How to Buy or Adopt Animals Online With Civility and Finesse

Theophanes is a New-England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of cats.

I have spent many years breeding various animals and selling them online, starting with the fancy rats I had several decades ago. Now I live on a poultry farm and have a pretty steady supply of chicks to sell, but what I have noticed is that buyer etiquette has gone down the gutter. Sure, there has always been the odd nutter, but now it seems like it's 9 out of 10! So please, if you are considering getting an animal or livestock online, be a good person and don't do the things listed below.

1. Don't inquire if you're not really interested.

Breeders and rescuers are happy to answer questions and make sure their animals go to the right place but in filtering out the proper homes and the potential nutters we don't have a lot of time left over to say over and over again, "Yes, this animal is available. Please provide me with more information."

I know, it's the internet, and it's just soooo easy to reply to anyone and everyone! Especially if you're 13 years old and trying to sneak a puppy into the house, but please don't. If you are 13 we will figure this out . and so will your parents!

2. Take the time to read the whole ad . every word.

Please take the time to read and digest the information in an ad before replying. My ads are usually four lines long and STILL I get asked to repeat information! My ads usually read:

Five Brabanter Chicks for Sale

Five Golden Brabanter chicks for sale - Straight run only (unsexed.) Hatched 4/4 here on the farm. Vaccinated for Marek's. Photo is of chicks and their parents.

Here are some questions I have been asked about the above ad:

  • How many chicks do you have?
  • Are they pullets (female)?
  • How old are they?

I have been asked this at least ten times just for this ad. READ. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST READ!

3. Please do NOT ask how much for the parent animals.

I don't even know where to start with this one . I get it a lot, maybe because I deal in chickens and everyone thinks I must just have an endless parade of chickens to replace said adults with, which I do not, in case you're wondering. I have heard of people even asking this about dogs though, which strikes me as way above and beyond being rude.

Look, most breeders put photos of the parent animals on the ad to show what the baby animals will look like as an adult. This does NOT mean they are for sale! In fact, most are probably pets and you'll probably severely offend them when you ask, so don't! We also know the people who tend to ask this question are the ones who want breeding age animals themselves, right now, so they can immediately turn their own profit. This reveals your character and don't be surprised if you're not replied to or kicked off the premises.

Two adult Golden Brabanter hens recently inquired about!

4. Please make an appointment with an actual time.

I know, it might look like the people posting ads have no life of their own because they're online but this is probably not the case. When you set up an appointment to see and or buy an animal please make it a fixed point in time, not the vague idea of when you may or may not show up. An acceptable time to show up may be 2 PM on Thursday. Far less acceptable is "I think I can come on Thursday sometime before dark but I'm not sure."

Waffling on something as simple as time will not make a good impression. And trust me, I know, people who do this most often don't show up, leaving the breeder and/or rescuer waiting around ALL DAY for you when you don't even show up! This is beyond rude. We could be out doing something useful but nope, we're still sitting here waiting for you.

5. Know that the seller may not be able to meet you at your most convenient time.

We have lives too. I know, I sound like a parrot, but it's true. Most of us do not make a living out of sitting here and selling animals. We more than likely have a job outside of the house and other obligations. We'll be happy to work with you to find a time that is suitable for both of us but don't get agitated when we can't immediately see you when you want us to.

6. Please do not change the appointment time right before it happens.

Life is crazy, sometimes things come up. We're people too and we get this. We'll understand if an hour before you show up you get news your aunt in sick in the hospital and you have to go there instead. That's OK. But please tell us as soon as you know so we can get on with our day too and don't let this become a habit.

I have had people switch their appointment time four times in a week. This is usually when I lose my patience with you and stop responding. I'm not the one being rude at that point - you are. Just show up already!

7. Please actually show up.

No shows are the worst! Often times they are people who have spent a whole week sending three e-mails a day asking all sorts of questions and then when they don't show up, you hear nothing—nadda, squat.

So you sit around for the next couple of hours listening to crickets chirp and wondering if you can go out of the house to buy some milk or if this person will show up out of the blue three hours late (it's happened.)

