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Monday, Apr. 27, 2015

Be the Change

Posted Saturday, October 15, 2011, at 11:42 AM

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  ~ Edmund Burke

It is time to stop buying and breeding puppies and kittens in substandard conditions.  When I say "substandard," I refer not only to physical but knowledge base.  A very nice dog does not necessarily mean he/she is a good candidate for breeding.  One must do homework, be aware of genetics, pedigree, and how to not breed relatives.  Basically, don't breed your dog.  If you are not a licensed AKC or UKC operating kennel, don't breed.

Everyone likes puppies.  Puppies bought online (NEVER DO THIS) or at a pet store (NEVER DO THIS) are from PUPPY MILLS.  Those selling the puppies know nothing of their true background, no matter what they tell you.  Many shelters have purebred dogs for adoption.  If you are set on a purebred puppy from a breeder, be sure you are able to meet the parents, ask a ton of questions, do your homework on the breed you are considering (health problems, size, temperament) and ask if the breeder is willing to take back the no longer puppy should something dastardly befall you. 

I could show you lots of graphic images but what I want to impress upon you is to adopt, not shop, for your pet.  We are not bad people, for the most part.  However, turning a blind eye to evil, to pain, to distress is evil itself.  Once, I did not know how dire the environmental situation was; I now recycle fiendishly, still learning it is not enough.  Once, I took a beloved cat to a local shelter, not knowing what else to do and not being given any other direction; I now know differently and act accordingly.  Evil is not the lack of knowledge.  Evil is in knowing and still ignoring.  I was shocked to learn many Amish have puppy mills - raising puppies as a cash crop.  I no longer buy anything Amish even though I admire the craftsmanship of the furniture. I avoid Nike (though I support Livestrong) because they, once again, turn a blind eye to evil and sponsor Michael Vick, the dog killer and fighter. 

Bottom line is once we know, we need to act or stop acting in ways that support evil.  Breeding puppies for profit is evil, pure and simple.  Most of these breeders don't think this way but keeping dogs in poor conditions till they die or worse to wring out puppies from them is evil.  In Missouri, we went through the votes, discussions and amendment of Prop B last year.  We know better - let's teach our friends who don't know so more lives can be saved.

Simple steps to help our dog/cat friends:

  • SPAY OR NEUTER your pet or farm dog/cat.  PLEASE.
  • When you want to add a pet, ADOPT; we are here to help you find the right pet for your life.  If one entity won't adopt to you, find out why; if you disagree, go somewhere else or appeal. As rescues, we want to find homes for our dogs and cats (and hamsters, pigeons, etc.). 
  • BOYCOTT pet stores who sell puppies and kittens; let them know why you won't buy anything from them; sign petitions, support your local sanctuaries and shelters. 
  • VOLUNTEER even a few hours or less a week at a local sanctuary or shelter.  Getting dogs and cats out with a person in the sunshine or on a lap for some loving helps them become more adoptable; it also helps your health.

  • THANK YOU for caring about animals as well as people.

This is Princess Sheila Sheltie who has lived with me for at least 4 years.  The ten years prior to coming to me from Flawdogs Rescue in Morse Mill, MO, Sheila was a puppy mill mom, pumping out puppies.  She has a severe under-bite, is very small for a Sheltie (of which I am no breed expert so if someone has a different opinion, please share) and is now blind in that whitish right eye.  Sheila can still be skittish, not wanting to be picked up - wonder why?  She loves to be petted and groomed, though.  Sheila is aging gracefully here at Silverwalk for the rest of her life.


Comments
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People have been desiring and buying puppies for themselves and their children for thousands of years. Breeders work hard to create puppies for them. Dog breeding is not evil, but has been and will always be part of our life and culture. Support responsible breeders. Don't call their life's work 'evil'.

-- Posted by JurisPrudence on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 3:14 PM

Oh my, little girl. Do you not know that MOST professional licensed dog breeders in Missouri are very caring and devoted to their dogs and are doing a superb job of producing healthy, happy, and well socialized puppies? You seem to be confused about several statements you made.

!. "If you are not a licensed AKC or UKC operating kennel, don't breed." Neither AKC nor UKC licenses kennels. They provide a registration service to the breeder for a fee, as do many other registries. The choice of registry does NOT make the dog any better or worse.

2. "Those selling the puppies know nothing of their true background, no matter what they tell you." What? Breeders selling their puppies know their background INTIMATELY. It is the shelters and rescues that sell puppies/dogs that do not know the true history of what they are selling, no matter what they tell you. (They tend to exaggerate the circumstances from which they 'rescued' the dog, using emotional tactics to sell the dog).

3. "Breeding puppies for profit is evil, pure and simple." Why would you think that providing a lifetime loving companion to a grateful customer is evil? Is it because breeders charge money for their 'product'? It takes a lot of money to raise a puppy. Should they do it for free? Shelters/rescues also SELL puppies/dogs for money. They do not give them away. Is that evil? What is the difference?

