Please use caution when adopting a new puppy

Please use caution when adopting a new puppy

I was distressed to read the article about the new business that has just opened in Scituate, "The Perfect Puppy."

I'd like to offer an alternative. There can be very few people left who are unaware of the overwhelming number of animals in shelters across America just waiting for a loving home.

Please consider adopting from a shelter, or go online to www.Petfinder.com if you are looking for a particular breed.

If, for some reason, you feel you have to buy from a breeder, meet the breeder yourself. Ask for references. Ask about the congenital defects in the breed. A good breeder will tell you every remotely possible problem in the breed, from droopy eyelids to deafness to epilepsy.

Ask what steps they have taken to decrease defects in their dogs. Ask whether the parents are on site. Ask to see them.

Finally, please do not buy a puppy for a holiday gift. In general, the holidays are not a good time to bring a new puppy into the family.

The excitement that surrounds the holidays, not to mention the hazards of Christmas trees, poisonous plants, decorations, ribbons, and a disrupted schedule makes this a very tough time for a new pet to acclimatize.

Puppies need a quiet, gentle time to settle into a new home, especially if you are planning on having your puppy house-trained anytime soon.

Judy Chase

Chepachet