Dogs: Selling mixed breeds

Although I am extremely fond of several registered breeds (wolfhounds, boxers and mastiffs in particular), I really think the importance attached to “breed” rather than “individual” is a part of what is wrong with the way we see our pets, dogs in particular. For too many people, dogs are an accessory rather than a member of their families, or at least as a living, feeling creature and the right look is more important than the right personality.

Although I can accept creating pure-bred dogs, what I can’t see is creating non-registered dogs specifically for sale. Do we really need designer/hybrid dogs, like cock-a-poos, labra-doodles and Saint Berdoodle? More controversially, in my opinion, should rescue groups allow puppies to be born so they can be adopted out at higher adoption fees to help fund the rest of the rescue operation, when the pregnancy is in the early stages?

The people selling these dogs provide all sorts of reasons and excuses:

– “The puppies are so cute – my kids love them.”

– “People want puppies, not older dogs.”

– “I always pick good parents, so the buyers will know they are getting good pups.”

– “I always find the puppies good homes.”

– “It’s my right, it’s a free country.”

If we didn’t have a pet overpopulation problem, I could understand creating dogs for loving, responsible families. But as long as an estimated half of all dogs surrendered to shelters are killed because they cannot be placed, I think creating new dogs, for fun or profit, is irresponsible and immoral.

It is irresponsible because not only is it adding to a major national problem, it is contributing to the general public’s ignorance and apathy. As long as puppies are readily available, many people will assume there isn’t a real problem, or that it isn’t their problem. It also fuels the notion that older dogs are somehow less deserving or desirable, which isn’t necessarily true.

It is immoral because of the fear and pain experienced by dogs waiting, all over the country, on death row. The practice of creating more dogs is adding to that suffering – fewer older dogs are adopted because puppies are available, and when a percentage of THOSE puppies are surrendered as adults, they will more than likely enter the shelter/pound system, to wait their own turn on death row.

Yes, it’s a free country, and there are no LEGAL restrictions on breeding and selling mix-breed dogs. But there is a MORAL issue. If you want to sell dogs, purebred or otherwise, remember all of those dogs on death row – some estimates say there are 4 million of them. Do you really want even a single one of your puppies ending up there – or bumping another dog into the electric chair?

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