8. Please do not take an animal if you're uncomfortable with it.

So we've been through the whole process, and you're at the door, but something doesn't feel right. When you look at the animal in question you think it's acting strange, or is sick, or there's something off with the seller. If this is the case, please, DO NOT take the animal home! Yes, we spent the time going through this process with you but we don't want you to take an animal you can't deal with, don't want, or aren't comfortable with.

And in cases where the animal is actually sick, abused, etc, "rescuing" it from this situation is not going to help—it'll only encourage this person to sell more. If you feel there is a need, by all means, leave empty-handed and call the proper authorities to investigate.

9. Please do not try to talk the price down once you're there.

Breeders have their prices for reasons . maybe it's because of the time involved, the veterinary fees, the cost of the parent animals, the cost of the insanely pricey organic feed they were raised on, their esteemed pedigrees, you don't know.

These are animals—living breathing things. The breeder and or rescuer has put a lot of effort into. They're not a used car to be haggled over. If you're offended by their prices find someone else to get what you want.

10. Please do not make false claims.

There's always one in the crowd, it's usually someone who has given you some big long sob story, has gotten you on your better side, and gotten some animal for cheaper than they should of.

Congrats, you are now a target! These same people so frequently turn right around, accuse you of selling them sick animals, make all kinds of empty accusations about suing, and then go on line to drag your good name through as much mud as they can, publicly blasting you (usually after you've refused to pay for imaginary veterinary fees without proof or give them more animals for free.)

Every breeder I know has had to deal with at least one of these manipulative nutjobs . I myself had to change my phone number so they'd stop calling (repeatedly, letting the phone ring until the answering machine picked up, and then calling again, for hours at a stretch. Talk about not having a life!)

11. Please do not take an animal on false pretenses or for nefarious reasons.

I live on a farm and advertise chicks and chickens online. There's a large city within half an hour of here and guess who gets all sorts of suspicious requests for just roosters? Me. Now, I know a 17-year-old wanna-be gangsta when I see one. I also know an idiot when I see one.

They want my roosters for fighting, but they never say that, because they know it's illegal. Well! If they had any marbles in their head they'd see I eat all my mean roosters which has resulted in super docile fluffballs who could only kill each other in a staring contest.

This is not the only thing. I also placed two litters of rescued pit bull puppies once and had the same problem—people looking for fighters and bait dogs. When I sold rats it was dishonest reptile keepers I had to be leery of (which goes for the rehoming of ANY small animal—yes there are even YouTube videos up of "Python vs. Puppy")

And lastly, there are flippers. DO NOT show up at my door if your intention is to get something free or cheap to resell it for a profit. No one likes flippers or brokers. You spread disease, you don't know anything about what you're selling, and the pet community at large knows you're just a money-grubbing wastes of flesh and air.

In conclusion: If you want to buy an animal online, go for it, but make sure to do so in a civilized way. Respect the breeder or rescuer as a human being who has their own life to run, and realize the world doesn't revolve around you.

© 2016 Theophanes Avery

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 23, 2016:

I'm thankful you screen so well. The thought of bait animals and other sad endings makes me so upset.

For animal lovers in the U.S., there is a silver lining in the fight against COVID-19 – thousands of dogs and cats are being fostered and adopted. Acts of kindness are reaching beyond family, friends and neighbors, and animals in shelters and rescues are finding homes.

Best Friends Animal Society, a national leader in animal welfare, has played a key role in monitoring all aspects of the changes affecting animal rescues and puppy mills during the pandemic. They have set an ambitious goal – “no-kill by 2025”. This goal, to make US animal shelters no-kill facilities within the next five years, looks more and more likely every day.

A long and winding road

Still, there are challenges to be faced. The national transport system of adoptable dogs, commonly known as the “underdog railroad,” has been severely affected by the quarantine. Normally, animals are moved from counties that don’t have the shelter resources to properly support strays or surrendered dogs to parts of the US that have those capabilities. Right now, this pipeline of pups has slowed to a trickle or stopped altogether in many places. This is leaving some shelters empty as they await dogs from the shelters that are overwhelmed. COVID-19 is having an even more direct impact on the rescue process as some people incorrectly fear that they can catch the virus from their dogs.

