Irresponsible Dog Breeders are to Blame for High Numbers of Dogs in Shelters – Breeders
Every year shelters are forced to euthanize unwanted pets. Sometimes these are pups, who for whatever reason, did not find homes, sometimes these are mature dogs, abandoned by their owners because they became destructive. It is hard to say who is to blame for the number of excess animals, but ultimately more of the blame lies with irresponsible breeders who do not ensure their pups have permanent, knowledgeable homes, prior to producing them.
You see, a responsible breeder is one that not only takes their dogs to shows to prove their worthiness as breeding animals, but they also screen any potential buyers to prove their worthiness as owners. Only when they have enough responsible people lined up to purchase a pup do they even breed their dogs. They stand behind their dogs for their lifetime, and generally have contracts saying that if at any time the owner cannot care for the dog, it is to come back to them.
We can rule out responsible breeders from being part of the problem, however the majority of dog breeders are not responsible.
The majority of people who let their dogs have litters are either puppy mills, back-yard-breeders, ignorant owners (the types that want their children to experience the miracle of birth), or people who did not spay their dogs and found themselves with an “accidental” litter. One thing all these people have in common is that they do not thoroughly screen any buyers.
Screening a buyer means checking to see that the buyer knows what they are getting into by choosing to get a dog, and by choosing the right type/breed of dog for them. Screening means making sure the new owner is prepared financially and has the time to devote to the pup. It means checking to see if the person is allowed dogs where they live, and making sure that person is not going to allow a pet to reproduce irresponsibly.
If a breeder sells a high energy dog to a person who is looking for a lap dog, they are knowingly not only doing the buyer a disservice, but the dog as well. That dog is not going to get the mental attention it needs, and will very likely become destructive and will be handed over to the shelter at some point. As such the responsibility goes back to the breeder who simply wanted a sale, rather than to place the dog in a suitable environment.
True, the new owner should have done research, but for many, they trust that the information they are given on the pup they are about to buy, is genuine. There are numerous stories about clothing stores lying to get a sale, have we not been told how terrific we look in an outfit? Sellers of pets are sometimes no different. Yet since they are the ones selling, to the buyer it appears as though they would have knowledge. They seller is to blame for misleading the buyer in order to get a sale.
These breeders breed with no consideration as to what kind of home the pups get, as long as either they get rid of them (as with accidental litters) or get some cash for them (as will puppy mills and back-yard-breeders). Certainly they don’t wish harm to the pups, but they generally do not do much to ensure they get a good “forever” home.
So, while the concluding fact is that most breeders are to blame for the excess of dogs, certainly dog owners would do well to gain some knowledge on their own prior to acquiring a pet. Not all dog breeders are reputable ones.