I don’t have a dog and don’t envision myself adopting one anytime soon.
When people hear this, they automatically assume I’m some sort of animal-hater who wants to leave dogs in cages destined for euthanization.
But in fact, the opposite is true — I understand that adopting a pet is a serious decision, not to be taken lightly.
Unless I can fully commit to providing the time, energy and financial resources that will last throughout a pet’s lifetime, I know that this is not the season of life to bring a dog into my home.
I often hear from friends that they want a “purebred” such-and-such because the breed is good with children, hypo-allergenic, poops cotton candy, that sort of thing.
While there is nothing wrong with seeking out a certain breed for your family, pet owners really do need to understand where their puppies come from.
Do responsible dog breeders exist? Absolutely.
Do irresponsible dog breeders exist? Absolutely.
Your job, as a prospective pet owner, is to sift the good from the bad by researching where your purebred puppy comes from.
In an effort to encourage responsible pet adoption, a puppy mill awareness group shared the story of a mother bulldog who had been overbred and subsequently abandoned.
“I want a purebred. I hear it all the time,” Puppy Mill Awareness posted on Facebook. “Well, this is your puppies [sic] mother.”
The photo was of a neglected mama bulldog, eyes haunted by pain, nipples sagging to the floor from years of sustaining litter after litter after litter.
Overbred and no longer financially worth keeping, she’d been abandoned at a high-kill shelter.
“This gorgeous face with those soulful eyes… that nobody loved.”
The mother dog was forced to breed time and time again, the breeder kept in business by unknowing buyers purchasing the purebred puppies they just “had” to have.
Again, not every dog breeder is a bad or irresponsible person. Plenty of humane, caring breeders are out there, people who don’t bat an eye when someone wants to inspect their business and ask a bunch of questions.
As the holidays approach and people consider gifting their child or grandchild a puppy, take the time to learn the story behind the sweet, fuzzy face you’re considering buying.
While a puppy makes a cute Christmas gift, be sure the family is up for caring for the dog for the many years of Christmas that are ahead.
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