Bev Mercer of Mercer Animal Rescue in Tennessee says, “A lot of the shelters are closed, so people are taking their dogs and abandoning them in the woods. There has been a huge surge in intakes at all the rescues. So many puppies as we are just at the beginning of puppy season.” Cat Suzuki of Hounds in Pounds animal rescue in New Jersey has found that people are finding dogs and giving them away on Facebook. Suzuki also noted, “When things settle down, we will be dealing with an influx of pregnant dogs, because they were left as strays.” As with so many COVID-19-related issues, there will be long-lasting impacts on the rescue world.

Barking Mad Animal Rescue (BMAR) in Texas is on the front lines of the surge in stray and abandoned animals. Virtually all of their adoptable dogs are placed out of state, and 90% of their donations come from out of the area – donations which have dropped precipitously with donors who are now out of work. BMAR faces a daily struggle to feed an enormous surge of stranded and needy animals, bombarded daily with pleas for help from the local population for animal food and medical supplies.

The puppy mill problem

At the other end of the animal welfare spectrum, puppy mill breeders are unconcerned about safe transport during the virus, with pet stores taking advantage of the pandemic to sell as many puppies as they can. Mindi Callison of Bailing Out Benji, an organization working to close down puppy mills, is tracking puppy sales from Midwest puppy mills to the “hot bed” COVID-19 states, where thousands of puppies were moved in March. She says, “This is extremely dangerous as the puppy mill transporters are passing through dozens of states, making countless stops all on the way and coming in contact with so many people.”

How you can help

So much of our society has come together to support one another in these challenging times, and our animals need some of that support too. To make a difference, don’t buy dogs from pet stores. Their inhumane practices produce costly, overbred, and sickly animals who are born and raised in neglectful settings. There are still thousands of adoptable pets located around the US on if you don’t want to be on a waitlist to adopt.

You can also donate to your local animal shelter, or to one of the ethically-run national animal welfare organizations. You might be shocked to know that some of the biggest animal charities in the US spend virtually nothing on the animals themselves their salaries, fundraising and overhead eat up most of the millions of dollars they raise.

Pet owners should not bring animals into local stores… Agree?

Kathy Bare says we’ve “Lost civility” as “We set our concern for pets above the concern for human beings.”

While the cause of our lost civility is debatable, a recent letter to the editor we came across got us thinking. Read the letter below that appeared in the Peninsula Daily News and let us know what you think! Add a comment here if you’re logged in, or comment on the Facebook post for this story by clicking here.

I visited a local fabric store and in the store were two employees and two customers, one with a small dog on a leash.

The customer with the dog was not holding it in her arms but had it roam the store at will, which meant you had to walk around the dog and leash or when the leash was completely across the aisle, you had to wait for the owner to pull the dog towards her.

My question is to all pet owners: What makes you think that the owner or employees of the store are not allergic to your pets and what about the consumers of the store? Maybe they are allergic.

What about the future consumers, when dog hair has been left on the fabric?

Why does the animal need to be in the store?

We have lost civility. We set our concern for pets above the concern for human beings.

Author: Hiram Allen

Tips on how to Fix Dog Aggression

Redirecting an Aggressive Dog

Although a dog is called a man’s finest pal, aggressive dogs may be quite widespread. As an owner, it truly is very important to learn ways to relate to your dog in a way that decreases damaging dog behavior. The fantastic news is there are approaches to understand how you can fix dog aggression.

Regrettably, when a dog is aggressive it is generally due to the fact a human taught the dog to be that way. Often the dog owner doesn’t even realize that they’re causing their dog to become aggressive until the issue is out of management.

Dogs show aggression in many different techniques like growling, barking, mounting, staring, or inside the most intense instances by biting. Sadly the dog usually pays for his owner’s mistake. Since a dog’s natural social order is a pack they naturally try to dominate to hold their place in the pecking order. This instinct may be twisted into issue aggression.

A dog will usually try to lead the pack. So if no one within the family challenges their pet dog, he might be the alpha or pack leader. Any aggression from a dog must be corrected promptly. When you watch dogs appropriate one another, the correction is firm, but it doesn’t hurt the younger dog. And for those who do not right aggressive behavior, it’s going to just get worse, and you will have a bigger challenge to appropriate later on.

