Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Re: The Media and The Story

Several days ago a couple was found with a trailer filled with a huge number of small dogs in deplorable conditions. Some of the dogs were missing feet. There were, reportedly, some 800 dogs there. The media missed the story. Oh, they reported on the dogs that were rescued, the elderly couple who were sorry and said they were in need of help and the media let stand the statement from someone at the shelter where the dogs were taken who said that the couple meant well. What the media neglected to report or even comment upon beyond the statement of fact, is that the couple was selling puppies over the internet. Yes, selling them over the internet. These were backyard breeders carried to the worst possible extreme.

It's no secret that I believe that all people should not be painted with the same brush. A backyard breeder, a commercial breeder, a puppymill, none of those is the same as an ethical, responsible breeder. Those are merely puppy producers. The same goes for the kitten producers. They are in no way ethical breeders. Ethical, responsible breeders show their potential breeding stock to be sure their dogs or cats meet the Standard for their breed, getting objective opinions. They sell only healthy puppies or kittens and they socialize them properly. They do not sell them too young to leave mother and littermates. They are not set-up to become a behavior problem waiting to happen because of lack of socialization.

You should be able to go to the breeder's home and see health clearances for the parents and at least one parent on the premeses. You should see a clean home. The breeder should be screening you carefully to be sure that you are ready for the lifetime commitment to the dog or cat. While you are passing inspection, so should they. And they should be asking for references.

If someone doesn't care enough to properly breed and socialize, to keep their animals under clean conditions, to breed with health in mind and care offer to take back that puppy or kitten at any time during the animal's lifetime, that speaks volumes. And ethical hobby breeders do not take credit cards. Breeding to improve their breed is an expensive hobby, not a business.

Why didn't the media pick up on any of this? Perhaps some did. But during the airing of that same news story I'm afraid that most missed a great opportunity to make a point, to educate their viewers. To be sure there is very little air time available but someone could have made an effort with an editorial at the end of the broadcast. Whatever happened to editorials from local television stations? Is anyone doing them anymore?

It was an opportunity lost.

Ethical breeders lose money on each litter. They plan breedings well in advance, breed to the written Standard to improve their breed. Please remember that and don't paint everyone with that same tarnished brush.


Anonymous said...

some people don't care though. They just want a puppy. it's too bad though, that they don't think it through.

Darlene said...

You've said a mouthful! Between the behavior problems from lack of socialization and all of the potential health issues because any two dogs were mated without any health testing being done, the new owner is potentially in for a lot of problems and some of them can be expensive.