4. "adopt, not shop, for your pet." Some people prefer to shop for their lifelong companion, purchasing a young puppy that has been lovingly raised and socialized by the breeder. Others may go to the shelter and buy a dog with unknown temperament and background that will hopefully fit into their family. It is about choice. Why take away a person's right to purchase from where they choose?

-- Posted by rek on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 6:07 PM

By the way, Sheila's temperament is typical for a Sheltie. It is not a result of living as a kennel dog. Shelties are not happy as lap-dogs; they prefer a more active life...chasing something! They are a small herding dog with a lot of energy. She looks very healthy with a gorgeous coat. Guess her years of 'pumping out puppies' must have suited her just fine.

-- Posted by rek on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 6:28 PM

"Puppies bought online (NEVER DO THIS) or at a pet store (NEVER DO THIS) are from PUPPY MILLS. Those selling the puppies know nothing of their true background, no matter what they tell you." These puppies are not from responsible breeders; these puppies are from puppy mills. The staff online and in pet stores do not know the background of these puppies and kitties.

"If you are set on a purebred puppy from a breeder, be sure you are able to meet the parents, ask a ton of questions, do your homework on the breed you are considering (health problems, size, temperament) and ask if the breeder is willing to take back the no longer puppy should something dastardly befall you." These puppies would come from responsible breeders. They do know and care for their puppies and do not sell them online or in pet stores; apples and oranges.

Sheila's photo was taken two days ago. It is not an early photo of Sheila from when Sally pulled her from the puppy mill 4-5 years ago. Glad you think she is looking good - I think so, too.

Puppy mills are evil. Canada is way ahead of the US in recognizing this and really doing something about it. See It's Time to Get Serious .

In no way do I want to take away a person's right to get a pet from a real breeder or a shelter. I do want people to be informed re: shelters, registered breeders (thank you) vs pet stores and online "breeders" who make their livings off dogs and cats to the detriment, pain and demise of those animals.

Sanctuaries and shelters adopt out their pets. If and when a need arises that the pet can no longer stay with the person, they are obligated by contract to return the pet to the agency from where they adopted her.

Thank you for your comments.

-- Posted by silverwalk on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 6:53 PM

I don't think you understand the process of selling online. MANY responsible licensed breeders sell their puppies online using various websites that provide advertising space. The breeders deal directly with their customers. It is a way of advertising to a much wider market. IT IS NO DIFFERENT THAN PETFINDER!! Is it okay for the shelters/rescues to SELL online, but not the breeders?

I also take issue with your characterization of breeders who sell to pet stores. Who are you to condemn an entire industry for their choice of marketing strategies?

Don't you know that the shelters routinely use pet stores to display and SELL their dogs? Of course they call it 'adoption day'. As a matter of fact, shelters, rescues, and pet stores have a lot in common. They all SELL pets that they don't raise themselves.

-- Posted by rek on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 7:34 PM

"The staff online and in pet stores do not know the background of these puppies and kitties."

Pet stores receive a complete health record (from birth to sale), a health certificate from a licensed vet who checked the puppy for any issues, communication from the breeder whenever needed, a pedigree showing the lineage of the puppy, a microchip for permanent identification, and a healthy socialized puppy. What else is it about the background that the pet stores need to know? The pet stores facilitate communication between breeder and customer if desired, also.

Just what does a shelter know about the dogs they sell? The previous vaccination and health history, the parents of the dog, the pedigree, or even the breeder of the dog? Or do they just make something up, assuming things from how the dog acts or looks? Kinda like you did with Sheila?

-- Posted by rek on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 7:53 PM

I love my dogs as much as you love Sheila. I breed them, they have superb bloodlines and they are gorgeous. Maybe I shouldn't share my bloodlines with others, if that makes me evil. The new owners of the pups love them, I get letters with pics as the pups grow up. It makes me feel great. Does that make me selfish? It does make others very happy. If that makes me evil, I guess that I am. Detriment and pain are not part of any of my dog's life. They are groomed, exercised, fed treats, and loved, as I am sure Sheila is too.

-- Posted by edward c on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 8:18 PM

Unfortunately the dog breeders have found this thread.

Anyone can check out the USDA inspection reports for many of the dog breeders in this state to see how many perfectly awful ones there are.

Don't believe the people in this thread trying to deceive you all that large scale commercial breeders are great. They're not the same as the show or hobby breeders who are primarily interested in the breed.

No, they'll breed anything as much as they can so they can sell the puppies--many of whom have genetic defects or are ill.

If you want a dog, adopt. If you must have a specialty breed, there are breed specific rescues (though check out the rescue and make sure it's not a breeder masquerading as a breeder). If you want a puppy from a breeder, quality show breeders do sell their puppies that aren't up to conformance as pets. However, they'll want to meet with you, first, to ensure you would be a good pet owner.

Anything else is a puppy mill.

-- Posted by shelleyp on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 9:49 PM

"No, they'll breed anything as much as they can so they can sell the puppies--many of whom have genetic defects or are ill."

