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Where Will The Puppies Come From?

Where are the puppies going to come from? I have been waking up night after night lately in a panic thinking about this question...

Really – where will the puppies come from?! In many communities around the country we are reaching a crisis point – that is if you believe that people should have the opportunity to have a dog in their life, and that they should have the opportunity to choose what type of dog to be a part of their family. I do believe this. I feel strongly that a big part of becoming and retaining “humane communities” is that all have the opportunity to have a pet in their life. I do not think pets should be just for certain people (those who can afford a puppy from a high-end responsible breeder, for example), but for all people who want to care responsibly for a pet. The crisis is that we are running out of puppies! There are many communities that simply do not have juvenile dogs entering their sheltering system and, in many cases, the adult dog population entering the shelters has significantly decreased – and significantly changed. What those in this field have laid the foundation for and have worked so hard for is happening!

This is great news!! And, this is the source of my concern. So here is where the crisis is – when there is a need, the void is usually filled. How do we want the void left by the lack of puppies to be filled? I know one thing we can all agree on, we sure do not want it filled by puppy mills and those who breed with no understanding of the importance of early socialization, proper nutrition and the like. This is a conversation we having been having for a few years… At HSUS Expo this year, I heard a few people mention the next step for some shelters may be to find ways in which we become the source for puppies for folks. I know what some of you are thinking – that in your community, there is certainly not a lack of puppies coming in. And that may be true. Chances are, there are less than there used to be, but there may still be puppies at risk.

Yes – there are still plenty of opportunities for relocation programs to help move dogs and puppies from where there are too many to where there are not enough, but as responsible large-scale relocation programs like the PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ help infuse source shelters with resources and know-how, we are seeing source shelters as temporary, as they too soon see the inventory entering their shelters change. We know what a dog can add to our lives – how they can help us through the bad days, bring us joy when joy is hard to find, keep us honest, keep us human…and really, this is the kicker – that interaction can keep us kind.

How can we fill this void? How can we assure that anyone who wants to add a dog to their life can find a humanely raised puppy? What does the future hold? Please let’s figure this out, ‘cause I need to be able to sleep through the night – I am keeping my dogs up!

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Comments

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I don't know where you are writing from but there is no puppy shortage in the South! Many Southern shelters transport puppies to the Northern states so that they are not killed and have a a chance at being adopted and living out their lives. Until the whole nation spays and neuters their pets, there will never be a puppy shortage!

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But if the whole nation spays and neuters it's pets, or all responsible owners do so, then what will happen to the pet dog species? Sure, we don't have a shortage of puppies in the south now but if we get what we want and everyone does spay/neuter then we will only have the high dollar pets from responsible breeders that Dr. Weiss speaks of OR, even worse, the poorly bred dogs of backyard breeders and puppy mills.

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WRONG!!!!  With your mandatory spay/neuter laws - you will NOT have your so-called "high dollar" breeders.  What you will have is the import of mutts from other countries and from THEIR commercial breeders.

Momma always said - Be careful what you wish for!

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So true. I do not want to live in a world without pets and glad that I will not have grandkids who have to grow up without pets of their choosing. 

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Yes you totally right , I guess with just mutts that make louey pets we future generations won't know the joy , the "anti pet " people will get what they want ! 

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Karen, the majority of pets in the U.S. are spayed and neutered.  Animals end up in shelters due to irresponsble *owners*, not breeders.  As far as "high dollar pets" from conscientious breeders, what about shelters and rescues that charge upwards of $300 for their animals?  Animals that in the long run could end up costing more due to illness, genetic problems, etc?  Something people don't realize about well bred dogs that are health screened, properly socialized, etc., is that what you're paying for isn't just a "fancy" purebred dog.  Breeders put a lot of time, money, blood, sweat & tears into each and every litter, into each and every dog they own.  That puppy comes with the breeder's years of experience, of knowledge, with guarantees that your beautiful new puppy will be healthy, happy and long-lived.  That breeder will be there for you and your puppy for the life of that puppy, and very often, beyond that.  Did you know that purebred dog breeders and purebred dog clubs are the ones who started rescue?  Both for purebred and mixes.  They work hard in rescue: volunteering, transporting, networking, fostering, donating.  Many have rescues of their own, purebred *and* mixes.  Animal rights groups, including the ASPCA, are pushing for more and more regulations that do nothing more than cripple small, conscientious breeders.  There's a comment further down about homebred puppies being hard to find.  That's a true statement and it's because of the ridiculous legislation being put into place.  If a small breeders become USDA licensed they can no longer raise puppies in their homes, unless that home is "impervious to moisture", among other insane requirements(USDA/APHIS).  In other words, while the home is perfectly okay to raise children in, it's no longer good enough to raise puppies in.  Very few small breeders can afford the required upgrades because contrary to what the general public believes, thanks to the AR movement, breeders don't make much, if any, money from breeding.

