You’ve found a breeder. They have lots of cute, wriggling, fat puppies for sale. They’ll be ready in a few weeks.
You can’t wait!
You rush over as soon as they’re ready, hand over your money, run home with your new friend, and that money never crosses your mind again. Where does that money go? Not something you’ve ever thought about? Here’s the thing: We animal lovers tend to think that everybody knows what we know, that everybody has seen the horrors we’ve seen.
We forget that we didn’t always know about overflowing shelters, dog fighters, and puppy mills. We forget that the horror we’re fighting against is completely unknown to some people, just like it used to be to us at some point. Maybe you don’t watch the ads that show all the starving and abused dogs chained up in the rain, with that God awful Sarah McLaughlin song accompanying those haunting images, I know I try my best not to.
Maybe you’re not aware of the dire situation with animals. That’s OK, that’s what I’m here for — to reach out and show you a world you didn’t know existed and how you can help change it for better.
Reach out to your local Humane Society, or county animal control. Ask for a tour, Google the stats of euthanized animals, or turn the news on. I personally forget that people don’t know about the overflowing shelters and insist on paying top dollar for “pure-blood”puppies.
At the county-run shelters, unadopted puppies are lined up for execution. Meanwhile, the money you gave to that breeder, what does it go toward? Do you care? Many of you will say it’s none of your business, but if you really care about dogs, believe me, it really is your business.
How many women do you know who have given all natural birth, no epidural, and said, “I had so much fun giving birth, it was totally pain free and awesome!” Not that many. Imagine if someone made you give birth repeatedly just so they could sell your offspring and collect money for it.
There are a lot of people who knock me for this opinion, saying they know plenty of wonderful, kind, dog-loving breeders. And that’s great. But for as many wonderful breeders that you know, there are so many more horrible ones. Dogs are kept in small rooms, constantly impregnated, exhausted, literally used for nothing but breeding purposes. They are just money making machines for some soulless individual.
In Fort Mill there used to be a breeder. She kept her dog out of sight. The puppies were always sick. The conditions were dirty and unkind. But many will tell you she was quite a pleasant lady. Why? Because they didn’t know that she was breeding puppies like that. In fact, one woman I know got her puppy from said lady and ended up having to put her beloved dog to sleep only a few years later because of the health problems it inherited.
How is breeding so many litters from one dog still legal? When our shelters are bursting at the seams, how is breeding still legal at all?
Dogs do not exist to supplement our income. They are not your extra paycheck, or that much needed cash for your broken transmission. Get a second job, watch some neighborhood kids, or mow some grass, because nothing gives you the right to use a mother’s offspring for your own selfish needs. Many breeders are no better than sex slave traders, and you can disagree all you want, tell me about every kind and loving breeder you personally know, and how well they care for their dogs all you want.
Until our shelters are empty, and dogs aren’t being bred for income, then you don’t stand a chance at convincing me otherwise. Hundreds of thousands of dogs (and cats) are put to death every day across the Carolinas because of unwanted breeding, careless owners, unsuitable living conditions, the list goes on.
Puppy mills are churning out sick and inbred dogs for the sake of “pure blood.” Unless you’re planning on becoming a Death Eater and joining Lord Voldemort in his quest to wipe out all non pure bloods, you can’t very well look me in the eye and tell me that you feel better about supporting a breeder versus rescuing a dog from certain death. There will always be uneducated and ignorant people who carelessly allow their dogs to become impregnated, so the shelters will always have puppies for adoption.
Why are you still buying puppies from breeders? Don’t pretend like you rescued that puppy from a breeder. If there were no demand, there would be no product. Because when you breed puppies, they are just that: product.
I love all dogs, even ones that were bred by breeders, because I can’t blame them for being born. They had no control over their lives. I love them because it isn’t their fault. But if you want to make a difference, if you want to save a life, adopt from a kill shelter.
Spay and neuter your pets so shelters won’t continuously be full. There are vet programs to help you with the cost if you can’t afford it on your own. We can change the shelter situation, we can make a difference in lives that matter, and we can change everything, if we only work together for the same cause. You’re not just saving animals, you’re saving people too. Imagine caring about animals more than anything else, and having to go into work every day and kill puppies and kittens, abused older dogs, blind cats, and energetic dogs that never stood a chance, all because someone didn’t care enough to adopt from a shelter.
Imagine the toll that takes on a person’s soul. Can you imagine what that must feel like, to care more than anything in the world, and be helpless to do anything about it? Unless we realize that breeding kills, and start adopting and fostering, implementing spay and neuter laws, nothing will change.
What do you support, fair life or status?
Marybeth Woods is a Clover resident: firstname.lastname@example.org