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Norwich Bulletin - 8/12/2007

Bad Breeders or Bad Owners

A friend sent me a story from another newspaper that was one of those, very sad thoughtful type columns. The gist of the story was about a dog shelter worker who had taken the job to help animals and ended up in the reality of euthanasia.

The worker told about the friendly, young Golden Retriever whose time was up, the Chihuahua, a young Shepherd cross and the mother Pit Bull and her pups. It was truly heart wrenching and brought tears to my eyes, until I read the ending. "Think about this story the next time you consider buying a pet from a breeder."

Okay - that made me start tearing the story apart from beginning to end. Here in Connecticut, I get about five calls a day from people looking to adopt a rescue dog that does not have Pit Bull in it. Some want small dogs, others lab size and they cannot find them. Most dogs in the city pounds have some Pit Bull in them and there are many people with kids and other animals that hesitate to bring a Pit into their homes.

Whether their fears are unfounded or not, doesnít matter. What matters is they would adopt if they could. So as far as the story above goes; here in Connecticut the Golden, the Chihuahua and the Shepherd mix would all have gotten adopted into nice, family homes. Only the Pit Bull and her pups could have been a true scenario.

So, why are there so many Pit Bull crosses all over the country? Well, itís not because of breeders. Itís because of owners who did not spay or neuter their dog and let it roam the streets with other dogs whose owners were equally irresponsible.

And why are there so many unwanted cats and kittens in the world? Believe me, itís not because of breeders. In fact, responsible breeders will spay or neuter their kittens and puppies before they leave the cattery or kennel; or hold back the registration papers until proof of altering is produced. Breeders do not want their breed randomly allowed to procreate by people who know nothing of the genetics or the lines of their breed. In fact, most breeders, like myself, are over protective of our babies and also quite active in rescue.

So, where do all these unaltered animals come from? Kitten and puppy mills who sell to pet stores ARE NOT (I repeat, are not) breeders. They are not concerned with the health or betterment of anything and are only in it for the money. Pet stores donít care if you alter your animals or not, as long as you are willing to pay the price.

Many pounds allow their cats and dogs to go to homes before they are altered and simply provide a voucher to be used. Many times that never happens. The people who buy or adopt their pets and do not spay or neuter are who society should be blaming for all the deaths and unwanted cats and dogs roaming the state and the country.

If you get a pet - whether a purebred or domestic, and it is not altered, then you are the one person who is to blame if your pet becomes pregnant. And yet, everyday America doesnít seem to see this common sense approach and they find it much easier to say the problem is because we have breeders! My own friend sent me this column, never even considering that the breeders that it wasnít the breeders who abandoned the dogs. It was the owners!

Please stop taking the easy way out! Because I breed Abyssinians, I am not responsible for all the domestic cats that are not altered. I am not responsible for the thousands of kittens that are born outside because no one cares enough to take responsibility as a pet owner. Put the blame where it belongs Ė with the irresponsible owner.

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