I just mailed the following letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer as a response to an article titled “Aid pours in for dogs rescued from kennel:”
I’m writing in response to the “Aid pours in for dogs rescued from kennel” article that ran on February 24th, 2006.
It’s touching to see that so much aid and support has poured in for the dogs rescued from an allegedly abusive and neglectful breeder. I’m thankful there are so many people willing to help companion animals in need.
However, I was disheartened to see that the article also featured a list of ways to “Pick a Good Breeder.” Much more appropriate would have been a list of “Reasons to Adopt Rather than Buy from a Breeder,” especially considering the nature of the piece.
Every year, millions of dogs in the United States are killed because there simply aren’t enough people to care for them or enough room in shelters to house them. Often, strays and lost dogs are picked up, kept at a shelter for seven days, and if no one claims them, they are killed to make room for more animals.
Surely, there are good and ethical breeders, but because of the sheer number of surplus dogs that are killed, there is simply no justification for purchasing from a breeder or, even worse, a pet store. If someone is looking to bring a companion animal into their lives, they should adopt from a shelter or rescue organization. Petfinder.com can help in the search for a specific breed, if that’s an important consideration.
Perhaps when the pet population comes under control, buying from breeders will be an ethical choice. But for now, it’s vitally important we save the animals that most need our help.