Several steps identifying if a pet owner is an irresponsible breeder and what to do to save the animals. 

If you suspect that someone you know might be an irresponsible breeder, here are a few things you can do:

Arm yourself with information. When is breeding irresponsible? When is it illegal? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you educate your friend and, hopefully, convince her to read up on animal welfare.

• Ignorance is not the same as evil intent. Believe it or not, some irresponsible breeders may actually mean well but are uninitiated in matters of animal welfare. Once they know what they’re doing wrong, they may be more than happy to do things differently.

• Get legal assistance. Have you exhausted all means to convince an irresponsible breeder to do things by the book, to no avail? It might be time to seek legal help from animal advocates and animal welfare organizations, such as the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). They can provide you with legal assistance. (Editor’s note: And be sure not to do it in the heat of the moment or for spite. These organizations require COMMITMENT from you. Be ready to pursue the case, as they will be making the huge investment in time and effort, not you.)

• Put “furriends” before friends. Do you really want to have friends who neglect and mistreat animals, all the while profiting from them? Think of the hapless animals your so-called friends will continue to hurt if you turn a blind eye! Don’t hesitate to bare your claws for the sake of furry friends if irresponsible breeders refuse to listen to reason.

• Finally, don’t buy cats from pet stores and irresponsible breeders; this one goes without saying.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s August 2017 issue.