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Agree. people only see what they want to, not what the responsible breeder IS doing for preserving the breed for the next generations and the cost and the impact in the long run of the laws on the small hobby breeders where you can go visit and watch them grow up and interact with parents and probably others in the bloodline and all the pups until the pup is ready to go to their new homes.   

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AMEN!! 

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Well said !!!!!!

 

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Well said and so true!  Thank you!  I do not want a puppy raised in a kennel (as per regulations) - I want a puppy that has been raised in a home environment.  One that is used to the sounds and sights of a home - of children - of the vacuum cleaner, of linoleum and hard wood floors, etc etc.  And if truth be known some well-bred, pure-bred dogs don't cost much more than a rescues to purchase and will cost much less in the long-run as they typically do not come with health and temperment problems as many rescues do.

When I was a child, it was my dog that kept me from being a run-away - I had no idea how I could afford to feed her  - no thought to how I would feed myself.  As an adult, it was my dog that held me together when I became a single parent.  I can not imagine a world without pets and especially without a dog.  I don't like dogs that are aggressive, insecure, whine or are high maintenance.  I want a dog that is sound in body and mind that is willing and happy to go where ever I go and be my buddy.  With a pure-bred dog, I can get  (& have for 8 dogs now) the temperment, physical attributes, mental & physical abilities, and health I want.  And they have all been long-lived.

It upsets me to see dogs being brought into my country from other countries bringing with them diseases we never had before - but guess what - the well-meaning recue organizations that brought them in were ensured they had been health checked - that they were medically cleared as being healthy and free from communicable disease.

HSUS and PETA are bad news for future generations of children because it's true, pets teach children (& adults) patience and kindness.  Two very important characteristics in human beings.

 

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You are absolutely right.  Spay/Neuter has worked so well that shelters are running out of dogs.  This should be a good thing - but it is not.  Dog trafficking is on the rise, fed by black markets in Mexico and other countries and many communities are threatened with disease.  The purebred dog is under seige as breeders are being forced out of business due to high costs of food and medical bills and draconian legislation.  We are fast becoming a nation of "mutts" and choices in the kind of pet one wants are dwindling fast.

 

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Hear, hear!!

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Only one in 9 dogs ever find a home! Breeding is irresponsible when over a million unwanted dogs are euthenized every year.

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Where does this statistic come from and how old is it? I keep finding it floating around with no source.

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If the dog population decreases it's quality of life will increase. It's called supply and demand.

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I wouldn't worry no matter how much we spay and neuter we can't get them all and owners aren't either. This article is so far off in my opinion because it gives irresponsible owners a chance to think maybe they shouldn't spay and neuter

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And if the whole nation spays and neuters there will be no puppies. Unfortunaly it is hard to have it both ways. Shelters should want to go out of business. When responsible pet owners buy dogs from responsible breeders there is little need for shelters or rescuses.

 

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In my area of upstate NY the shelters are constinstantly importing dogs from other states and other countries.. Often resulting in puppies with parvo being adopted out due. (I can privately send you local news stories regarding this)

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And then what happenes?

I am guess you want a world with no dogs.

If you love your purebred dog, thank a breeder

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I agree with Cats of wildcat woods. We absolutely need to transport animals from overcrowded shelters in the south (and elsewhere) where yes, even puppies die, before we start even entertaining the thought of having shelters breed. The other thing we must do?? Teach people to appreciate the adoption of adult dogs and help with pitbull stereotypes. It will take a lot of coordination, but together, we can save more lives of animals entering the system!!

