Certain breeds of dogs have different personalities. Some dogs are better with kids, some make better apartment pets (like Great Danes, believe it or not!) and some are more energetic. There are people who prefer a specific breed of cat or dog that matches their lifestyle and personality, others like a certain aesthetic. If your heart is set on a purebred dog or cat, is there a way around hefty breeder fees?
9 ways to get a purebred pet on a budget
The best way to save money on a purebred?
1. Skip the breeder.
You’ll save a life by going to a pet adoption agency, pound, or an individual who is relinquishing their pet. Plus, even “reputable” breeders have been known to be shady. A good friend of mine adopted a purebred toy poodle from a respected breeder. When the puppy was found to have brain damage, it was revealed that the puppy came from a puppy mill. Since my friend works with special needs children, she went ahead and kept the poor puppy – and got her money back from the breeder – but a dog with challenges is not what she wanted. Going to a breeder is not necessarily a guarantee of “getting what you pay for.” Instead, we suggest you check out the following:
2. Local breed rescue organizations
A Google search will turn up breed-specific rescue organizations in your area. Our Harlequin Great Dane, Luna (pictured above) was rescued from Pet Adoption Fund when her owners had a baby and relinquished her and the other dogs in the family. (BTW, when we had a baby, we didn’t see any reason to get rid of Luna.)
My sister has had great luck adopting purebred dogs over the years. She told me, “Pretty much every breed has a rescue association. We work with Labrador Retriever Rescue of New England and New England All Retriever Rescue. Most breed rescue organizations are not dealing with abuse cases, but rather with situations where people have to surrender their pet because of changes in economic situation, moving, and so on.
Our dog Guinness was surrendered at 5 years old when the owners had a baby who was allergic. Chester’s owners relocated for work to Texas and thought he would be miserable there because of the climate. Beau and Clover’s owner died suddenly (at 45 years old). Coda belonged to an elderly couple who had to move into assisted living that did not allow pets.” And as for her current dog, Rudy (below), his owner passed away unexpectedly and the man’s wife and children moved in with their grandparents, where there was no room for Rudy.
These specific retriever organizations charge a $100 adoption fee. Purebred dogs from breeders can cost many hundreds of dollars, depending on the breed.
There are rescue organizations for just about any breed, and many have their cats listed on Petfinder. For instance, I typed in my zip code and “Persian” and found 228 gorgeous Persian cats in my area.
This is another search site that allows you to choose by animal type, breed, gender, age, size and main color. I searched for dachshunds in my area and found 14 in local shelters. All cute, all adoptable.
The Internet’s Katniss, Cat Reporter recently interviewed Instagram sensation Winston Quincy and discovered that this beautiful, big-eyed Persian was adopted from a Craigslist ad.
During the Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl, they repeatedly mentioned this resource for finding adoptable pets. I checked out the site and they have a section that will link you to Pure Breed Rescue and Adoption. Breeds are listed and photos are shown.
7. Consider an adult cat or dog from a breeder
My brother-in-law adopted a beautiful female Siamese cat, Lady, from a breeder when the cat was no longer being used to give birth to litters. He also adopted Lady’s adult son who had failed to find a buyer.
This is another great site for finding adoptable pets of a specific breed in your area. I gave it a try, searching for Main Coon cats in my area. The search result turned up 3 pages of Main Coon cats.
9. Call your local pound or shelter
Or search their website for what you’re looking for. My daughter’s friend just adopted a purebred chihauhau from a local shelter. I have been told by shelter volunteers that they have many purebred pets that people give up, including some you might not expect, like horses. I searched my local shelter and in addition to purebred cats and dogs, I found bunnies, hamster, turtles, chickens and a pet rat.