Purchasing a pet from a breeder gives you some assurance that your pet will look and act the way you expect it to, and will live a reasonably long and healthy life. The best breeders are those who continue to learn about their breed of choice, who seek out objective evaluations of their animals to be sure they’re staying true to the breed standard, who do their best to avoid producing pets with genetic health problems and who are available as a resource for their buyers for the life of the pet and beyond. Finding a good breeder may be difficult or easy, depending on the type of pet you want, the breed within that type and the popularity of the breed. These Detroit-area organizations represent breeders of a variety of animals and can help you get started on the path to finding your perfect pet.
Detroit Kennel Club
Detroit, MI 48126
The Detroit Kennel Club’s mission is to educate the public about purebred dogs, showcasing the versatility among the various breeds and providing information necessary to make an informed decision when choosing a breeder. The club’s annual benched dog show, first held in 1916, is one of only five benched shows still held in the United States. At a benches show, dogs must stay at their assigned area throughout the entire show, rather than being able to leave when they’re done in the ring as with most shows. This gives the public a unique opportunity to visit with the dogs, get information about various breeds and meet breeders and owners who can help them find a well-bred puppy of their own. With more than 175 AKC-registered breeds, and even more rare breeds, there is bound to be a purebred dog to suit the needs of any owner.
Great Lakes Cat Consortium
Dedicated to education and fostering pregnant cats and kittens, the Great Lakes Cat Consortium also puts on a number of cat shows throughout the Detroit Metro area. Cat shows allow the public to see and interact with a variety of cat breeds, including mixed and newly developed breeds. Cats and kittens for sale are often permitted at cat shows, unlike at dog shows, so it’s possible to go to a cat show and come home with the perfect feline companion.
Motor City Aquarium Society
Roseville, MI 48066
After dogs and cats, fish are one of the more popular family pets. In the Detroit area, the Motor City Aquarium Society conducts meetings, educational programs, bowl shows and a breeder’s award program for enthusiasts of all aquatic life. An annual auction provides an opportunity to purchase rare and unusual fish, as well as aquatic plants and new and used aquarium supplies. Founded in the 1960s, the club’s members represent over a century of combined experience and knowledge, an invaluable resource for the novice aquarian.
Motor City Bird Breeders Club
Columbus, MI 48063
The Motor City Bird Breeders Club was established in 1950 as both a social and educational organization. Today, the club provides information to potential owners on living with and caring for birds, choosing the right bird for their lifestyle and finding a responsible bird breeder. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the group offers scholarships to students pursuing an education in avian medicine. The club also holds membership meetings and hosts two expos per year, which allow buyers to meet breeders, ask questions about their species of interest and see the birds available for purchase or upcoming hatchings.
Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association
Rabbits are a popular pet in Metro Detroit since they take up little space and adapt quite well to apartment living. The Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association, through its affiliated clubs and members, is active at numerous shows throughout the state, as well as 4-H events and expositions. The MSRBA hosts an educational conference called “Rabbit School” each year and is focused on youth involvement and education. The Master Breeder award program rewards the upper echelon of rabbit breeders, many of whom have gone on to found the national American Rabbit Breeders Association.
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Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.