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Regarding people adopting adult dogs & pitbull stereotypes: it's much more complicated than that. Population demographics (of humans) shows us that the largest segment of today's population is the Baby Boomer generation, and that generation consists of people who are all in their mid-to-late 50's, and OLDER. Many, if not most of these people are single women. The kids are grown and gone, and in many cases, these women are now alone, either due to divorce or the death of their typically-older husbands. The house gets sold, & these folks DOWNSIZE to an apartment, or condominium. Health and mobility now becomes an issue for many of these older people, as well as less income than they had in their working years. When these senior citizens go to the shelter looking for a companion, it is unrealistic for us to expect them to adopt a large breed of dog, or some sort of pitbull mix. Older people DOWNSIZE; they can no longer physically handle larger, muscular breeds of dogs, and they may not be able to own dogs over a certain height or weight, due to the strictly-enforced rules & regulations of apartments, condos, and mobile home parks that they now live in. Older people want TOY and SMALL breed dogs, not big ones. This is NOT usually what they find when they go to the shelters. I work with older people, and I understand their unique needs. If the shelters were able to consistently provide what these seniors needed, that would be wonderful for the seniors, but it would still not solve the problem of "too many pitbulls and larger breeds of dogs" in the shelters. That problem is not the result of a dislike of adopting OLDER dogs, or "pitbull stereotypes"....that problem is due to the fact that large dogs (and pitbulls) usually have more puppies in their litters, so there are always more OF them to have to find homes for, and now, fewer people (senior citizens) able to provide those homes. The end result is always the same. These dogs are not unwanted because of WHO they are; they are unwanted because of WHAT they are...they are too much dog for the people who are available.

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The issue is that we see so many senior citizens that are 60+ years old that want a puppy as well. Well if you are 65, and most toy breeds live well into their teens, what happens to that dog when you die? They discriminate based on the age of the dog, which I think is crazy given they are seniors themselves.I have 11 dogs, all of whom are purebred (poms,chis, frenchies, an iggy, and an eskie), and they were all adopted as adults from local shelters and rescues. 

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Ok...and once all the adult dogs are adopted and there are no more puppies, where do new dogs come from?  Not everyone can own a bully breed due to many factors, including insurance, HOA regulations, and physical ability.

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I concur!

 

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Its simply a matter of supply and demand. We have a huge oversupply in NC and just need to find safer, more humane ways of relocating them to areas of greater demand. Some groups are using Nascar Teams to transport, and our group is building a climate controlled, safe shuttle bus to transport them to North Shore Animal League in NY.They will be moved directly from central NC to Long Island without being transferred, only stopping for relief breaks along the way.

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I am proud of you (as usual) for writing this. Call me next time you are up worrying!
I hope you and your colleagues figure this out -- I know that in NY (at least on Petfinder), there are far less toy and small-sized puppies than most people assume there are (and assuming is never a good thing.) Thanks for writing this thought-provoking piece.

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Great blog - asks the tough questions we need to be thinking about for the future. Certainly different parts of the country are at different stages but this time is coming and we should follow Dr. Weiss' suggestion and start pondering the time when this is true across most of the U.S.

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Gary - Your point is exactly what keeps me up at night... I am in 100% agreement that we should be transporting from areas where intake of puppies and dogs exceeds demand to places where demand is high. However, I would sure hope we are also helping to infuse those areas where risk of shelter intake and death is high with resources so that the animal welfare communinities can eventually support most of the animals within their city our county. I am a big fan of PetSmart Charity's Rescue Waggin program and similar programs that provide support for the source shelter for just this reason. Over time organizations that were source shelters have the room to breath, and the opportunity to develop skills and resources to increase adoptions, s/n support and outreach so that supply is no longer higher than demand. My question is what happens when that happens all over the country? It is a tomorrow question - but one we need to think about today...

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Don't forget their one ace-in-the-hole - condemning breeders and STEALING their puppies!

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No doubt, see it happening all over the country 

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This really is a thoughtful, pertinent article, and it's good to know that people like its author are thinking ahead. But, oh how I wish we could be thinking these same thoughts when it comes to our cats... and perhaps some day we will.

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It takes a brave person to speak up about the continued growth of the shortage of puppies (in ever expanding regions). It may be hard to hear because it flies in the face of what animal advocates believe in their hearts, but the data is there - home raised puppies are nearly impossible to find in many regions.

If anyone has access to that data, particularly how many puppies are entering (or not entering) shelters it's Dr. Weiss. If the problem is not resolved and if we don't think about pet sterilization in a very targeted manner, puppy mill pups and now the problem of shady internet sales and overseas importation will continue to climb.

Targeted sterilization should focus on the types of animals who are at risk of dying in shelters and those communities where puppies are still born in overwhelming numbers. And we can all keep sterilizing cats any time we get our hands on them at the moment. Bravo, Emily!

