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animal overpopulation

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  • animal overpopulation

    There is one thing that can really help provide homes to animals in shelters.

    All across the country there are zoning regulations that say are too restrictive on the number of animals on one property. That is regardless of the number of people who live there, regardless of the size of the property.

    I know many places, smallish towns, that allow only two pets regardless of the number of people or size of house and yard. Even on farms there is a small number of dogs and cats. I happened to see an article about a woman who had a shelter on a farm. She was an agricultural property and limited to four dogs and cats (four dogs and zero cats, two dogs and two cats, etc) , but could have 80 horses.

    These zoning laws are not well thought out, benefit absolutely no one, and harm animals all over the country. There are so many people who want more animals and so many animals who need homes.

  • #2
    disagree. Most of the really nasty things that happen involving animals- horrible neglect/hoarding situations, dogs killing people or running amuck, people breeding willy-nilly, all seem to start with someone getting too many animals. which is why the authorities created those laws in the first place- they prevent most serious problems from developing.
    frankly, I find it hard to believe that most people can properly care for more than three dogs, and anyone who has more than three cats in one house is sliding down into crazy-land.

    Most "animal overpopulation" problems don't start with too few homes- in my area, most animals who end up in the rescues/shelters were deliberately acquired, often with a fairly large purchase price, and had a home for awhile, and then the owners got rid of the animal. The home is still there. No over-breeding occurred. The problem seems to be more one of "not keeping animals for life" than one of "not enough homes" or "too much breeding".

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think the overpopulation problem is due to people not being able to own as many animals as they want. I think a great deal of it is due to a lack of responsibility on the part of the owners who purchase these animals with little thought to what it takes to be a good owner.

      They don't train them, they don't contain them. When the neighbors complain about barking or running at large dogs, the owner will just "rehome" on Craigslist or surrender to the local shelter and start the whole thing all over again with another animal. They don't see their own complicity in the failure. They say the dog they just surrendered needed to live with someone who was home more, or needed to live on a farm or needed a home without children or needed to live with someone who jogs. They never accept that they need to be more proactive with training or exercise. They believe that with a different dog there will be a different outcome("Pukie was just too stubborn! She refused to stop digging under the fence and she was spiteful, too. She would shit on my dirty clothes every time I left for a date").

      So they go out and get another puppy, cheaply, and the cycle begins all over again. I can't tell you how many times I would get a phone call from some clueless family wanting to surrender their 14 month old dog because it had torn up the back yard, knocked over anyone who walked out in the yard and barked all night long. They stuck the puppy outside when they got too busy to monitor house training, and thought the dog would exercise itself because it "had the whole damn yard to run around in". Don't have the time or money to train, tried to take it for a walk once and since it was so unpleasant ("She did nothing but bark at every single dog she sees and just about tore my arm out of the socket, so I stopped taking her on walks") they stop even doing that much.

      There are pets that need to be rehomed because of circumstances that are way beyond the control of the owner. Not everyone who needs to do that are deadbeats. But...the majority of people who need to rehome have dropped the ball and are now taking the easy way out. If they had been responsible to begin with or been responsible after bringing home a pet, there would be a whole lot less homeless animals.
      Sheilah

      Comment


      • #4
        I think most of it is due to insanity, quite a lot of that going around. An insane person does not know the meaning of responsibility or compassion. We have a deranged population of people with all sorts of syndromes from abuse from the culture of sex, drugs and rock and roll of the last 50 years. The only way out of this is to change this culture back to one based on optimism for the future. A much bigger question than one of taking simple responsibility individually.
        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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        • #5
          We have so many unwanted animals because people refuse to spay and neuter their pets.

          Sex, drugs and rock and roll? Are you in a time warp?

          Comment


          • #6
            I have 4 dogs and 4 cats...I guess I must be on my way to crazy lol.

            Honestly- I bred. I raised 5 litters of puppies- and I do not believe for one moment that my extremely well raised, potty trained, superdog programed, purebred puppies stole homes from the rank, hyper discarded shelter dogs in the area. It;s like horses. The problem isn;t really too many dogs and cats being born- it;s too many LOW QUALITY animals being allowed be breed, and then being discarded. And, like horses, training is what makes them safe.

            I just adopted a pair of shelter dogs-I understand that not all shelter dogs are flawed- but many many are dogs that should never have been born in the first place.
            ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
            ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
            ~Vet Tech Student
            Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by shayaalliard View Post
              I just adopted a pair of shelter dogs-I understand that not all shelter dogs are flawed- but many many are dogs that should never have been born in the first place.
              Although I agree that many shelter dogs are the product of breedings that should never have taken place to begin with, you really can't say that the shelter dogs are in the predicament they are in (homeless) because they should never have been born.

