Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Few Suggestions for Oprah

Not that I expect Oprah or her producers to be aware of my blog but it's still a free country so I'm going to put a few thoughts out into cyberspace.

Considering the reception of her program on puppy mills, I'd like to see Oprah do a second show. After all, an hour is so little time, and tell even more of the story. If I were producing the show, here's what I'd want to do next...

I'd want to educate buyers about responsible, ethical breeders. I'd want to discuss the genetic health tests that they do before breeding, how carefully they select the right sire for the litter and what they pay in stud fees. I'd want to tell how the puppies are raised in clean homes, indoors, and learn the beginnings of housetraining right away, how they're socialized, how pups are kept with littermates and mother to learn how to "speak dog" and the all-important bite-inhibition.

Oprah touched on the fact that responsible breeders ask their puppy buyers questions, interviewing the potential puppy buyer. That's good but it's only part of the story. A small part.
And while they were discussing shelters, what wasn't touched on by anyone and is fodder for another show, is how many shelters "import" dogs from the South and from Puerto Rico. If there's such an overpopulation problem, there should be no need to "import" more dogs. Those "shelters" that need to import dogs in order to stay open should be shut down and the money put into the shelters that need help. Just my thoughts but I'd still like to see the issue addressed.

The show could also address the issue of Fostering, how Breed Rescue people take the dogs into their homes and rehabilitate them. It wasn't really pointed out that dogs who land in a shelter often have behavior problems. The breed rescue people, knowing their own breed so well, will come in, get the dog out and into a foster home where the dog is rehabilitated into a potentially great family member for the new owner. This also means that there are fewer purebreds in shelters because Breed Rescues moves quickly to get them out once they're notified.

Oprah's show mentioned that responsible breeder will take their dogs back even if they're older. This, too, could use some extra emphasis.

And wouldn't it be nice to see some of those rehabbed purebred rescues with their owners?!

I'm sure others have even more thoughts on the subject. Those are just mine.


Anonymous said...

The damage has been done as far as I'm concerned.. My breeder friends are up in arms about this one.

Do you have a Griff out of "Eric The Red ?"

Darlene said...

Please don't be so negative! I think if we can encourage the mainstream media to do more and to get the message out about responsible breeders and the "imports" in some of the shelters, we can make a difference. But unless we encourage them to do so, why would they? They need to know we care and positive reinforcement works for all species!

No, I don't own a Griff but I certainly know "Eric The Red!"