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  1. #1
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    Default Are Rescues creating an "easy out"

    Zipping on flame suit

    This is something that's been in the back of my mind for years but I've struggled with how to articulate it in a non-offensive manner.

    This country is full of irresponsible breeders and owners. Rescues play an integral role in providing a soft place for the unwanted animals. Countless people sacrifice time, money, and resources to help wonderful animals who were born into the wrong situation. However, does it also enable the people we are trying to fight?

    What re-prompted this thought process was the thread about the basset puppy in need of help. That is a puppy mill by-product, sold through a pet store, purchased by an irresponsible person, and ultimately will end up in a rescue or with a good-hearted person. In the end the puppy is safe but at the same time the puppy mill, pet store, and irresponsible owner all win because there are zero consequences. The puppy mill will never know (or care) that the dog needed aid, all they know is that there is a market for bassets and it will increase the likelihood of breeding more.

    Is there ever going to be a true end? The more we help don't we tell puppy mills and backyard breeders that eventually someone will come along and pay for the mess they created?

    Is there an answer? Is educating potential buyers truly the only answer? Can we ever control puppy mills? Is social media helping raise awareness or giving irresponsible people an easy out to place dogs?

    This thought has been rolling around in my head for a while so I thought it would be interesting to hear from others.


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  2. #2
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    I think I see your point...and if I do, I agree. I think what you're saying is for rescues its kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Rescue puppy mill puppies, get told off. Don't, and they get accused of not doing their "job". They could stop pulling dogs from shelters, (some of which we all know are products of puppy mills), but then what would happen to those dogs? Some of them would be adopted, sure, but most wouldn't. So what should rescues do - only pull dogs from the street? But some of those come from puppy mills too.

    I think the only way to handle the puppy mill situation is to increase restrictive legislation on them - in other words, make them illegal. The problem is if there is going to be a law against something it has to be enforced. Along with this, I think it should be illegal for pet stores to sell dogs to random customers who walk in without doing a hefty background check on those people.

    I also wish there was a way to make (and enforce) a law to spay and neuter your pet unless it is a breeding quality dog and you have plans to actually breed it.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


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  3. #3
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    Well, since rescues are usually full I don't know how much they can help the irresponsible puppy mill buying person. But open admission shelters can and do (and then get bashed by folks who call them "kill" shelters, but that's a different thread). Letting people have an "easy out" is theoretically annoying, but it's far superior to the alternatives these irresponsible owners have - like driving out to your farm and dumping the poor thing to fend for itself. Education, social stigma, peer pressure, low-cost spay/neuter options, and a safe place to land for the four-legged victims of their irresponsibility seem to be the best ways to go for now.

    Can we make the website next day pets go away?


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  4. #4
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    I 100% agree. Again, not that I don't think those puppies deserve a chance and I agree that they need to be homed and find people who will love them - but where does that leave the mill? $600 richer and unaware of the well-being of the "product." I agree with Event4Life as well - legislation may be the key.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



  5. #5
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    Legislation could definitely help. Too bad the AKC fights any attempts like crazy.

    http://t.today.com/news/akc-register...mber_242126060


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    I think I see your point...and if I do, I agree. I think what you're saying is for rescues its kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Rescue puppy mill puppies, get told off. Don't, and they get accused of not doing their "job". They could stop pulling dogs from shelters, (some of which we all know are products of puppy mills), but then what would happen to those dogs? Some of them would be adopted, sure, but most wouldn't. So what should rescues do - only pull dogs from the street? But some of those come from puppy mills too.

    I think the only way to handle the puppy mill situation is to increase restrictive legislation on them - in other words, make them illegal. The problem is if there is going to be a law against something it has to be enforced. Along with this, I think it should be illegal for pet stores to sell dogs to random customers who walk in without doing a hefty background check on those people.

    I also wish there was a way to make (and enforce) a law to spay and neuter your pet unless it is a breeding quality dog and you have plans to actually breed it.
    Having been embroiled in this controversy with a rescue I volunteered with, here's my take on it.

    I have no problem with a rescue taking in a dumped dog...regardless of their breeder. I suspect that irresponsible owners who refuse to spay and neuter their pets are responsible for exponentially more unwanted animals than puppy mills.

    We all need to work towards spay and neutering pets, through education, legislation and financial incentives. I wonder if a financial incentive for a neuter vs a fine for a neuter/spay might be a lot more effective.

