28 January 2013

Dear Dog Breeders/Those Who Buy From Breeders,

(My first letter in almost 4 years is one very important to me. Excuse the lack of much humour. This isn't a funny subject.)

You just want a cute little puppy, and going to a breeder is the easiest option?
You're just trying to make a bit of money on the side through breeding?
Do you ever stop to think about how your actions have consequences?

I have more than a few issues with you people, and I'm about to list them (lucky you!).

First thing that pisses me off about you is that you say you love animals. No, you don't. Buyers, If you loved animals you wouldn't support breeding in the first place. You would care about the well-being of the approximately 118,032 stray dogs in the UK in 2012 (Dogs Trust study - link at the bottom of the post). Why do you think so many dogs are homeless? Maybe it was meth. Yeah, it's always meth.

Instead of buying that cute little annoying puppy that was born a few weeks ago to make a profit, you would visit the websites of local animal shelters, or the pound. If you truly were an animal lover you would feel compelled to end this cycle of neglect, abuse, and ignorance. Countless dogs are put to death every year, because the pounds/local authorities can't cope with the amount of animals coming in. They keep them for a while, and if they're not adopted, claimed, or rescued, they're killed. It's okay though, go ahead and buy that cute little puppy you saw in the Trade-It. It'll look good in family photos.

Breeders, if you loved animals, you would be helping to re-home the abandoned ones instead of overpopulating the UK with even more dogs. You know exactly what you're doing and that's selling a life for a profit, and once it's out of your door most of you don't give a crap. I won't be addressing you from here on in.

The second thing that pisses me off is the excuses.

"I want my dog to know me from as early as possible"
Truth is, a fully grown dog will show you just as much love for giving it a good life, and a lot of them come with previous training. They're often spayed/neutered and whoever you are adopting them from can usually give you a list of characteristics, likes and dislikes. Knowing this information can make choosing a suitable dog much easier.

"...but puppies are so cute!"
Puppies are cute, yes. This was established many years ago. Did you know that shelters and charities often have puppies they need to re-home? Dogs from a shelter might not be as old/scruffy/smelly/challenging as you think. You may be asked for a contribution, but a lot of the time micro-chipping,  injections and even spaying/neutering are offered for free, or for a reduced rate. They also offer advice and planning after you take the dog away. Few breeders can say that.

"I just don't want a second hand dog"
I hope the next guy/girl you like says the same to you. Dogs don't have a sell-by-date. They're constantly growing, learning and loving.

"I'm buying a pedigree" 
Don't get me started on the "I'll only buy pedigree" crap, just don't. Dogs are companions, not trophies. Pedigree dogs are just fine, but it's not a valid excuse for not considering a rescue dog.

"Dogs from shelters must have something wrong with them, or they'd have a home already"
So many dogs are saved by shelters, and the dogs come from varying backgrounds. You could find your perfect pet if you just used your eyes and looked instead of making assumptions and going to a breeder.

"The breeder has already bred the puppies so it's not doing any harm to buy one"
Again, are you stupid? If you buy one, that leaves a space for another to be bred and sold. That really was a stupid thing to say, and you don't have the IQ to be responsible for a paperclip, let alone an animal.

Here's the stupid thing though: Breeders only have business because of demand, so they aren't entirely to blame. If we all banded together to make re-homing more popular and reduce the appeal of breeding, this wouldn't happen.

Puppies are cute, yes. Puppies are sometimes easier to train, yes. A homeless dog, however, has either lost their previously happy life, or been brought up in terrible conditions, often by the breeders themselves,  who "chuck them" after they can no longer produce cute little puppies to sell to the "animal loving" public.

Open your eyes.
Dogs are being killed due to overpopulation.
You're causing this if you breed dogs.
You're causing this if you buy from breeders.

If you're looking to bring a pet dog into your family, please have a look around for local shelters. Also check out http://dogstrust.org.uk where you can learn how to become a better animal lover.

A Truly Animal Loving Rescue Dog Owner

Statistics from: http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/s/straydogsurvey/straydogsurveysummaryreport2012.pdf