Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dogs die every day for the greed of humans

Today is National Puppy Mill Awareness Day
This is a day for everyone to try and get the word out on the deplorable thing that is puppy mills. If anyone doesn't know, a puppy mill is a large scale breeding operation where the dogs are kept in tiny cages stacked on one another and forced to breed until they no longer can. Dogs that can breed are sold at auction if they are lucky and shot, blugeoned or killed in another horrible manner and tossed in the back.
These dogs never see sunshine, have never put their feet on grass, they don't know the joy that is being indoors with a family. They are bred and bred and their puppies are taken away too early.
So when you see those cute puppies in the pet store window for sale for thousands of dollars (like a product, a thing, not a living creature) remember their parents who suffer immeasureable cruelty for that puppy to be there. It doesn't matter if the store says they don't get dogs from puppy mills. They get the dogs from brokers who buy from puppy mills. NO REPUTABLE BREEDER WOULD SELL ANIMALS IN A STORE.
Reputable breeders do exist. They are few and far between however. Reputable breeders have champion dogs (NOT champion lines) which shows that these dogs are the best of their breed. They don't have more than 1 or 2 litters a year. They have a rigourous screening process and a waiting list to get one of their puppies. They don't breed until they have homes for all the dogs.
Now, I'm sure some of you are saying, well, my breeder wasn't like that, but they were still good. No, my friend, your breeder is what is referred to as a Backyard Breeder. They breed for many reasons: they have a great dog, they want to make money off of the dog they bought from another BYB, they want their children to see the "miracle of birth" (which by the way, is not miraculous as messy and heart-breaking when dead babies are born), they want their dog to have the experience of being a mother (dogs don't care. seriously. spay them and they will never know). These people are just as irresponsible as puppy millers, even though their cruelty, greed and thoughtlessness come in a different form.
There is a new trend in the US these days. That of "designer breeds." Guess what that precious labra-chi-pom-a-doodle-poo is? A mutt. People pay thousands of dollars for mutts that were started by these deplorable practices. It is just a marketing tactic so they can sell more animals. Any of those expensive mutts are just that: mutts. They can't be registered with a reputable registry and they can't breed more from 2 of the same mutt. So, for example, if you breed a lab/poodle cross to a lab/poodle cross, you can get labs or you can get poodles. Since a breed has to breed true for many years, guess what? Yep, it is NOT a breed. Don't fall into that trap.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 3-4 MILLION dogs and cats are put to sleep every year. Why are they being killed? For the most part, because they committed the crime of being unwanted. A new baby came, the family moved, a new significant other didn't like them, they didn't have time for the animal.
At least 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. There are puppies, adult dogs who are already trained, tiny dogs like chihuahuas and dachshunds. If you aren't planning to show your dog, why not adopt one of these wonderful animals? All of my animals are rescued and from them, I have a service dog, a future dog sport star, a wonderful little dog with a great temperament. Our house only has rescue animals. We have few behavior problems, few health problems and the gratitude that comes from rescuing an animal.