              The majority of dogs surrendered to shelters have never been worked with in any informed, consistent way. With consistent training and regular, adequate exercise, most of them become solid citizens that are no different behaviorally from their better bred companions.

              Sure, the litters they come from should not have happened, but once they get here the ball is totally dropped by idiot owners who don't want to put the time and effort into "building" a great dog through training, socialization and exercise. The breeders producing them are idiots and the people who buy them and then dump them are equally responsible.

              I spent six years working in a large open admission shelter and I can't tell you how many times I saw this play out.
              Sheilah

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shayaalliard View Post
                I have 4 dogs and 4 cats...I guess I must be on my way to crazy lol.

                Honestly- I bred. I raised 5 litters of puppies- and I do not believe for one moment that my extremely well raised, potty trained, superdog programed, purebred puppies stole homes from the rank, hyper discarded shelter dogs in the area. It;s like horses. The problem isn;t really too many dogs and cats being born- it;s too many LOW QUALITY animals being allowed be breed, and then being discarded. And, like horses, training is what makes them safe.

                I just adopted a pair of shelter dogs-I understand that not all shelter dogs are flawed- but many many are dogs that should never have been born in the first place.
                I pull way to many full collies and cockers from shelters to believe that your opinion is true.

                They pee on the floor, they bark, they chase chickens, they're old. There are multitudes of reasons, most having nothing to do with whether the dog was well bred or not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                  I pull way to many full collies and cockers from shelters to believe that your opinion is true.

                  They pee on the floor, they bark, they chase chickens, they're old. There are multitudes of reasons, most having nothing to do with whether the dog was well bred or not.
                  How many of those dogs you pull are from quality bloodlines? Few to none I'd bet.
                  Any responsible breeder will take a dog back if it's owner can no longer keep it.
                  I don't care the reasoning or the age, if one of "my" dogs needs to be rehomed, it comes back to me. All dogs are sold with a tattoo & microchip registered to me, so if by some chance it ended up in a shelter, I would pop up as the contact.
                  However as I screen my buyers thoroughly & keep in touch with them, I don't see that happening

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can verify that many, many folks acquire a puppy and seem to think that simply growing into adulthood will magically cause it to become a "good" dog. Not sure where folks ever got the idea that dogs were self-training. I have spent years recommending puppy school to the clients I see with new puppies, 90% of them blow me off and then have an uncontrolled adult who can't walk on a leash.

                    I will give a big shout out to the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk which includes a training class with adoption. They're staff seem to do a great job of convincing adopters of the importance of training.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mommy peanut View Post
                      Any responsible breeder will take a dog back if it's owner can no longer keep it.
                      Only if that responsible breeder knows the dog is in need. I talked with a young woman who was surrendering her purebred, 7 month old German Shepherd Dog. I came up to chat with her after she had finished the paperwork and she described the long, drawn out process she went through to purchase the puppy from the breeder. I asked if she had called the breeder when she decided to surrender the puppy and she said No, she had been too embarrassed to contact the breeder after swearing up and down when she purchased the puppy that she was ready.
                      Sheilah

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mommy peanut View Post
                        How many of those dogs you pull are from quality bloodlines? Few to none I'd bet.
                        Any responsible breeder will take a dog back if it's owner can no longer keep it.
                        We got our dog from a breeder like that. He was surrendered, after original owners did quite a number on him.

                        Two year old, panicky, withdrawn- the only one he clang to, was the breeder.

                        At that time, I was looking for this specific breed, and I just called and told her, I wanted a dog, but not for shows, so I would take a "faulty" animal.

                        She offered him and it worked out great. It was a lot of work, but I am an experienced handler. Eleven years later, he is laying in my lap, as I type this.

                        As for overpopulation- well, I can't really wrap my head around it, because, if it were not for functioning shelters, it would have looked here like in any third world country I have visited. Number-wise, I mean.

                        Maybe, the problem is related to the whole spirit of individualism, opportunism, and unwillingness to submit one's wants to the benefit of the large community.

                        The lack of education in animal handling does not help either.

                        I want to scream any time I hear a person say they want their female dog (or horse) to "experience motherhood." Then, they are left with 11 puppies and no clue, what to do with them.

                        I know a family that gathered three dogs and cannot be bothered to go for a real walk with them. They either let them in the yard or walk around their cul-de-sac twice a day!

