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How Much is that Doggy in the Window?

Carrie Rasak

Posted on March 11, 2019 19:39

1 user

The one with the waggly tail...in the grand scheme of things, though, does it matter where your dog comes from? Is it better to adopt or buy from a breeder?

"Adopt, don't shop!"

"Don't breed or buy while shelter animals die!"

We've all heard these phrases and seen the ASPCA commercials. If I never hear "In the Arms of the Angel" again it will be too soon. Even thinking about that makes me simultaneously tear up and roll my eyes at how over the top that commercial is--it's too much for Sarah McLachlan herself.

I've recently seen dog breeders--I'm not very knowledgeable about cats/cat breeders because I've never had any--look down on mixed breed dogs, shelters, and rescues though, and that bothers me too.

I think you should get whatever kind of dog fits your lifestyle. My two dogs came from the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter (one was ours for the low price of $55 and he came with a free vet visit!) and the one from the mean streets of La Habra (he followed my husband's waggly fingers home), had no collar or chip, and no one responded to our found dog posters. They're terrific, they've always been very friendly, get along well with people and other dogs, and except for some separation anxiety in the beginning, have really had no issues. Many of my friends and dog park acquaintances adopted dogs from the local animal shelter and got fantastic pets.

I've also had friends who got dogs from breeders and honestly, that is a valid choice too. If you know what kind of temperament you want, and if you believe that dog to be the best fit for your family, go for it! Those dogs are also wonderful.

Obviously puppy mills are bad and so are sham rescues who never adopt out--they exist--but those, to me, are the extremes. Mixed breed dogs are not inferior and are just as deserving of love as purebred dogs. It is true that adopting a rescue or shelter dog means that dog may come with behavioral issues or baggage, and in some cases it's easier said than done to gain their trust and get the behavior you want. It can absolutely take extra effort. And while some breeds have been so inbred that they have several genetic issues, there are other breeds that have had diseases actually bred out of the line.

The point is, while both "sides" have extreme viewpoints--and doesn't everything have extremes?--the real goal is for every dog to have a loving, stable home. It's better to work with community shelters and organizations like Best Friends, who are trying to make shelters no kill, than write them all off or rail against dog breeders. Work to help people train their dogs when needed, and educate people on spaying/neutering their dogs and making the best decisions for their families. That will accomplish more than screaming at the other side.

Carrie Rasak

Posted on March 11, 2019 19:39

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