Monday, April 8, 2013
Dog Breeders vs Hoarders
Say there are 6 puppies in the litter and you sell all 6 dogs. If its a pure bred and popular breed you could get at least $500 per dog. Five time six? That litter earned $3000. (Now tell me this isn't greed?)
Percentage facts? If 2 of these dogs get good long term homes where they'll be well taken care of their whole lives, that's luck. The other 4? Chances are good that they'll end up in a shelter or just be victims of abuse or neglect. Will someone with unrealistic expectations adopt one of these precious pups and then realize the dog is more work than they thought? Will that puppy face a life in a cage? Kept there more than 10 hours a day because dogs are work? If the dog's lucky, they'll be pulled from the shelter by a rescue group and these loving souls will find the dog a home. If the rescue is full, or the dog's plight just doesn't reach the rescue in time, the dog will be euthanized. Shoved in a tin box with dozens of other unwanted dogs and gassed. Was that worth it? Breeders don't care about the long life of the dogs they breed. They care about cash.
The parents of those cute little puppies in the window? They're caged 24/7 with little or no human contact. They're often fighting infections without proper veterinary care and will be bred over and over again while still sick. The puppies they breed have a good chance of developing congenital defects that might not be evident right away, but something the buyer will have to deal with for the rest of the dog's life.
Once the parents are too old to breed or not producing sell-able puppies, they are sold off, dumped in shelters, or simply put down, often by crude and cruel methods.
This is Gracie. She's a puppy mill survivor. Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue was contacted by a shelter in Missouri. Some breeder dumped a bunch of dogs at the shelter and they needed homes. Puppy mill dogs who have never lived in a home, were not housebroken, never had any human contact so probably couldn't live with kids, and most were sick in some way.
Gracie came to my house as a foster dog. She wouldn't look at me, cowered whenever I came near her and had infections in both ears and her spay incision. She was completely shaved down because the breeder had never had her groomed and she was completely matted when she arrived at the shelter. After a few weeks she was feeling better physically but still had a long way to go. She never barked, played or acted like a dog. She was fearful and didn't like to be touched. When adoption applications came in I hesitated. It took me a little bit but I finally admitted this shy little pup had stolen my heart. We worked on housebreaking skills, tempted her with treats and toys and eventually, slowly she opened up. One day I came in from work and she barked. She'd been here almost 3 months and it was the first time I heard her bark. I almost cried.
Now Gracie plays with toys, raced through the house and barks when we come home. She snoozes on the couch and hides her treats under the cushions. She was one of the lucky ones, she got out.
Tomorrow: Why Hoarders are different from breeders.