Okay, Shelley, how many currently licensed kennels have you personally seen? None? How many Missouri licensed breeders do you know personally? None? How many puppies have you purchased from a licensed breeder? None? How many of those you purchased were ill or defective? None? How many dogs have you personally seen being bred 'as much as they can' in a professional kennel? None?

Do you have ANY personal experience with dog breeders or are you still just parroting HSUS's tired old rhetoric about evil dog breeders?

-- Posted by rek on Sat, Oct 15, 2011, at 10:18 PM

When an inspector writes that the temperature inside an indoor kennel exceeds 120 degrees, I don't have to be there to know this is bad.

When an inspector writes that the temperature in an outdoor kennel is only 27 degrees and dogs are shivering, I don't have to be there to know this is bad.

When an inspector writes about dogs that can't walk, have lost most of their hair, most of their teeth, are blind from eye injuries, sick or bleeding, I don't have to be there to know this is bad.

And since the breeders got their tame state reps to pass a bill that any person interested in animal welfare may not accompany an inspector, and since the breeders in this state fall all over themselves to keep their operations hidden, I won't be there to see the atrocities directly.

(Oh, the same tame state reps also removed the fee exemption for shelters and rescues in this state. So now the shelters and rescues, which provide services for the community and the state, actually pay as much (or more) in state fees than people who are only in the dog breeding business for money.)

Anyone who can read the USDA inspection reports (and the MDA ones) can see how bad many breeders are in this state. Don't need HSUS to point out what's obvious.

-- Posted by shelleyp on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 8:47 AM

While you are reading, be sure to read up on the shelters and rescues as well. Some of their inspections are dusgusting! BUT sensible people know that most are probably run almost as well as MOST licensed breeding kennels.

When you generalize and smear all breeders with your slanderous brush, shelleyp, you are flaunting your ignorance of the larger picture. It is a tactic that HSUS uses in their campaigns against animal industries. Pick out one or two bad apples and pretend that it is the norm for all. Outrageously unfair and wickedly vicious, but that is typical HSUS and other so-called humane societies.

-- Posted by rek on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 2:16 PM

As to the fees that shelters and rescues now must pay: The fees support inspections and related costs. Why should the licensed dog breeders of this state continue (as they have for many years)to take up the slack and pay for the inspections of the rescues and shelters when their organizations are doing their best to drive the breeders out of business and slandering their good names?

Breeders are sick of footing the bill for deadbeat rescue-mills and shelter-mills who continuously slander them, calling them puppy-mills.

-- Posted by rek on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 2:34 PM

In a 2008 audit, when the auditor noted that the MDA didn't inspect shelters annually, the MDA responded with it didn't need to, as the shelters seldom have any violations.

The shelters also provide a service to the community. In St. Louis, the city abrogated its responsibilities for stray and abandoned (and confiscated animal control), dumping it all on the non-profits in the area, including Stray Rescue, Animal House Fund, and HSMO.

These shelters and rescues take care of the abandoned, confiscated, and rescued dogs and cats, sometimes at significant cost (especially dogs rescued from bad breeders). Breeders add to the problem and also profit from the dogs.

There is a difference. It is obvious to any thinking person.

But then any thinking person reading these comments know who is speaking true, and who is defending puppy mills.

-- Posted by shelleyp on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 5:11 PM

Why is anyone breeding dogs? Why can't there be a moratorium on breeding. What is it, 5 million animals euthanized in the U.S. each year? So even if you call yourself a 'responsible breeder', how responsible are you that as you are producing puppies, other dogs are killed. STOP BREEDING for a while. The only reason you are breeding is for money in your pocket. The breed isn't going to die out if you stop breeding for two years. I feel anyone who breeds puppies has no conscience about all the dogs that are put down. Selfish, self-centered and greedy. If the shoe fits....

-- Posted by stardog on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 5:35 PM

LOL, you are too funny, shelleyp. You say in one breath that you don't believe MDA, but then quote MDA from an outdated audit as fact. IN FACT, the director of MDA in 2008 also stated that breeders do a GOOD JOB overall and are largely compliant. Everything about MDA has since changed, including leadership, state vet, nearly ALL inspectors, rules, fees, and who knows what else! Guess they thought that the shelters should pay their own freight now, too.

-- Posted by rek on Sun, Oct 16, 2011, at 5:38 PM

Mr McGee thanks you for helping him find his home for life. He not only has learned how to be a dog, enjoy people, his yard, his brudder Clancy, and owns two couches but has just recently learned that it's OK to Bark!! We are soooooo proud of him. Thanks Robbie for helping us adopt him. Both of you, McGee are jewels!!

Dennis n Margaret, and Clancy n McGee our fabulous Shelties

-- Posted by dukeofo on Thu, Aug 9, 2012, at 7:42 AM


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Roberta "Bobbie" Beach
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Bobbie blogs about dogs as she lives with mostly hounds. While no longer rescuing, she maintains Silverwalk Hounds Sanctuary for the remaining Sanctuary dogs as well as occasional fosters. She enjoys talking about dogs, including rescue, fostering and adoption.
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