                        One of the dogs is a boarder collie, very active. They cannot manage it, so they gave up on walking him altogether! Then, they could not manage him in the house, so they decided to crate him for the whole day!

                        This same family is willing to shed $4,000 for a surgery that could be entirely avoided, if they fed and cared for their dogs in a proper way.

                        They consider themselves animal lovers and great owners.

                        Go figure.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                          I pull way to many full collies and cockers from shelters to believe that your opinion is true.

                          They pee on the floor, they bark, they chase chickens, they're old. There are multitudes of reasons, most having nothing to do with whether the dog was well bred or not.

                          Good breeders product good dogs, screen for good homes, develop good relationships with buyers, and do a darn good job of staying in touch with the dog for life. Do some slip through the cracks, of course! However, most of them can talk your ear off about any given litter, where the puppies went, how they developed, etc.


                          Full blooded does not been well bred by any stretch. People can come up with a random story about a stunning, well-bred dog that ended up in the shelter just like a sound former A hunter ending up on the slaughter trailer. Those are the exception.

                          Breed clubs are fiercely protective and work VERY hard to ensure their breed stays out of the shelter. With miniature schnauzers, all of the local and national clubs have incredible rescue networks. If I went through all of those sites I might find 2 well bred dogs. The rest are puppy mill by-products or BYBs that our groups have taken in because we believe in helping all schnauzers, not just the ones that come from phenomenal lines.


                          ETA: Just scanned my shelters adoptable and no longer available (euthed) lists. 34 dogs in the past month or so. 33 were mixes. 1 "boxer". Neighboring county 18 dogs available, 18 mixes. Went out a county further. 39 dogs, 5 listed as a single breed (no pictures for any).

                          Less than 6% are listed as a single breed. Of that, a smaller percentage (if any) were thoughtfully bred.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
                            Only if that responsible breeder knows the dog is in need. I talked with a young woman who was surrendering her purebred, 7 month old German Shepherd Dog. I came up to chat with her after she had finished the paperwork and she described the long, drawn out process she went through to purchase the puppy from the breeder. I asked if she had called the breeder when she decided to surrender the puppy and she said No, she had been too embarrassed to contact the breeder after swearing up and down when she purchased the puppy that she was ready.
                            Sheilah

                            Yes, I agree that the owner needs to take part in being responsivble & letting the breeder know. That is part of the reason I have both a tattoo & a chip registered to me. It is also one of the reasons I stay in contact with my puppy homes. It enables me to offer help before it ever gets to the point of dumping the dog somewhere. Though my pups are bred for specific types of homes(NOT pet homes) & those looking at my breedings know what they are getting into. So maybe a bit different than your average family wanting a companion dog to grow up with their kids...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mommy peanut View Post
                              How many of those dogs you pull are from quality bloodlines? Few to none I'd bet.
                              Any responsible breeder will take a dog back if it's owner can no longer keep it.
                              I don't care the reasoning or the age, if one of "my" dogs needs to be rehomed, it comes back to me. All dogs are sold with a tattoo & microchip registered to me, so if by some chance it ended up in a shelter, I would pop up as the contact.
                              However as I screen my buyers thoroughly & keep in touch with them, I don't see that happening
                              I agree completely- any animal I brought into this world has a home with me at any time for any reason- period.

                              And yes, as I said before, training is the other missing piece. You can place anything ugly or not if it is well behaved, housebroken, good with cats and kids...

                              Also agree with the poster mentioning that "well bred does not equal purebred". Of my litters, one was a crossbreed, the rest were akc. They were all planned and raised with the same careful intention, vet care, raising, etc. They were all QUALITY dogs- and i still get calls years later asking if i will have any more puppies, as the owners friends and families love my puppies (now 5-10 years old) so much they want their own. I;m out of breeding, but I am bothered by people who preach about me being the problem.
                              ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                              ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                              ~Vet Tech Student
                              Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                There's a cat overpopulation problem all over the country. Here in the Northeast, most of the dogs at shelters are pits or pit mixes. Small to medium-sized dogs without serious temperament issues have a pretty good chance of rehoming if they arrive at a shelter. I know this isn't the case in the South. So many rescue groups are now bringing adoptable dogs from the South -- where they'd likely be euthanized -- up North to meet the demand. I've been in rescue a long time. It seems spay/neuter has worked for dogs other than pits in more affluent parts of the country.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  loaloa,

                                  The local area shelters around bring dogs from down south up here to fill the need also. Our shelters don't usually have a huge influx of "local" strays/surrenders, so need to get the dogs from somewhere.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There's the dog population and there's the pit bull population. Allowing people who want pit bulls to create large packs of them has not led, historically, to good outcomes.

