I don’t doubt there is an abundance of breeders who truly care for their animals and want to be sure they find good homes. I would guess many breeders started out because of their love for the animals they’re breeding but they probably didn’t even think about the negative impact their business would have on the animals in question. I am primarily going to focus on dogs in this piece but that certainly doesn’t mean I have forgotten this is a problem shared by all companion animals such as cats, rabbits, birds etc.
The ASPCA states there are approximately 3.9 million dogs entering shelters in the US every year. Around 542,000 of these are reunited with their owners so that leaves about 3.4 million left unclaimed and homeless. It is believed that only 35% of these dogs are successfully adopted into homes, that’s roughly 1.1 million. So what happens to the dogs who don’t get reunited with their owners or adopted into new homes? Well, unfortunately for them, approximately 1.2 million dogs are euthanized every year because they had nowhere to go.
So whilst breeders are lining their pockets, regardless of whether they love their animals or not, 1.2 million dogs are dying in shelters every year. That’s just over 3000 every day, which begs the question; why would you go to a breeder and not a shelter?
There’s a fair amount of myths regarding shelter animals. I guess the most common would be that they are all either sick, old or aggressive. I cannot stress enough how untrue this is. In fact, not only is it not true, it’s a ridiculous idea when you really think about it. Would you assume all children in orphanages are sick or aggressive? Animals end up in shelters for all sorts of reasons, many through no fault of their own. Sure, some will be sick, old or aggressive, but all of them? Come on. If you’re not in a position to take on an elderly dog, a sick dog or one in need of some hardcore training, don’t worry! Shelters will still be able to help!
If you’re still not convinced, maybe look at some ‘happy tails’ through a shelter website. These will show animals from all sorts of backgrounds being helped as necessary and placed in new, loving, suitable homes.
Different breeds of dog are more suitable for different lifestyles and situations and it is always important to take this into account when you decide to take a dog into your home. Do some research and you can find out which breeds would be best suited to you but this by no means suggests that you have to go to a breeder when you find the breed you’d like. The notion that not one of the 1.2 million shelter dogs, that desperately needed a home, would have been a good fit for you and your family is simply laughable. Any decent animal shelter will be happy to help you find a good match. You could contact numerous shelters and explain what you are looking for in your new companion and they can let you know if and when they have a suitable dog. (There’s also an abundance of breed specific animal shelters you could check out.) Ok, so you may need to be patient but it’ll be worth it! Just think, you may well have saved a life! Not just one life either, obviously the dog you adopt is saved but there’s also the dog that got to take their place in the shelter.
When there’s such a variety of little personalities sitting and waiting in shelters, I genuinely see no reason why anyone would choose to go to a breeder. You can save a life! How amazing is that??
This is Mahli & she’s an awesome dog. My husband & I adopted her 2 years ago when she was just 3 months old. She was pulled from a kill shelter, was 100% healthy & also came spayed and vaccinated!
I’d like to add that I don’t think all breeders are bad people. I feel it’s important to say this as sometimes my writing can be viewed as a personal attack and that is not the case. The reason I write is to raise awareness on causes I feel strongly about and if I change the mind of just one person, that’s a job well done in my book.