Rescues, Responsible Breeders, And The Dangers Of Extremes.

There’s two slogans that I always hear in rescue circles, and it drives me up a wall because they are ridiculously extreme:

“Adopt, don’t shop!” and “Don’t breed or buy while shelter pets die!”

Those two little phrases make my blood boil, and this is coming from someone who is pro-rescue and volunteers with a local adoption organization.

Wanna know why? It is because life isn’t black and white, people.

I loathe puppy mills and backyard breeders with every fiber of my being, but I also commend responsible, ethical breeders who will take a dog back no questions asked, even if it is old and who are breeding animals to improve the health of the breed.

I got into an argument with a friend of mine at the dog park about breeders. She volunteers for a kill-shelter (don’t even get me started) and hates all breeders because “it’s just a money making business.”

I damn near fell over. Yes, there’s tons of shitty breeders out there, but responsible, ethical breeders are on the same damn side of shelters because by taking in a dog and scrutinizing prospective homes, that’s one less kennel that will be filled.

Also, the reason why well-bred dogs are so expensive is because breeding is fucking expensive! A good breeder worth their salt will treat the mother dog like gold, and I’m sure their vet bills must be astronomical.

Therefore, I really doubt that they’re using that money to buy their fifth television or something–it’s all going back to the dogs.

Said friend tried to say a breeder would stop breeding if they volunteered at a kill-shelter–uh, a lot of reputable breeders are also involved with rescues too. They know about the shitty things that go on there, trust me.

She was also bitching about how they promote not spaying or neutering until the dog was about a year, and I stared at her–how the fuck did she not know that new research shows that it’s better to wait for the growth plates to close before fixing an animal?

I mean, I think for the Average Joe, speutering at 6 months is the way to go, but if you’re responsible and careful, I see no reason why you can’t wait until your pet is a year old.

Also, it’s pretty rich of her to bitch about breeders when there’s shitty rescues too–not all of them are great. Hell, just look at Sean Casey Animal Rescue and their shenanigans with Emily.

Responsible breeders are not the enemy, and you know what? Rescuing a dog isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to stack odds in their favor, and I don’t give a shit what anyone says, genetics matter just as much as training does.

I love Zoe, but I’m fairly certain a lot of her reactivity and fear issues are genetic. If I had purchased a well-bred German Shepherd from a responsible breeder and saw that the parents were calm and even-tempered, perhaps I wouldn’t be working my ass off using a clicker to try and desensitize her to just about everything that moves.

Also, it pisses me off that some people at the dog park shame-facedly admit that they got their dog from a good breeder because of the rescue fanatics that makes well-bred breeders and their supporters feel like shit for their choices.

You know what? I commend them for getting a well-bred dog and doing their research. I personally think that’s great, and I won’t ever make anyone feel bad for doing so.

Honestly, I wish I could smack some common sense into the heads of these fanatics because tearing responsible breeders apart is doing NOTHING to help the shelter problem in the United States.

My fellow rescue people, do NOT hate the responsible breeders. Instead, we need to work together in order to educate people, promote spay and neuter, and shut down puppy mills.

If we truly want to save shelter animals, that’s the only way to do it, and if you care about them the way you claim to do, then you’ll see that we’re on the same damn side.

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About The She Wolf

Amanda: Belly dancer. Feminist. Writer. Geek. Book nerd. Pagan.
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