This weekend I was in PA at my boyfriend’s parents’ house for some R&R before the craziness of Love Ball hits. His house is in a rural part of town and I was really looking forward to seeing his area in the Fall. What I was most excited about though was doing Autumn-y things with his two dogs, Seamus and Profitta (pronounced pro-fee-ta, which is Italian for creampuff).
As you can see, these two furballs are a far cry from the pitty type shelter dogs I fight so hard for. While it’s pretty clear they are both purebred Golden Retrievers, what you can’t tell is that one was bought from a breeder and one was a rescue. Which brings up the never-ending debate: buy from a breeder or adopt?
Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that you absolutely need to rescue or you absolutely should never buy from a breeder. I don’t believe either of those anyway. What I do 100% believe in is being educated on whatever decision you think you want to make. I say this because many people buy from breeders for the wrong reasons, or they buy from backyard breeders or puppy mill pet stores (the places where mama dog + pups suffer the most) without even knowing. For example, one of my friends was once telling me about the husky/german shepherd he dreamt of having one day. I asked him where he was going to get it, and he replied, “I don’t know, somewhere on the Internet.” It’s times like this where I have to seriously hold myself back, and remember it’s because he simply doesn’t know any better.
One reason people go to breeders is because they want a certain breed. That’s great! Did you know you’re able to find almost any breed of dog in either a shelter or rescue program? No, you might not have their papers – but unless you’re breeding or showing the dog, why do you need papers? Breed-specific rescues are perfect places to get the particular kind of dog you are looking for. Some may have reservations about adoption because they don’t realize animals in a shelter are given up for a variety of reasons, many of which are unrelated to the animal entirely – moving, money, landlord, personal reasons, etc.
Look at Luci, a one-year old purebred Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier who was dumped at my shelter because she wasn’t getting along with her sister. Neither of them were spayed (holy hormones). Luci is a dream, and what a catch for someone looking for a Wheatie! Saving a life and getting the breed you want? Sounds like a win-win to me.
If you decide you still want to buy from a breeder, please please make sure it is a responsible, reputable one. Online breeders and the suppliers for pet stores are often puppy-mill situations, where dogs are bred over and over again, living in less than ideal conditions – all because the main goal is profit. Among other things, you should research your breeder beforehand, and be confident in the condition of the animals you see when you visit. Again, it’s a matter of education and giving yourself the background information you need to make the best decisions for everyone involved – including the animals.
Anyway, that was my little rescue/breeder spiel. Of course I lean towards rescuing and adopting because I’ve seen first hand the masses of incredible dogs that are without homes. Regardless of the debate at hand, I’m happy to be able to save the few rescue dogs I can, and show people how great of an option adoption can be.
For now, enjoy pictures of Sham and Pro doing what they do best: