Breeders aren’t to blame

I'd like to rebut an argument I've read in your paper, one that I hear often from animal rights people [“What About All the Other Animals?,” July 4 Xpress]. That argument is: If people stopped breeding purebred dogs, everyone who is now buying puppies from them would get a dog from the shelter instead.

Not so. For most of my life I raised and showed dogs, stopping only when age made me realize I was producing dogs that might outlive me. My dogs were health checked before breeding and I screened my buyers before letting a puppy go. During those years my puppy buyers fell into two categories: Other show exhibitors who wanted a new dog to show. (They already owned several well-cared-for animals. If they could not have gotten a dog from me, they certainly would not have gone to the shelter for one.) And pet buyers referred to me by veterinarians and kennel clubs. (These people specifically said they were not in the market for a shelter dog, they wanted a puppy that had a known pedigree and that came with a health guarantee.)

I think getting a pet from the shelter is fine; I know many people who have done so successfully. But responsible breeders of purebred dogs are not the cause of the shelter dogs. They more often come from people who let their pets breed indiscriminately and people who get pets without preparing themselves for the work involved, then dump the dog at the shelter.

— Jaimie Mulvey

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