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Discussion Starter #1
At last! My county is proposing changes to our local ordinances that:
  • Legally define a Pet Store and a Private Breeder as separate entities.
  • Ban the sale of cats and dogs in Pet Stores with a $1000 fine for each animal sold in violation. (This does not include animals "housed" at the store for adoption by non-profit rescue groups and county animal shelters.)
This is great! Now that pet stores will no longer sell cats and dogs, the source of those pet stores (puppy mills, unscrupulous breeders) should diminish as their main source of income will be gone. That doesn't mean puppy mills are gone forever, but it's a good slap to the face for these people.
 

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There is a shortage of adoptable animals in much of the country. In order to satisfy this shortage, rescues are rapidly becoming the biggest supporters of puppy mill dogs and puppies often paying a king's ransom for these puppy mill animals (with donation monies) making puppy mills an even more lucrative business than ever before. All is not as it seems.
 

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That's depressing news.Do you have any links to share with more information?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is a shortage of adoptable animals in much of the country. In order to satisfy this shortage, rescues are rapidly becoming the biggest supporters of puppy mill dogs and puppies often paying a king's ransom for these puppy mill animals (with donation monies) making puppy mills an even more lucrative business than ever before. All is not as it seems.
It begs the question...do we even need rescue organizations anymore if this is the case?
 

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It begs the question...do we even need rescue organizations anymore if this is the case?
We don't in most instances, at least not in the format most currently exist, but some people at the rescue helm are using the dogs for a substitute paycheck so I guess they would beg to differ.
 

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I think there is still a need for rescue organizations,at least in my general area.The small rescue groups around here are more like 'foster networks ' and seem to do a good job coordinating with vets and ac.
 

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It begs the question...do we even need rescue organizations anymore if this is the case?
Sure we do, there are plenty of dogs ending up in need of rescue in the southern US and California. Many of the dogs we get here are from California and Texas or at least those I'm aware of. Look at some of @Magwarts posts on the number of dogs they have to turn away, she posted recently on just how bad it is where she is located.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sure we do, there are plenty of dogs ending up in need of rescue in the southern US and California. Many of the dogs we get here are from California and Texas or at least those I'm aware of. Look at some of @Magwarts posts on the number of dogs they have to turn away, she posted recently on just how bad it is where she is located.
Okay, so maybe we need to take a look at the source in this case. Where do these dogs come from? What communities? What are the circumstances of surrender or capture?

If there's a major common thread in the answers to those questions, then we have a severe community/cultural problem in that particular area that needs to be addressed. That then becomes the real question: "How do we redirect the culture?"
 

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I've thought about this problem quite a bit, and it really boils down to culture. But that's a huge thing to try to shift.

The two best ways to address the issue as it stands that I can see are to offer super low cost or free spay neuter and advertise it in the right way.

And to have resources like free training classes, dog food aid readily available so people can keep the dogs in their homes.

One more issue is the very high numbers of certain breeds being overbred and then ending up killed in shelters. That's a tough nut to crack, but would go a really long way in eliminating unwanted pets.
 

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Okay, so maybe we need to take a look at the source in this case. Where do these dogs come from? What communities? What are the circumstances of surrender or capture?

If there's a major common thread in the answers to those questions, then we have a severe community/cultural problem in that particular area that needs to be addressed. That then becomes the real question: "How do we redirect the culture?"
Ding! Ding! Ding! We got a winner here!
 

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If people would do the research to find good breeders and good shelters and vote with their wallets, we'd have less problems. If people researched the right breed for their expectations and the right style training for their needs, our shelters would be much emptier. In my area we have a decent shelter, some good rescues, a small orgaization that offers food to people struggling financially and our county has low cost or free spay and neuter and rabies clinics.
I know some breeders are not happy that they cannot sell through stores. As a GSD lover I'd insist on researching the breeder as much as the breeder interviewing us as potential owners. Can't do that through a store. I've also had breeders say that they don't want people coming to their facility because AR people have come and started trouble.

No simple answer.
 

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I think a key point, which was my city's tipping point, is mandatory speutering before any animal leaves a shelter.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are there services out there that are something like a dog breed "matchmaker" for reputable breeders? Not exactly just an online rating system or site listing breeders, but maybe something a little more like this:
  1. A family is looking for a dog, but they're not sure what they want.
  2. They go to a site, or maybe even visit a representative in-person, and fill out a little questionnaire. The questionnaire asks them generally what they're looking for, and some of the questions are a bit open-ended where the family could write in their own words what they want.

    (For example a question could read: "It's beautiful Saturday afternoon and you have time to do whatever you want. What do you want to do with your dog?" An answer could be: "I want to take the kids to the park for a while, and then go sit outside with the dog at a restaurant and have lunch." or "I want to go on a hike in the woods." or "I just want to veg on the couch and watch football.")
  3. Online/in-person rep (actual person not AI) takes a look at what they've stated they want, and provides a list of breeds that'd be a good fit for their needs.
  4. Family picks a breed.
  5. They're given a list of breeders that are rated by the community and can read reviews if they wish. Each breeder for that breed is Price ranges for puppies are listed, location, how many litters per year, and perhaps a short introductory paragraph from the breeder themselves (breeders would have to fill out a similar version of the questionnaire so keywords can be matched).
  6. Family now has an option to contact the breeder themselves, or the rep can put out feelers for them.
  7. Everything else proceeds from there on the family's own initiative.
I think that would help some folks quite a lot and increase visibility of reputable dog breeders out there. It can be overwhelming and seriously irritating trying to do searches for dog breeders and get mixed up results, or have to filter through each individual site--many of which are terribly built and don't have some basic/important information that I, as a potential customer, am looking for. I can see why people don't bother to do the research.

But if for $20 or something you could get someone to do that for you and just give you your options, I think a lot of families would feel much less overwhelmed and more willing to do some research. A lot of the annoying legwork has been done, so what they have to do is just make a decision.
 
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