    We need to get the puppy mills shut down and their marketing cut off. Ohio has a new law that works towards this goal.

    And last, and the reason I left the rescue I was volunteering with, you have to convince people that that good of the one does not outweigh the good of the many. In my case, the rescue was purchasing puppies from a puppy mill and passing them off as rescues. If they bought the breeder dogs as well and knew the mill was closing down...I would have probably been fine with it, but they weren't. Many of the volunteers justified it by saying that the dog would have been sold and probably end up in rescue anyway. Might have been true, might not, but it is unethical.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  7. #7
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    The weird thing, however, about that basset puppy ad is that she says her boyfriend "bought" it at Petco for $600. Petco doesn't "sell" puppies, they hold adoption events with rescue groups. Not only does $600 sound high for a rescue dog, but the rescue groups generally require that you send the dog back to them if you decide you don't want it anymore. It is possible that he actually did just buy it at a pet store and she got the source mixed up. There's pet store in the mall near my house. I refuse to go to that corner of the building because I can't bear to see all the mill puppies and kittens in those little cages.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by catzndogz22 View Post
    The weird thing, however, about that basset puppy ad is that she says her boyfriend "bought" it at Petco for $600. Petco doesn't "sell" puppies, they hold adoption events with rescue groups. Not only does $600 sound high for a rescue dog, but the rescue groups generally require that you send the dog back to them if you decide you don't want it anymore. It is possible that he actually did just buy it at a pet store and she got the source mixed up. There's pet store in the mall near my house. I refuse to go to that corner of the building because I can't bear to see all the mill puppies and kittens in those little cages.
    You can protest...protests are very effective in getting the pet stores selling live animals to stop.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    And last, and the reason I left the rescue I was volunteering with, you have to convince people that that good of the one does not outweigh the good of the many. In my case, the rescue was purchasing puppies from a puppy mill and passing them off as rescues. If they bought the breeder dogs as well and knew the mill was closing down...I would have probably been fine with it, but they weren't. Many of the volunteers justified it by saying that the dog would have been sold and probably end up in rescue anyway. Might have been true, might not, but it is unethical.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post

    And last, and the reason I left the rescue I was volunteering with, you have to convince people that that good of the one does not outweigh the good of the many. In my case, the rescue was purchasing puppies from a puppy mill and passing them off as rescues. If they bought the breeder dogs as well and knew the mill was closing down...I would have probably been fine with it, but they weren't. Many of the volunteers justified it by saying that the dog would have been sold and probably end up in rescue anyway. Might have been true, might not, but it is unethical.
    Sounds like a "rescue for profit" which is such a sham and I bet you're glad you left. Some rescues are great, some are like this, some are hoarders, and some only take the best of the best, leaving the harder to adopt (that really do need the help of a rescue) behind. If only we had a dollar for every cute puppy or pet with a story that rescues called wanting plus a dollar for every older pet or pet with medical issues they refused....



  11. #11
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    I think the only way to handle the puppy mill situation is to increase restrictive legislation on them - in other words, make them illegal.
    Disagree. Make them expensive. That's a lot more effective.

    As long as irresponsible people experience no financial loss when they breed-and-dump or breed-and-abandon, they will continue. Right now, having a female dog is a license to print money, since you can EASILY sell a puppy on Craig's List for less than the SPCA charges (because they have costs, like spaying and neutering) and still make a small profit. And that female can have a few litters a year! There are virtually no expenses.

    It is very difficult to figure out how to make puppy mills expensive without somehow hurting owners though. I do know that kennel licenses could be substantially more expensive. If it cost $10,000 to obtain a license in my county, and if by-law infractions were in the four figures...there would be a LOT fewer crummy breeders. The cost is quite high in comparison to average salaries, so if you really want to breed dogs, you'll most likely have to save up the license cost and run some kind of profitable operation, with a business plan. Sell puppies at a high enough price that it doesn't make sense for pet stores and other high-volume places to purchase them. If you can't sell the dogs profitably...that should be an enormous hint that the market is flooded. If people REALLY want something, they find it, and they pay for it.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


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  12. #12
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    OP, that sounds like burn out. I had the same thoughts pulling dogs from the Short List out of the public, taxpayer-funded kill shelter for a non-profit, non-breed-specific rescue.

