Sunday, June 29, 2008

The nemesis

Ever wonder why there are so many unwanted dogs around? Is it because there are packs of stray dogs fornicating like there's no tomorrow and having feral puppies in the alleyways? Not quite. At least 67% of unwanted dogs are produced as a disposable byproduct from backyard breeders, the worst contributor to the overpopulation problem, followed by puppy mills with 20% (

Most people know what puppy mills are: disgusting places that make it into the news every so often when they get raided by animal welfare officers. The owners generally get a slap on the wrist fine and then open up another mill a few months later. Just google it if you want all the gory details and there are lots of gory details to be had. Every state, every province has puppy mills, Quebec apparently being the worst in Canada, supplying pet stores everywhere. They are such unwholesome and universally reviled business establishments that even Oprah dedicated a whole episode to the topic - sending in undercover journalists to check out and film the action.

But what about backyard breeders? Who're they? Well, he's the guy at work who lives on a farm and he's got a couple of nice dogs, kinda look like purebred shepherds or something like that, and he just wants to make a few bucks by selling a few puppies or they're the nice couple down the street with a couple of nice kids and they just want to educate the kids about birth and what better way than a live home demo or maybe it's the wacky entrepreneur living upstairs who wants to create the next designer dog sensation by crossing a poodle with a bull mastiff. Some of them may be well-intentioned, some may not but either way the result is more dogs in a world overcrowded with unwanted dogs. And you have to ask yourself, what happens to the puppies if that co-worker doesn't sell the whole litter? What happens to the ones that nice couple down the street can't find homes for? What happens when the entrepreneur upstairs discovers that no one really wants mastidoodles or poostiffs or whatever he decides to call them?

This is what happens. They end up at the pound and they'll probably be killed. Look at the stats (from yesterday Dead dogs). Unwanted dogs don't stand a good chance of making it out alive.

Or, the other possibility is that all the puppies are sold. That means that an equal number of dogs that could have been adopted from shelters are now destined for euthanasia. Plus it encourages the byb to try it again as soon as his bitch is ready.

Most people own byb dogs and the point here isn't to spread guilt, it's to spread conscientious decision making. The best way to get a dog is either through adoption or through a reputable breeder. More on that tomorrow.

No comments: