescue animals (and like I mentioned, I've done it myself many times), but one thing I really disagree with is the amount of negativity I often see expressed by people involved in rescue. I even wrote about this subject before, but this post is different I promise.
Being very involved in the pet community, I often see the trite argument of rescues verses breeders. "Adopt don't shop" is a mantra I see often coming from people in the rescue only camp, as if those of us buying animals from reputable breeders see them as nothing more than a pair of socks or a new sweater.
I've been asked many times before where my loyalties lie when it comes to obtaining a pet and I've always said pretty much the same thing. Get the pet you want. Get the pet that is the best fit for you and your family. Get the pet that you can handle for the entirety of it's life.
For some people that pet is going to be a rescue pet - and that's awesome! For other people that pet is going to come from a reputable, well researched, breeder - and that's ok too!
I've always been a huge proponent of doing lots (and lots and lots) of research before adding a new pet to your family. Getting the right pet is so important! It could mean the difference between being able to provide that animal with an awesome home for it's whole life, or having to give him/her up when you realize that it wasn't the best fit for you. If more people put more thought into always selecting animals that fit well into their lives, less pets would end up homeless in shelters. At the end of the day I would think/hope that more animals in happy, lifelong, appropriate homes would be something all animal lovers could get behind.