                                    Nature v. nurture is a funny issue. Clearly, nature plays a role. Pit bulls alone prove that one. Puppy milled dogs prove it again. Both are victims of horrible, horrible breeding that probably lose us a lot of dog owners over the years. Once you struggle with the nightmare of aggression or chronic ill health in a pet, you don't run right out to repeat the experience. I simply don't buy the rescue mentality that all dogs were born with the potential to be good, sound, reliable pets and the biters and psychos were failed by humans. Some dogs are born with a screw loose, and some are so high-maintenance that it's virtually impossible for normal humans to avoid "failing" them by, you know, treating them like a dog that doesn't respond to falling leaves by biting your face off.

                                    On the other hand, I find the purebred "responsible breeder" attitude toward mutts, mixes and "poorly bred" dogs to be far too smug for people who are currently responsible for a whole other set of inherited nightmares both physical and mental. How responsible can a breeder of cancer-doomed Goldens be? How responsible is it to continue breeding giant breeds? On the temperament side, how responsible is it to breed guard dogs, or the fighting breeds? How responsible is it to reproduce the toys, animals so frail they can break a bone jumping off a chair? Not trying to beat up on the breeders, I think purebred dogs are a perfectly nice idea and a perfectly nice way to acquire a pet. But there's an ugly streak of snobbery that still runs through the dog fancy, and it's particularly mean-spirited in the light of the way the breeders have responded to genetic flaws in their own careful programs - which is to say, they haven't.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                                      But there's an ugly streak of snobbery that still runs through the dog fancy, and it's particularly mean-spirited in the light of the way the breeders have responded to genetic flaws in their own careful programs - which is to say, they haven't.
                                      Based on what? Most breeds are doing extensive research about breed-specific health issues. People are putting together databases to track lines and determine the origin of a genetic issue. Facebook and similar media forms have breed specific forums dedicated solely to discussing lines that carry problems and how to make informed breeding decisions. Not to mention CERF, kidney screening, testing bile ducts, cardiac testing, OFA, etc. that is done in nearly all breeds.

                                      The CHF is currently focusing on OCD behavior in bull terriers and noise sensitive in BCs. Heck, my boy came out of a litter specifically bred for healthy kidney gene to address a kidney problem prevalent in some lines.

                                      I don't encounter much snobbery with dog fanciers. Rather, I meet people who are tired of not receiving recognition for trying to fix multiple problems they didn't create in the first place.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                                        There's the dog population and there's the pit bull population. Allowing people who want pit bulls to create large packs of them has not led, historically, to good outcomes.

                                        Nature v. nurture is a funny issue. Clearly, nature plays a role. Pit bulls alone prove that one. Puppy milled dogs prove it again. Both are victims of horrible, horrible breeding that probably lose us a lot of dog owners over the years. Once you struggle with the nightmare of aggression or chronic ill health in a pet, you don't run right out to repeat the experience. I simply don't buy the rescue mentality that all dogs were born with the potential to be good, sound, reliable pets and the biters and psychos were failed by humans. Some dogs are born with a screw loose, and some are so high-maintenance that it's virtually impossible for normal humans to avoid "failing" them by, you know, treating them like a dog that doesn't respond to falling leaves by biting your face off.

                                        On the other hand, I find the purebred "responsible breeder" attitude toward mutts, mixes and "poorly bred" dogs to be far too smug for people who are currently responsible for a whole other set of inherited nightmares both physical and mental. How responsible can a breeder of cancer-doomed Goldens be? How responsible is it to continue breeding giant breeds? On the temperament side, how responsible is it to breed guard dogs, or the fighting breeds? How responsible is it to reproduce the toys, animals so frail they can break a bone jumping off a chair? Not trying to beat up on the breeders, I think purebred dogs are a perfectly nice idea and a perfectly nice way to acquire a pet. But there's an ugly streak of snobbery that still runs through the dog fancy, and it's particularly mean-spirited in the light of the way the breeders have responded to genetic flaws in their own careful programs - which is to say, they haven't.
                                        Not sure what type of dog breeders you hang with, but none of those I am familiar with are against shelter/rescue dogs. Heck most of them participate in some form or another with them or own shelter dogs, myself included.
                                        I find that the people against breeding purebred dogs are the ones more inclined to snobbery(such as your post reflects), YMMV

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