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That's a great point Heather - and in some parts of the northeast, we already are thinking those thoughts. At least a couple of shelters in VT are already receiving cat transports - and most see FAR fewer kittens than even a few short years ago. Like Dr. Weiss, I think pet ownership should be accessible to more than just those who can afford a purebred from a responsible breeder - cat or dog. In some parts of the northeast, adopters have to look beyond their shelters if they want a puppy or kitten. Assuming that increasingly organized and collaborative transport efforts (like the ASPCA MAP project http://www.aspcapro.org/moving-animals-places-map.php) has the impact we expect, where are those little ones going to come from? Though I'd personally take an adult over a pup or kitten any day, I know lots of folks who feel the opposite - and would love to save the life of an animal in need locally. Who'd have thought, just four or five years ago - even in those parts of the country with lower homeless animal populations - that we'd be having this conversation about a "tomorrow" that's within our sight? A sign (and a challenge!) of progress and success, I'd say.

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I guess I don't understand why responsible breeders are not considered an option here, especially once southern locales start seeing the same decrease in unwanted litters. Of course if HSUS/PETA and similar get their way and institute strict s/n laws across the country, then there will be no breeders who are responsible and law abiding and then we will be truly in a tight place.

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In my state this is kitten and puppy season!! We most always have at least a few puppies and kittens year round and always have juvenile dogs and cats. I don't beleive there will ever be a shortage here as there are a lot of rural parts of most counties where spay and neuter laws do not reach. If it does get to the point in the southern areas like it is in the north, then we can revisit that problem, but we are a long way from that issue. The best resolution is to transport and that may actually be the answer for control in the south, as well as spay/neuter education for those who will listen and where laws will reach.

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Thank you, Dr. Weiss, for articulating the "tomorrow question" yet again. Many communities still have too many homeless puppies; so transport is still critical to our work, and will be in the near future. But for the same reason that puppy homelessness is disappearing in many communities, it will continue to disappear in others over time. It's exciting and challenging to look forward: what will our work look like ten and twenty years from now?

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Pardon me for not understanding this blog. If we are worried about "running out of puppies" why do we have so many homeless dogs?
Every one of these shelter dogs without a home was once a puppy. Why are all these puppies ending up in shelters?
With the hundreds of thousands of homeless dogs euthanized each year I'm afraid we don't need to be concerned about a lack of puppies.

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If there are so many homeless dogs & cats, why then are shelters importing more than 250,000 dogs on an annual basis into this country?  Most of the dogs imported are small to medium sized and come from places such as Puerto Rico and Mexico.  Don't think this is true?  Look it up as this is an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control & the Nat'l Institutes of Health.

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I have worked in shelters since the 1970s. There has been a huge change in the "homeless" pet population in the past 40 years. In the 70s the chance of adult dog finding a new home was near zero. We were euthanizing healthy, cute, puppies and kittens, there more so many more than homes available. People used to bring in entire litters for us to "take care of". Today,spay and neuter has helped decrease the overpopulation of puppies and kittens. What we see now in shelters are unwanted, young adult dogs. Senior dogs and those with behavior problems. These will always exist as long as irresponsible people get pets. Some are impulse purchases that are neglected once they are no longer cute puppies or kittens. Some are the result of out "throw away" attitude about pets. People move, get sick and die and pets are victims of unfortunate circumstances. Puppies are usually less popular breeds (no fault of the dog!). We are in a LOT better place today on "overpopulation". If we want to eliminate "unwanted dogs" we need to educate and change the behavior of irresponsible pet owners.

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shores811, I could not agree more. Also, Dr. Weiss, why not pour some of your energy into worrying about educating people on the benefits of adopting adult dogs. We do not need to be worrying about this so called "lack of puppies" while animals are being euthanized everyday in shelters across America. How about some pit bull education? Work on breaking down stereotypes. There is no shortage of pit bull puppies. This blog made me kind of sick to my stomach.

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Omigosh, Dr. Weiss DOES promote and educate in MANY areas, including adopting adult dogs!! However, your lack of knowledge about sheltering, shores811, means that you do not understand that in order to get more adopters and more community support, you need a variety of dogs in size and age!! Also - not everyone wants a large, STRONG, shedding dog. In fact, most people are NOT looking for that type, they think of small and often non-shedding. Add that to the fact that large dogs have MUCH larger litters, and you see that there IS a problem. 

