The Problem With Adopt Don't Shop - Part I
Let's talk about this, shall we?
This is an actual comment on an actual post that I came across earlier this week. The post in question was from a Dog Rescue that had stated "If you buy a dog YOU are the problem. If you breed your dog, YOU are the problem. If you don't fix your dog YOU are the problem." We've all heard the phrase "Adopt Don't Shop" but this post, and this comment in support of it, takes the cake. It's no secret that shelters are at maximum capacity right now- between the pandemic, the economy, the looming recession- people can't afford to keep their beloved pets. Sure, some people are just dumping them as well, but at the end of the day, shelters are full. Rescues are full. Fosters are full (or non-existent). And everyone is overwhelmed, overworked, and burnt out. But, back to this post. Buying a dog does not contribute to the shelter issue. Breeding a dog does not contribute to the shelter issue.* Keeping a dog intact does not (necessarily) contribute to the shelter issue.** My reply to the post was that people that think that way are the problem, not anyone else. See those asterisk marks though? Let me explain. Supporting ETHICAL and RESPONSIBLE breeders does not contribute to the shelter issue. Why? Because ethical and responsible breeders will almost always take their dogs back. Sure, there's some families that buy dogs from reputable breeders only to dump them at a shelter later in their life, but that's a different story for another post. My experience however, has been that the good breeders will always take dogs they've bred back, often no-questions-asked. Keeping your dog intact does not automatically contribute to the shelter issue. I say this because it's obvious that spayed and neutered dogs can't have puppies, only intact ones can. Your mixed breed mutt doesn't need to be kept intact for any reason... Your rescued Bully Breed Mix that is an escape artist that goes wandering knocking up the neighborhood doesn't need to keep his cajones- get that dog fixed like yesterday! However, if you own a purebred dog that is a good representative of its breed, is registered in a reputable registry, and you plan on competing said dog, keep it intact BUT MANAGE IT. If you don't know how to manage an intact dog, you likely shouldn't have one...BUT... that leads to another topic I plan on covering in a different post- Premature Spay & Neuter. Bottom line is that simply owning an intact dog doesn't contribute to the shelter issue- mismanaging an intact dog could. The fact that there is someone out there calling for a "regime" to go door to door to check to see if people's pets are fixed or not (unless they have a breeder's license) is absolutely absurd. So is calling for a stop to dog breeding. If no one bred dogs, WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY DOGS. If all dogs were fixed, WE WOULDN'T HAVE ANY DOGS. There are SO many dogs in the world- find one that suits your lifestyle and enjoy it. Train it. Love it. Make memories with it. Adopt OR Shop... responsibly! And newsflash.... "rehoming fees" and "adoption fees" are still purchase fees.... so unless you're pulling a dog off the street yourself- congratulations.. you bought a dog. Go advocate for your breeds, get involved, and help when and where you can... but don't blame the shelter issue on those of us that are supporting ethical breeders. Wake up, people. Now go enjoy your dogs. <3