    The supply is never ending. If we let the supply back all the way up (stop being part of 'demand' in placing homeless pets), then what?



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLBGP View Post
    Sounds like a "rescue for profit" which is such a sham and I bet you're glad you left. Some rescues are great, some are like this, some are hoarders, and some only take the best of the best, leaving the harder to adopt (that really do need the help of a rescue) behind. If only we had a dollar for every cute puppy or pet with a story that rescues called wanting plus a dollar for every older pet or pet with medical issues they refused....
    No, they're really not, which is why I was so blindsided by it. They do take in the older ones...I picked up and transported a bunch of seniors and dogs with serious medical issues. The older ones with issues are kept in permanent foster or are adopted out with no fee to people (like me) who are suckers for a senior dog in need. They tried to justify it by saying that the fee would subsidize the older dogs (which it would) and that they would end up on a "bad" place. Well, maybe they would, but you can't buy every puppy because it might go to a "bad" place.

    They honestly do good work, for the most part. I just sent them notice of a collie in a shelter in KY. But buying puppies, in addition to the drama, was just too much for me.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbygirl View Post
    Disagree. Make them expensive. That's a lot more effective.

    As long as irresponsible people experience no financial loss when they breed-and-dump or breed-and-abandon, they will continue. Right now, having a female dog is a license to print money, since you can EASILY sell a puppy on Craig's List for less than the SPCA charges (because they have costs, like spaying and neutering) and still make a small profit. And that female can have a few litters a year! There are virtually no expenses.

    It is very difficult to figure out how to make puppy mills expensive without somehow hurting owners though. I do know that kennel licenses could be substantially more expensive. If it cost $10,000 to obtain a license in my county, and if by-law infractions were in the four figures...there would be a LOT fewer crummy breeders. The cost is quite high in comparison to average salaries, so if you really want to breed dogs, you'll most likely have to save up the license cost and run some kind of profitable operation, with a business plan. Sell puppies at a high enough price that it doesn't make sense for pet stores and other high-volume places to purchase them. If you can't sell the dogs profitably...that should be an enormous hint that the market is flooded. If people REALLY want something, they find it, and they pay for it.
    The AKC will fight you tooth and nail.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  15. #15
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    The AKC will fight you tooth and nail.
    Oh, probably. I'm NOT a dog breeder, or show exhibitor, or anything...and I honestly think that whole AKC world is in danger of permanently breaking away from pet owners...most seem incredibly disconnected from the vast majority of potential dog owners...and getting more disconnected all the time. Almost everyone I know who has bought a puppy in the last 5 or so years, even if their hearts were SET on purebreds...found breeders who didn't register with the Kennel club, and who sold with way less fuss and bother than the "fancy" breeders.

    My dogs came from a farm, they were from an "oops" litter, and I paid $500 for the pair. That's a decent sum of money for zero investment on the part of the accidental breeder. It's also an amount that I was more than happy to pay. I refuse to buy from a show-type breeder who makes me read reams of documents on the restrictions I need to observe with my dogs, and I have NO intent of ever providing a penny to a resgistration society or dog showing organization. I just wanted pets. I was happy to read the book the owner recommended on handling/training this breed. He was happy to provide the regular vaccinations, as well as competent handling. The two parents are fantastic dogs. I am fully capable of assessing this stuff WITHOUT the Kennel Club stamp of approval.

    I think the vast majority of dog owners are a lot more like me. The AKC should NOT speak for the entire dog world. The AKC breeders I know have no issues finding homes for the limited puppies they produce. I think that the biggest "issues" in the dog-human universe need to be dealt with OUTSIDE the kennel clubs and show scene. JMHO.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior



  16. #16
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    Just like babies thrown in the dumpster, you have to make it easy to do the right thing for the animal or people won't do it. It absolutely is creating an easy out but is the only way to insure the animal doesn't pay the price. Some people suck and awesome people have to bail them out in every facet of life.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbygirl View Post
    Disagree. Make them expensive. That's a lot more effective.

    As long as irresponsible people experience no financial loss when they breed-and-dump or breed-and-abandon, they will continue. Right now, having a female dog is a license to print money, since you can EASILY sell a puppy on Craig's List for less than the SPCA charges (because they have costs, like spaying and neutering) and still make a small profit. And that female can have a few litters a year! There are virtually no expenses.

