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Dog clubs so strongly discourage anything but breeding for quality, not quantity, that the gene pool in many breeds is at high risk due to fewer and fewer litters each year.


L. M. Turriff - Guest Columnist

Nov 2010


As breed clubs try desperately to restrict 'excessive' breeding, there are no outcrosses left, you can't get new people into the breed, and prospective owners can’t find a well bred dog.  In the most popular breeds, breed clubs and kennel clubs have no control, so it's true that there are a few breeds which are over bred.  


The premise that hobby breeders of purebred dogs are creating a 'population explosion' of poor quality pets is pure fantasy, a myth generated and broadcast by HSUS, PeTA and other animal rights organizations.


The result is that the commercial high volume breeders - USDA licensed and immune to State laws introduced by Animal Rights interests ostensibly to control them - get an ever larger market share.


There are also a great number now of 'designer breeds', deliberate crosses of two or more breeds. Due largely to Animal Rights 'educators' who insist that purebred dogs are inbred, unhealthy and unsound and that outcrosses are reliably the pictures of canine virtue, Designer Dogs are in great demand, and no one has any oversight of those breeders.


The public wants pets and they will get them somewhere. However, many people have been so deeply indoctrinated in the 'Evil Breeder' dogma they would never dream of buying a puppy from a breeder. Instead, they pay substantial 'adoption fees' to rescues and animal shelters to adopt exactly the unhealthy, unsound, unsocialized, mis-managed animals they claim to abhor. This practice further marginalizes the hobby breeder, who rarely makes a profit on his animals anyway.  When the public believes the 'best' pet is a Designer Dog or a rescue, it is harder for hobby breeders to place their well bred and well socialized puppies.


The breeders who are being put out of business by 'puppy mill' laws and animal rights driven bigotry are the ones who know their stock intimately, know the studbooks of their breed unto the twentieth generation, and who run disease and DNA checks on their prospective studs and brood bitches. These breeders often won't breed a litter until they have sales for as many of the offspring as they expect in an average litter, and many keep that litter until it is three months old before sending the puppies to their new homes. If they have been 'lucky', and the litter has been larger than they expected, they don't dump the unplaced puppies, they keep them, often showing them until they do find a suitable home for them. This is an expensive proposition.


A good hobby breeder's idea of a 'suitable' home makes human adoption agencies look outright sloppy. They aggressively screen prospective homes, and in some breeds it actually is easier to adopt a child. Their contracts would frighten a Supreme Court Justice and unlike retail merchants, they will take back a dog that doesn't work out.  Most hobby breeders help their puppy buyers out with rearing and training support, when needed.


Hobby breeders' puppies do not end up in shelters.

In shelters you find the products of commercial breeders who sell whole litters, shipped and totally unsocialized, to wholesalers who parcel them out to pet shops. Those who sell directly to the public do so without health screening, buyer screening, contracts, buyer support usually before eight weeks.  As responsible breeders curtail litters, these crap shoot puppies may be the only way a pet owner can find a puppy in his breed of choice, but it is truly a pig in a poke.  The puppy may be healthy but have socialization issues, and if the buyer is unfamiliar with the breed there may be training and/or behavior issues. And voilą! The buyer, unable to find any useful advice dumps the puppy. You can adopt him from a shelter though, for a substantial fee.


For more information about shelter populations and kill rates, you should read Nathan Winograd, who has a website and blog as well as published books. Don't take my word - Google him yourself.


The websites or printed material where most people information are usually vegan/animal rights organizations. HSUS is the largest, most well respected, and though low key, the most dangerous. Less than half a percent of their substantial income goes to any kind of hands on animal care; most of it goes to lobbying for the kind of legislation which makes it hard for you and I to keep pets and more difficult for good, knowledgeable, responsible breeders to breed.


Please run a search and look at HSUS 2009 financial statements, public documents because they are non-profits. The money they solicit from the public (fraudulently, since it is used on behalf of animals only in the rarest of occasions) is spent on lobbying, on the platoon of lawyers who write boiler plate law to provide to ignorant or complicit politicians, and campaign contributions to those same politicians.


All HSUS policies, including the manuals they sell to shelters and the (expensive) training seminars they provide are designed to meet their ultimate goal of a vegan world. You, the animal lover, are financing that goal if you donate to them or you believe the Evil Breeder tenet, the Pet Overpopulation Myth, the Abuser On Every Corner tales ...


If you want to support animals, donate directly to your local shelter.  See which of your shelters do NOT use management and policy materials from HSUS, PeTA, ASPCA or any of the other national Animal Rights groups. No kill shelters are a good bet; AR organizations emphatically don't support them.


Animal rights organizations are about liberating animals from human ownership, not about animal welfare. And you can take that to the bank.


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