A Growling Dog is an Aggressive Dog

For instance, if a puppy growls and gets what he wants, you just taught him that aggression is superior, and he will try it again. The great news is that even though you strive to be consistent when coping with your dog, a single slip-up does not generate a monster. The …

Intense Pet Actions – How to Quit Aggressive Actions in Canine

Intense Conduct within a Canine

Pet dog entrepreneurs enjoy their pet dogs a lot of that at times they might forget about which they are predators and will inflict serious accidents. According to the Center for Condition Handle & Prevention, every year canines bit over 4.5 million Americans and every one in five bites requires medical intervention. Dog Bite Laws, are different from state to state, but bottom line is that pet house owners are responsible for their dog’s intense habits.

You must understand what are the signs of an aggressive pet. For example biting, growling, snarling, and snapping. If you ignore these behaviors they can become a significant problem. Your doggy can hurt someone, you’ll be able to be sued, or your canine can be sentenced to death.

Different Types of Doggy Aggressive Conduct

When dogs become aggressive they may be letting you know to keep your distance. However, since humans have a different communication system, intense behavior can be perceived incorrectly. The following a list of the three most common types of intense conduct:

1. Fear and Anxiety Based Aggression

This is one of the most frequent causes of intense behavior within a canine. It can be as a result of a genetic predisposition or from previous trauma or mistreatment. If he feels that he is going to be hurt he will lash out in self-defense. Regardless, of whether you believe the fear is real or imaginary you should take it incredibly seriously and help him.

2. Dominance Aggression

Canines are pack animals by nature and every pack has a leader known as the Alpha animal (who dominates). Dog house owners must establish themselves as the Top Puppy. As terrible as it sounds, canines need to be at the bottom of the human hierarchy. If your pet dog …

What Happened to your Chihuahua? A Compact Dog Rescue Update

Chihuahuas are disproportionately crowding pet shelters and compact dog rescue agencies, a minimum of in California. Chihuahuas would be the most well-known breed of dog in Los Angeles, so it makes sense it is by far the most abandoned breed, stated Madeline Bernstein, President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles. Professionals say pop culture is to blame with fans imitating Chihuahua-toting celebrities like Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, then abandoning the dogs. At least in California’s Bay Location, Chihuahuas are replacing pit bulls because the breed most left behind in animal shelters, and shelters and rescue groups are seeking the public’s assist.

Amongst the reasons for the glut is breed recognition in films like “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and as celebrity pets, mentioned a senior coordinator for Chihuahua Rescue of Beverly Hills. There are lots of Chihuahuas at shelters in Oakland, they have begun shipping the dogs out of state, stated the director of Oakland Animal Services. And so it goes with extra and much more disturbing reports of these wonderful animals becoming given as much as shelters and little dog rescue agencies and maybe some not lucky adequate to be delivered to a shelter.

Chihuahuas are a dime a dozen, and most of them are bred and presented for sale by individuals who don’t have the slightest concept of tips on how to breed good-tempered dogs. Even though they may be adorable and superb dogs, Chihuahuas will not be suitable for everyone. The Chihuahua tends to make the perfect pal for everyone thinking about a long-term companion

Chihuahua The Breed-The Good News

Initially the excellent news then some terrible news I’ll close using an optimistic thought or two. Usually, do your homework just before acquiring or adopting any pet. They will, hopefully, be with …

Dogs Love Youngsters, Little ones like Dogs

I was recently approached by a mother who told me her five-year-old son was hounding her to obtain a puppy. (Excuse the pun). She was extremely reluctant as she had study newspapers and watched the evening Television news story about a kid who had been attacked by a loved one’s dog.

I pointed out to her that, like a lot of other sensational stories, when put into perspective, the amount of critical attacks on children is tiny when in comparison with the total variety of dog-owning households within the country.

