Thursday, May 17, 2012
PUPPY MILLS VS. SHELTER DOGS
Why do dog lovers buy pricey dogs from pet stores and breeders, especially online breeders? In my opinion, I would rather adopt from a shelter or a rescue group. It makes good sense all the way around. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a canine companion that might have questionable health you can save a wonderful dog that life hasn't given a break from euthanasia.
Puppy mills promote endless suffering for the dogs used for breeding by forcing them to live in close, cramped, unclean cages, feeding them inferior food and breeding them constantly. No attention is paid to genetic defects, producing pets with inferior health who are sold with high price tags and high profits for those involved.
I'm not saying you shouldn't get a purebred if you want one but why not consider a breed rescue group as an alternative? Most families are looking for a new family member not the next winner of the Westminster Dog Show. Fourteen pages of paperwork, phone calls to three references and $75.00 later we adopted Annie. Did I care she wasn't a pedigree? No way - it doesn't matter to me, I love her.
How do you go about doing this? Visit the dogs at the ASPCA, The Humane Society, Bide-a-Wee, and North Shore Animal League. Check with veterinarians in your area; they sometimes have pets for adoption. That's how we found Annie. The American Kennel Club lists breed rescue groups for all breeds from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers. In Brooklyn, you can contact BARC or Sean Casey Animal Rescue.
This weekend it was reported that newspaper Magnate William Randolph Hearst's great granddaughter and heiress to his publishing empire, Amanda Hearst has joined forces with upper West-side Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal to introduce legislation to expand the definition of puppy mills and improve living conditions for dogs kept on breeding facilities in upstate New York. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, we can all do our part by thinking long and hard about what we want in a companion animal then make the choice to explore the alternatives suggested above before purchasing a puppy from a pet store or breeder, online or otherwise. Adopt a rescue or shelter dog; make yourself and some unfortunate dog happy.
If you are interested in adopting, please explore the links below (the first link listed is Sean Casey Animal Rescue):
If you want to adopt a specific breed check the American Kennel Club listings for breed rescue: