I agree with those that say it's not breeders, but irresponsible pet owners who are filling shelters with dogs. I recently read a blog post where the author talked about being annoyed with her cats more now that she has kids. It was meant to be humorous and talked about the cats waking her baby up just as she'd put it down for a nap, that sort of thing. Nowhere did she say she hated her cats or wanted to get rid of them. The comments, on the other hand, were horrible. Sooooo many people saying they hated their pets and wanted them to die now that they had kids. People saying they locked their pets in one room, ignored them, took them to no-kill shelters, dropped off fat, old, unhealthy pets at shelters, released them outside to fend for themselves, and on and on. They felt perfectly justified, too, because their baby might get germs from the animal or eat dog hair or whatever. It was truly sickening. I had no idea so many people think it's perfectly normal to get rid of a once "beloved" pet once they had children. And, worse, they're teaching their kids that pets are disposable. Some even said they would have pets again once their kids are older, which is awful.
My family had many, many pets growing up. I think almost all the dogs came from breeders, the cats just showed up and stayed. My parents taught me that pets are a responsibility and it is our duty to take care of them for their entire life if we choose to bring them into our home. Of course, there are cases where it's better for the animal and everyone involved that a pet be responsibly rehomed, but I will never agree with taking a pet to a shelter because it's become an inconvenience.
My mother currently has a 9 year old collie and she has said that she will likely go back to the same breeder to get another collie once hers is gone, because she's been such a great dog. She thinks it's great that my GSD is a rescue, but she has certain qualities she would like in her next dog and I see nothing wrong with her buying from a breeder. Sure, I feel warm, fuzzy feelings knowing my dog went through several homes and is now in his permanent home and treated better than anyone else living here, but if I was looking for a dog to do specific training/work and wanted certain traits, bloodlines, hip or health guarantees, or whatever, I would look at breeders.
The article was certainly eye-opening. I had no idea that not all animals in shelters here are domestic.
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Jerry, CGC - born 12/8/2009, adopted 7/7/2012