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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pet Overpopulation

As a vet I see far too many unwanted, genetically disastrous, randomly bred dogs. I created this handout to help explain to people the merits of responsible breeding and why to consider adoption from a reputable shelter. Feel free to share this information with others!

The Truth About Dog Breeding and the Pet Overpopulation
There is a huge pet overpopulation problem in this country. Please consider the following statistics….

Every year 6-8 million pets enter animal shelters 25% of which are purebred dogs*
Every year 3-4 million of these pets are euthanized*
*Estimates from the Humane Society of the U.S.

Before you breed….

The purpose of dog breeding is to perpetuate the genetic characteristics of an individually defined breed. To achieve this only the animals that best represent the breed should be used in a breeding program. These animals should fit the breed standard, have a proven performance or show record, have a genetic background clear of diseases and also have a quality temperament.
If the above standards are followed then only dogs that can improve the overall quality of the breed will be used in breeding programs. A considerable investment in time and money on the breeder’s part is required to ensure that this takes place. The breeder must be familiar with the breed standard and potential health and behavioral problems associated with that breed. In addition a responsible breeder will screen buyers of their puppies to make sure that they go to a home that understands the breed and is willing and able to provide a proper home for the puppy. A responsible breeder will also be willing to take back any puppy at any time in the dog’s life if the buyer becomes unable to care for it. Done correctly dog breeding is likely to cost money-not make money and this should not be the motivation behind breeding dogs. The proper motivation for breeding is to continue to improve upon the breed and carry on the traits of that breed for others to enjoy.

Spaying and Neutering can prevent accidental litters as well as reduce the risk and incidence of certain medical conditions. It can also reduce aggression, marking, roaming and other unwanted behaviors.

Before you buy….

Consider adopting your next pet from an animal shelter or breed rescue.

Be sure to have your current pets spayed and neutered.

Avoid shopping at stores that sell puppies-most of these come from puppy mills and irresponsible breeders.

If you just can’t find the perfect pet in a shelter or rescue then be sure to do some research before buying from a breeder-don’t be afraid to ask questions and visit the kennel. You should be able to see the parents of your puppy!


~Kim~ said...

This is great advice! I wish more people would read it, and follow it!

We got our first Golden from a breeder and the 8 Goldens that have come since then, have come from rescue. Some people think that shelters and rescues are the "dumping grounds" for mis-fit dogs, but they are not--As you know, there are many, many wonderful dogs that can be found within these groups!

Sue said...

A reminder to do your homework concerning what shelter you choose to adopt from. We adopted one lovely little dog from a shelter and learned two days later that she had Parvo. She spent the next six days in the hospital before she died. When we reported this to the shelter, they had a 'so what' attitude.

Shelters aren't always better than breeders.