Valina Pope, co-founder of Starstruck Labradors feels strongly that families need to do their due diligence when looking for a family pet. Startstruck Labs carries various accreditation, including 2012 Summit award for Responsible Breeder, the to help potential purchasers make the right choice.
"Many breeders don't spend the money on health testing," said Pope. "Each breed has faults, so good breeders are testing all of their breeding stock for these issues. This can be verified by their veterinarian, along side certified documentation from laboratories and animal health foundations."
Other signs Pope suggests looking for when researching a breeder include:
- cost - lower prices could be a sign of cutting corners
- veterinarian references
- availability of kennel tours and meeting breeding stock
- return policy and warranty
- breed knowledge
"We want to set an example for other breeders, and for potential buyers," said Pope. "The standards we uphold are transferable to any species, breed and breeder. Anyone who produces animals purposefully needs to be responsible for the lives they bring into this world."