Thank you, Dr. Weiss, for letting people know about the differences around the country. What we may see in our own area is NOT true all over!!

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Underdog - Having developed several programs to increase adoptions of adult dogs (and cats) I am all for promotion and continued work to get them all home. That being said, some people will continue to want to get puppies and I want to start the dialogue so that we can be proactive with solutions. Hope you feel better soon!
Emily Weiss, Ph.D., CAAB
Vice President, Shelter Research and Development ASPCA

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Dr Weiss,

I have to say I find your reasoning completely contradictory and odd. 

  • By your logic, reputable breeders are not an affordable option for the average person, even though reputable breeders put great care, thought, money and work into their puppies to try to produce quality puppies with good health, temperament, type and structure. 
  • Shelters are running out of puppies and won't have enough to supply a demand.
  • Puppy mills and back yard breeders are a TERRIBLE option because they put no thought, care, money or work into their puppies and generally do not produce quality puppies with good health, temperament, type and structure.
  • You surmise therefore that shelters will need to start producing puppies to produce a supply of inexpensive puppies for the average family who can't afford those expensive purebreds.

So please clarify this for me. How do you propose shelter employees, with only superficial knowledge of canine structure and basic breed recognition, will "thoughtfully" decide which of their strays or fosters should be matched and bred for a litter. How will they perform the necessary health clearances to make certain the dogs are not prone to producing unhealthy puppies (if they even have any knowledge of what illnesses certain breeds are prone to and what breeds make up the mongrel they choose to breed) and how will they do so without incurring any additional expense? Where will they get the funding for the excellent diet for the bitch and her puppies or will they just feed her a sub-par crappy $7 for 40 pounds kibble to save money? Where will they get the funding for c-sections, puppy vaccinations, worming, dewclaw removal and microchips? Even if they use their own vet for labor, there are still the expenses for food, supplies, medicine or vaccines. So will the shelters pass these costs on to the new families or will they simply choose not to incur any costs beyond the bare basics? The whole idea is self defeating. Either the shelters become responsible breeders and pour as much time and thought and money into their puppies as responsible breeders do and end up charging similar prices to cover the expense, or they become irresponsible breeders who just try to churn out as many puppies as they can, as cheaply as they can, to "supply the average family who can't afford a purebred". We have enough thoughtless, cheap breeders out there justifying their thoughtless, poorly planned, unhealthy puppies by claiming they are just producing "nice" pets for people who can't afford a purebred from a "snobby" breeder. Please do not encourage the shelters to do the same. Responsible breeders are not the enemy. Irresponsible impulsive owners who buy from irresponsible thoughtless breeders are the problem. Bringing more thoughtless, irresponsible breeders onto the scene will not be an improvement.

 

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Dear underdog333, if this blog made you sick to your stomach, than rest assured relief will soon occur, when the exact point of this article comes true. You see, the puppies we are not having today become the adult dogs we don't have tomorrow. If you look at the trend (downward) of available dogs, you can see we will eventually be to a point where affordable pet ownership is no longer possible, because there are no longer any affordable pets to own. Dogs do not live forever. The issue has nothing to do with the non adoption of adults, but the lowered numbers of healthy dogs and puppies available to begin with. Perhaps you are sitting there saying it would be a good thing for shelters to closetheir  doors because all the animals have found homes or does of old age. Where, exactly does that leave us? because the push to shut down breeders and guilt people into never buying a dog has led to this issue in the first place. Even sadder to see, is the push in some shelters to advertise "purebred dogs" they have taken from puppy mills to drive up interest. If all we continue to push are unhealthy, sickly dogs and puppies, eventually we will have nothing but backyard bred puppy mill stock. Because that is rapidly becoming the only option. An option that is leading to a lower lifespan, and no future generations. Even the high population areas will run low on dogs eventually.

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>> At HSUS Expo this year, I heard a few people mention the next step for some shelters may be to find ways in which we become the source for puppies for folks. <<

The new shelter/"rescue" PUPPY STORE BUSINESS MODEL. Get rid of those who love specific breeds and have the expertise to raise puppies for a demanding public, and instead force everyone to take whatever rescue mutts are available. Are you insane? It is NOT okay for rescues to be breeding as that is NOT their function. It's obvious that many are trying to eliminate the competition of experienced animal breeders who offer warranties and known history/temperament for the dogs they raise. That's called an (unethical, immoral) monopoly gained through law and flimflamming the public. NOT ACCEPTABLE.

