Monday, July 14, 2008

Shelters vs. Puppy Mills- not really that different

While looking at the HUSU website and the "Top 5 Reasons to Adopt" I found the following of interest.

5. You Won't Be Supporting Puppy Mills and Pet Stores

Puppy mills are "factory style" dog-breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Most dogs raised in puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and the parents of the puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they're no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.

Puppy mill puppies are sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores, over the Internet and through newspaper classified advertisements to whoever is willing to pay for them. Marketed as coming from great breeders, well-rehearsed sales tactics keep money flowing to the puppy mill by ensuring that buyers never get to see where the pups actually come from (a vital step in puppy buying). Many of the puppies have serious behavioral and health problems that might not be apparent for months, including medical problems that can cost thousands of dollars to treat, if they are treatable at all. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not even aware that puppy mills exist, so when they buy a pet from a pet store, online or other retail outlet, they are unwittingly supporting this cruel industry.

By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren't supporting cruel puppy mills with your money. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop purchasing their dogs. Instead of buying a dog, visit your local shelter where you will likely to find dozens of healthy, well-socialized puppies and adult dogs—including purebreds—just waiting for that special home—yours. (Source:HUSU website)

True- the money you spend at a shelter will not directly be going to a "puppy mill"- but the "25% purebreds" the HUSU claims to have most likely came from these very "puppy mills" they are against. The claim they make that the shelters have "healthy, well-socialized puppies and adult dogs-including purbreds" may only mean that the shelter euthanized all that didn't meet this statement. Certainly no one adopting from a shelter gets to see where those dogs come from either.
Well socialized, healthy dogs, are not usually the ones people turn in (expect in economic hard times such as these- and usually those economically depressed people didn't spend hundreds of $$ buying a dog from a breeder in the first place).

The last time I went to a shelter (which I do regularly to screen for purebreds of my breed)- the dogs there were all kept in cages without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family.... And after they're no longer profitable(adoptable)- are simply killed--- oh wait---that is the same wording as stated in #5 above about "puppy mills". I guess the two are not that different!

While I was at the shelter, a few people were there to adopt. Not once did anyone from the shelter ask them the types of questions that would help them find "the right dog for them". Any dog those people picked out and wanted to adopt was going to be just fine with the shelter staff. Those dogs would go home to "anyone willing to pay for them"--- Again, not much different.

The myriad documented problems of puppy mills include: overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of human socialization, overcrowded cages and the killing of unwanted animals (source HUSU site on Puppy Mills)

Our shelter feeds the dogs mostly donated dog food. Sometimes the food is "good food" and sometimes it is "poor quality" food. Most shelters claim to be overcrowed, and most shelters kill unwated animals. Yes, there is a myriad of problems.

I am certainly NOT advocating for "puppy mills" (what is that definition again?)- but I DON'T think that everyone who breeds dogs (purbred, "designer", or otherwise) is a "Puppy Mill". Although there is a page on the HSUS site on how to chose a good breeder, the laws that HSUS are backing will sure make you think that everyone who breeds dogs IS a "puppy mill"

Are shelters good- Yes- are purbred breeders good- Yes to that too! Do your homework and learn all the facts before buying into the AR agenda.

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