Dale Greenlaw is feline frustrated.
Hoping to buy a pair of Siamese kittens, the Toronto nurse contacted an Ottawa breeder last fall. Copious questions later, she was instructed to send pictures of her house, personal references and a vet’s endorsement. She was also told she could only have same-sex kitties to prevent “accidents.”
“I thought ‘this is a ridiculous process, isn’t it?’” says Greenlaw. “I felt like I was adopting a child.”
Five months later, she’s still waiting for her cats.
If Greenlaw’s kitten quest had her jumping through hoops, canine fanciers have to be no less dogged. With waiting lists, lengthy applications, contracts and prices that have gone through the roof, acquiring a pet these days is no walk in the park.
A search of Kijiji turns up everything from $200 mutts to $700 Abyssinian cats and $4,000 teacup Yorkies. Even a rescue pooch can cost more than $300. And then there’s the question of where to find your new best friend.
In the past, “you saw a cute puppy in the pet store window and took it home without thinking where it came from,” says breeder Louise Sutherland, warning about puppy mills and disreputable sources.