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I agree. This would simply be the commercial breeder of the new century. Hiding in plain sight.... a puppy mill breeding facility re-named "Animal Shelter". Meanwhile, I as a hobby breeder get called all sorts of names from "greeder" to.. well, I'll leave it to your imagination. simply because I would like to recoup my costs to produce a good, healthy, puppy from medically screened parents (which I back for the lifetime of the dog. No dog of mine ever enters a shelter). Somehow, I doubt the ASPCA is going to be willing to pour that kind of money into breeding that all the testing requires. Nor do I see the typical shelter worker knowing how to care for a pregnant bitch, newborn whelps in trouble, socialization or a myriad of other tasks. Not unless they are better educated which then requries you pay them a better salary. Nope, rather than admit the goal of shelters has been reached and close the doors, they HAVE to continue existing, so they morph into what they've been bitching about for years....a puppy mill. How about you just let up on the good breeders so we can do what we love and what we do best?? 

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Shelters should NEVER breed puppies. ONLY responsible breeders should ever breed dogs. Yes cross bred dogs and mix breed dogs can be wonderful pets if you don't care what kind of dogs you get. They can also be horrible pets when matched with the wrong person, and when a mixed breed is a puppy you do not know what type of adult the puppy is going to turn into if you have no idea what kind of dog the parents were.

Now if you get a greyhound, or a Yorkshire terrier, or a border collie, or a pug, even as a puppy, you know quite a bit about what the adult is going to be like. A pug is not likely to be a good pet for a marathon runner, but a border collie may be. A pug will usually be a great pet for a family with small children. A greyhound may find it hard to resist a cat streaking across the living room. Dogs that have been bred for hundreds or thousands of years to bring out certain characteristics usually breed true in those characteristics. Accidentally bred dogs are full of surprises, some of which do not show until adulthood.

I agree that it is good to have dogs that do not cost a year's salary. I do not believe that eliminated responsible breeders is the way to achieve this result.

Most of the dogs I have owned have been mixed breeds or from breed rescue groups, but I have gotten most of them as adults, when I could evaluate the characteristics of the actual dog. I also had the skill to resocialize an adult dog that bolted out doors, that growled at the children when fed and sometimes snapped, that I fed at a rest area for over a week before the dog would come within fifty feet, that had been traumatized by bad housebreaking, that was grieving for a deceased owner.

Many people do not want to adopt an adult dog because they do not know what baggage an adult dog comes with. If each adoptable adult dog spent time with a knowledgeable person who could train and resocialize the dog so that the new permanent owner would be confident that she was getting a well behaved dog that would fit smoothly into her household, many more people would be willing to accept adult dogs. There have been excellent results teaching prisoners to train dogs for various programs. Maybe what we need is for more shelters to form joint programs with local prisons to retrain healthy young and middle aged dogs that are not reclaimed or are turned in to shelters by their owners, or even to retrain dogs for their owners if the owner is unable to keep the dog only because the owner is not a good enough trainer. Maybe puppies should cost too much to be an impulse purchase. Right now, someone who knows nothing about raising a dog gets a puppy with a lot of promise, behaves irresponsibly for two years, takes the unmanageable dog to the shelter or abandons it, and gets another puppy for $50 or less. Is that what we want to encourage? 

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I applaud you for hitting the nail on the head. I could not have said it better. Education has been and will always be the key. And that includes the 7 crazy issues that come with every puppy! A 2 yr old dog might be considered by most to be an adult. Nothing could be further from the truth. That 2 yr old is an adolescent is a pup in adult fur. No matter what we do to make major changes there are going to be those that become collateral damage. A sacrifice. Does it suck? of course it does! But no matter what we choose to do the focus must be on the end result. Nothing will ever be perfect. There will always be causes to challenge us and our beliefs. For me and believe many others the real question is what is the lesser of 2 or 3 or 4 evils.

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"If each adoptable adult dog spent time with a knowledgeable person who could train and resocialize the dog so that the new permanent owner would be confident that she was getting a well behaved dog that would fit smoothly into her household, many more people would be willing to accept adult dogs." This was the concept of rescue originally, until it became a moneymaking proposition. Now it seems most rescues just thrust an unknown dog into the first willing arms so they can "save the next one."

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