    It is very difficult to figure out how to make puppy mills expensive without somehow hurting owners though. I do know that kennel licenses could be substantially more expensive. If it cost $10,000 to obtain a license in my county, and if by-law infractions were in the four figures...there would be a LOT fewer crummy breeders. The cost is quite high in comparison to average salaries, so if you really want to breed dogs, you'll most likely have to save up the license cost and run some kind of profitable operation, with a business plan. Sell puppies at a high enough price that it doesn't make sense for pet stores and other high-volume places to purchase them. If you can't sell the dogs profitably...that should be an enormous hint that the market is flooded. If people REALLY want something, they find it, and they pay for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    The AKC will fight you tooth and nail.
    Well, it *could* be a good plan, but it has to be done carefully. At what point does a breeder need a license? One proposal that was making the email rounds in NY (and maybe other states) was that a breeder needed a license if it sold more than 13 puppies in one year. That could be as small as one litter, or certainly it makes them need a license for two litters a year.

    A $10,000 license is a little high, in my opinion, for someone selling 13 puppies a year. A good breeder in my breed can sell the puppies for about $1000.

    IF....

    *the parents are BOTH titled
    *OFA or Penn Hip -- clear hip and elbows
    *eyes clear of congenital problems
    *pre-breeding medical evaluation
    *puppy shots and medical checks after whelping

    ....and that is just the bare minimum.

    Assuming no medical complications in pregnancy or delivery, that makes the license + one litter a big, fat, gigantic LOSS.

    So, why will breeders continue to do the right thing? Put titles on their dogs, do health checks, or bother to get a license (versus sell dogs illegally)?

    I'm not sure what the *right* number is to require a license, but it needs to be higher than 13. A good breeder might own two bitches, and whelp two really nice litters in a year. They are not the breeders that we need to limit, they are the ones that we need to encourage, and encourage buyers to go to for puppies.

    That's why the AKC, and AKC breeders will fight this.


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  18. #18
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    Rescues aren't creating the easy way out. Anyone buying from a pet store is. I've heard so many people say that the puppies in the store looked so miserable they just had to buy one to get it out of there. I can relate to that but that just perpetuates the problem.

    And too many superb breeders are technically "back-yard" breeders, breeding wonderful dogs at their homes but they'll be the only ones eliminated in anti-puppy mill/restrictive breeding laws.

    "Making it too expensive" to operate is the same. The good, caring breeders will be eliminated and those producing $2,000 peek-a-poos by the hundreds will be the only ones able to afford all the licensing fees.


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  19. #19
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    The Ohio law is a good start. Large volume breeders (and I don't remember the number) are subject to licences, fees and inspections. Rescues (because we all know of a rescue that is really a hoarder, masquerading as a rescue) must supply names and addresses of all foster homes and they are also subject to inspection. In addition, rescues can't buy more than 9 dogs a year...if they do they are subject to kennel licensing and fees. This was to stop a puppy mill from working with a rescue...rescue buys dogs from puppy mill and then resells them as rescues.

    Of course, the law is only as good as its enforcement, and I've not heard one way or another how it's going.

    Yes, I did point that out to "my" rescue which was based in Ohio. And they're worried that I might report them, but the purchasing was done last year before the law went into effect. I do still keep track of what's going on and if they step out of line, I'll be more than happy to report them. They seem to be following the law.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  20. #20
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    I just had a different discussion using this saying a little while ago, "Perfect is the enemy of good". We will never get rid of people who want what they want when they want it. We will never get rid of people who see animals as commodities. We will never get ride of puppy mills because they are legal, money-making enterprises that meet the market needs of those people I mentioned before. What we can do, and what has happened, is raise awareness, build sensitivity, incentivize people to do the right thing, etc. To throw your hands up and say that since there are so many doing this wrong still we should stop all these efforts to do right is that saying; perfect is the enemy of good.

    One thing I have to say from my own observations as a rescue volunteer in Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue for years, these adoption fees are a bit intimidating to normal people. I understand the motivation behind them (to cover the costs of vetting, behavioral issues, training, etc), but anything more than about $100 turns good people away. I mean, in order to be a good do owner you ought to be able to write a check for $300 right now? I don't know what the solution is there.

    And I don't think legislating speuter is the way either. Incentivize speuter with licensing discounts, but I don't see making people do it as a good idea.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



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