Not surprisingly an attack is going to make the news because negative news sells. The newspapers and Television stations are usually not serious about good fluffy news stories. They want catastrophes and scandals. They may be what get people’s interest. When was the final time you saw a huge headline stating ‘BOY AND HIS DOG ARE INSEPARABLE.’ And but children all over the nation are getting a whale of a time operating and playing with the family members dog, even though the dog is in 7th heaven just becoming about the kids,

Do not get me incorrect, attacks do occur and there’s practically nothing a lot more distressing than seeing a child that has been mauled by a dog. But you can find precautions that may be taken, like educating both the child along with the dog, and you will discover dog breeds that 1 needs to maybe be incredibly wary of when you will find little kids around. I, as an illustration, would feel far more comfortable if my children have been playing with a sausage dog than a pit bull terrier. (I can pretty much hear the pit bull owners howling that ‘it’s not the dog, it’s the way they are treated.’ Nonetheless, my sausage dog would do …

What German Shepherd Owners Want You to Know

The German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable and popular breeds there are. Most people associate these dogs with police work, but people rave about them as pets. If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, but feel German Shepherds are intimidating, here are four things shepherd owners want you to know.

Shepherds Are Extremely Easy To Train

When you adopt a puppy from reputable AKC German Shepherd breeders Florida, that little dog will be surprisingly easy to train. German Shepherd pups are one of the easiest breeds to house train and they learn commands very quickly. This means they’ll always be ready to learn new tricks and take on a challenge.

You’ll Feel Safe Wherever You Go

German Shepherds are one of the best protectors of the canine world. However, owners will tell you they’re not ferocious unless you’re being threatened. Due to their extreme intelligence, they know the difference between friends and family and someone that means you real harm.

German Shepherds Are Great Exercise Partners

If you live an active life, your German Shepherd will be a great partner. They need plenty of exercise and love running, walking, swimming and hiking. Shepherd owners also recommend engaging their dog in plenty of puzzle games, especially hide and seek or find the hidden treat.

They’re Good With Other Pets

German Shepherds are a highly adaptable dog and can live in any type of home from apartments to farms. This means they’re compatible with other pets when raised with them. Owners have had plenty of success integrating a shepherd with other dogs and even cats.

Adopting Is a Rewarding Decision

Adopting a German Shepherd is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. When you commit to training your dog and keeping him active, he’ll reward you with years …

A personal endorsement from Mikey's best volunteer-friend: "Man, I love this dog. Michael (aka Monkey) is my all-time favorite pup at the shelter. Many years ago, I was 'volunteered' to clean Michael's ears. Michael is really a sweet pup, but he isn't one to trust people very easily, so while ear-cleaning seems like an easy task, it took some finesse. Once I figured it out, it became our weekly date and we became fast friends. While I do sneak an ear-cleaning in, it's mostly just a play session, loads of silliness, butt scratches, belly rubs and a hound dog howl as a grand finale!"

Michael (est. birthdate April '08) is an owner surrender - twice. The first time Michael came to STAF it was because he was turned in to a high kill shelter. The person doing the transport that day couldn't pass this dog up. He was incredibly sweet and very friendly. Still is to this day.

Michael soon found a home through STAF and it turns out that this sweet and loving dog sometimes takes the affection he receives a bit too far and began to claim his owner as his own.

Michael has a lot going for him: not a lot of energy, happy with just a few walks a day, housebroken. He got along just fine with all in the home as well as the dog. Michael is going to need a teenager/adult only home who is going to be strong enough to let him know who the leader of the pack is. You'll have to be able to assert yourself in the beginning, letting him know that he is going to do what you ask him to do. You'll have to be able to say no when you see that cute as pie face staring up at you. You're not being mean about it all. He needs jobs to do, sitting for everything, gathering toys or playing mind games. Take him to training classes for your date night. Once he's safe from the worry of always having to wonder if you're always going to love him, he'll be a stress free, happy dog.

If you start off on day one this is not a time consuming change your life kind of thing. It something that you'll need to guide Michael with. He is well worth it!

• All of our animals are spayed/neutered and current on shots.
• We do not do same-day adoptions we ask that you return for a follow-up visit before taking an animal home.
• You must be 21 years or older to adopt from STAF.
• We require a 4-foot-tall physical fence for homes with children under the age of 11. We also may require a physical fence for specific dogs on a case-by-case basis, depending on each dog’s behavior and exercise needs.
• Due in part to increasing coyote activity/incidents in the area and the difficulty of predicting how a dog will respond to invisible fence training, we can not adopt to homes with invisible fences.
• We do request vet and personal references.
• We can facilitate adoptions within a 75-mile radius of our Cincinnati-based shelter.

Watch the video: Rescue the puppy from the brute man who wants to eat him

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