Tuesday, September 29, 2009
more on responsible breeders
To add my thoughts to the post below on breeders, breeding at all is a controversial subject within rescue. I personally would never buy a dog or puppy but I am not against RESPONSIBLE breeding. Like the post says, responsible breeders show their breed of choice and only breed those dogs that enhance the desired traits of that breed. They have all the recommended health clearances and would never breed a dog that passes on known health problems. Their dogs are sold with strict contracts which include spay/neuter for pets that will not be shown. They always take their dogs back if the original placement doesn't work out, oftentimes at a loss financially. In fact in many cases, responsible breeders make no money at all, not after the costs of shows and vet care and limiting the number of litters to those dogs that meet their requirements. Most of these people show and raise their dogs from a love of the breed, and their dogs rarely add to the problem.
While of course we prefer you get your new dog or puppy from rescue, and just about any breed you prefer has and will show up at a local dog pound, if you want to buy your puppy, then look for a responsible breeder. Yes you might pay a bit more or wait a while longer but you know what you're getting, and you are not contributing to the problem. For more information on finding a responsible breeder, click this pdf prepared by the Humane Society of the United States.
How to find a good breeder (pdf)
Another controversy within rescue is the purchase of puppy mill dogs and puppies, either from auctions or directly from the puppy miller. Yes, those purchased dogs are "rescued" and no longer have to endure the horrid life of a puppy mill dog. Still that puppy miller is making money, no different than buying a dog from a petstore. Not only do some rescues add to their available dogs in this manner, puppy mill brokers have realized that by calling themselves "rescue" they can increase their appeal to the general public and sell more dogs. Like one of the dog wardens I know said, when you look at a "rescue's" list of available dogs, where are the older dogs? The mixed breed dogs and puppies? A "rescue" that only has high demand purebred puppies is certainly lining the bank account of a puppy mill breeder, and accordingly that breeder will continue to breed dogs to sell. They don't care who buys them or why. For more information on finding a responsible rescue, click here:
What to look for in a reputable rescue
While we do have many puppy mill-type breeders in this area and Planned Pethood does get those dogs when they're dumped in local dog pounds, either because they've been replaced with different dogs or because they have health problems the breeder doesn't want to deal with, one of the bigger problems in this area are backyard breeders. These are people with a couple of purebred dogs (probably with AKC papers, which anyone with a purebred dog can acquire) who sell puppies for extra cash. These dogs are sold via newspaper ads or through the internet, with little or no screening, no follow-up or spay/neuter, and those dogs or the puppies they breed DO end up in local dog pounds all the time. I've heard people say only sick or aggressive dogs end up in dog pounds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Over 6+ years of visiting local dog pounds on a regular basis, I have seen every breed you can find locally, most breeds many many times. Even rarer or harder to find dogs still end up on death row from time to time.
In summary, do your homework. Not only do you have to make sure the breed or dog you want is appropriate for your circumstances, you also need to make sure that who you get it from isn't a part of the problem. It's a lot to undertake but considering your dog will be a part of your life for 10-15 years, and especially considering the millions of dogs who are euthanized every year in this country, most for no other reason than they're "surplus," isn't that bit of extra effort worth it?