Yep, I said it. I tried to find a nicer way of saying it, but in a nut shell that’s how I feel. Bring on the attitudes, debate, arguments, lost Facebook & Twitter followers…I think I can handle it
It’s getting into warmer weather & for some reason that makes people think they need to bring a dog into their family. Personally I think it’s a fantastic idea, every home in the world should have at least one dog (or a cat) it’s a proven medical fact the amazing benefits that having an animal in the home can do for ones mental & physical well-being. While working, studying, & being pro-active in the animal industry can leave you a bit jaded (for the most part people are TERRIBLE pet owners) when you’re passionate about animal welfare,rights, rescue & adoption, the decisions that people sometimes make that you’re abhorrently (is that a word or did I just make one up?) against, well, it can leave you more than a bit frustrated. I’m in no way trying to pick on anyone or make them feel guilty, but I’ve talked to several friends/family lately that have chosen to buy from a breeder, even with all the information out there I can only assume its laziness because when you hear their excuses for it, it just makes me roll my eyes.
A couple years ago I wrote a blog about the pet adoption process (you can read it here: https://chapstickchatter.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/some-thoughts-on-pet-adoption/) that was even before I personally went through the process with my own rescued baby. I was a supporter before, but after going through the process I’m in LOVE with animal rescue, there’s something to be said for saving a LIFE because that’s what you’re doing (do you know that even “no-kill” shelters still have a time limit on adoption? “No-kill” doesn’t mean “no-kill”). On average, for every 1 dog purchased through a breeder 100 dogs in shelters are put to sleep (think about that when you’re breeder-researching!). A big excuse I’ve heard is,”well, I’m looking for breed specific”…one quick Google search & you’ll clearly see that HUNDREDS of breed-specific animal rescue groups that are available all over the place (and I’m betting you’ll find one in your area). Did you know that a responsible breeder (and they do exist!) would have to sell his pups for close to a $1000-2000 to cover his expenses (pups shouldn’t leave the bitch until at least 12weeks of age), that’s 3months of feeding, veterinary appointments (the start of vaccine protocol), AKC papers (if being advertised as “registered”) post-pregnancy care for the bitch & if they choose to start basic puppy behavior classes. Keep in mind breeders that say “vaccinated” or “registered” might not always be telling the truth; self-vaccinated animals (vaccines you buy from TSC, Pet Smart, PetCo etc.) are not recognized at almost all veterinary clinics (most are full of saline solution, obviously, you couldn’t have injectables available OTC) & pretty much useless. And it’s so easy to fabricate fake AKC registered “papers”;if somebody says their dog is “registered” unless they have a registration number & its in the AKC database, its not true (this usually costs $100-200 per dog!). They also have to have a direct hereditary line with no discrepancy’s that have all been “registered” through AKC. In my whole professional animal-industry-working life, I’ve only come across 2 “registered” dogs with papers that didn’t turn out to be fake! So by those standards your “registered dog with papers” is most likely a fake & would never be recognized (especially be cautious if you’re looking to show & have spent $2000 dollars on this dog. Do your homework on this breeder!). Trust me, people in the animal industry that listen to you brag about your “registered” dog are really making fun of you in their heads!
Rescuing an animal is simply one of the best things you can do for yourself & that animal. They come up to date on vaccines, are spayed & neutered, have been tested through a certified animal behaviorist, & your adoption coordinator will try their hardest to match you up with an animal that is right for you & your situation. It’s going to be relatively more cost-effective ($100-200..give or take) compared to what you’d dish out the first year, in addition to, what you’ve paid for the puppy up front (if you’re a responsible pet owner, you’re looking at about $1000-$1500 for vaccines, castration, puppy classes etc.). The over-pet population is so out of control with hundreds of thousands dogs & cats being put to sleep every year in this country alone! I don’t mean to throw all “breeders” under the bus (because I have meet some amazing “licensed” breeders who have the schooling behind them, are responsible, & have taken the necessarily legal & moral route to get a breeder license. They do it to preserve a specific breed, having a deep love of the breed…I can respect that) it’s the “backyard breeders” that I have no respect for. The ones who say, “I have a Bulldog, you have a Bulldog. Let’s get them together, have babies & make some money”…sorry folks, I have no use for that thinking.
I think every single person who is contemplating bringing a new dog (or cat) into their home needs to spend a day volunteering at an animal shelter when they do mass euthanasia’s. To walk these animals (or carry) them down the hallway into the eutho-room, place this animal on a table, insert the needle, plunge the solution into the veins, & then place the body into a furnace for mass cremation, oftentimes with the animal licking your face, wanting you to pet his head, scratch his ears, purring away, unbeknownst to him what the reality is…it’ll make you sick how easily avoidable that wasted ending could’ve been.That’s what happens for dozens of animals when you purchase your new pup through a breeder. I have personally been a part of this process for many years & trust me when I tell you, you would have zero to little respect for people that breed & buy from a breeder too.
How can you turn a blind eye to that & still chose to not do “something” if it’s in your power to change it?