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Ask a Vet: Search for purebreds at rescues and shelters
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My dream car is KITT from the 1980s television show “Knightrider.” Of course.

But in real life, I’d love to have a Ferrari. And if I save my money for the next 437 years, I’ll have a down payment.

But say somehow I gained enough money to buy one and used all but $5. What if I hit a nail and need a new tire? Or need an oil change?

This is where dreams become nightmares. If I could find a rescue organization that rehomes unwanted Ferraris, I could pay for the car and repairs if the car broke down.

Or even a place that has dozens of brands of cars, all at a tiny fraction of the cost of a new Ferrari.

Hence my recommendation of using rescue organizations or humane societies for people who want a purebred dog or cat or mixed-breed dogs and cats.

Reputable breeders are rare and precious, in my experience. They are like artists, more concerned with their breed’s reputation and quality than with overhead costs and profits.

When you find a reputable breeder, stick to him or her like glue and spread the word.

But the reason I praise these breeders is the reason I shudder at the thought of where many purebred pups come from. Puppy mills are everywhere. Legally, it’s hard to prove neglect and abuse, but if you saw where many puppies and kittens in your local pet store began their lives, you’d feel sick, too.

Which brings me to rescue organizations. If you want a specific breed, look for one in your area or online. Many rescue groups work in regions of the country, not just in your immediate area.

And if you don’t absolutely have to have a purebred, or prefer the hybrids like I do, check out your local humane society or animal shelter.

You get a pet and have the feeling of rescuing someone who truly needs you. Few times in your life will you really get to feel how Superman feels.

If you can’t adopt, but have the means, consider donating to your local shelter.

Food, supplies or even volunteer time are dear to facilities that work for these goals.

And remember, people are hungry, too. Consider donating your time, money or supplies to them as well.

Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at

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