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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Duh

I just wanted to post here one of the most bizarre quotes I have ever seen written by someone in the animal rights movement. Right now, there are people who are trying to convince the public that overpopulation is a myth when it comes to dogs and cats. Of course, anyone who has worked in any way shape or form in rescue knows that there are too many animals- too few kennels - and too few adopters. Shelters and rescues are busting at the seams. People in rescue are some of the most hard working and dedicated people I have ever met- so it really bothers me to keep reading the propaganda stating that there is no overpopulation.. everyone knows it. If you want animals not to die or be warehoused- you need to produce less animals- duh.

I would like to dedicate this post to the bizarre quote.. until I read it in the comment section of an  article, I would have never thought that anyone would use the existence of puppy mills as a reason to why there is not an overpopulation problem. Who would benefit from this type of thought? Why the puppy miller of course! Below is the most bizarre and/or uneducated one of the year.. followed by the response I posted-- I thought this was too important to simply let sit hidden in the comment section of an article that hardly anyone is now reading.

"Since puppy mills and pet stores that sell milled animals are only in it for the money, they wouldn’t exist if they weren’t making money by selling animals. And given that they wouldn’t be selling animals if there weren’t plenty of homes available, if pet overpopulation is real, why do puppy mills and pet stores exist?"-Nathan Winograd


Well, let me explain.... 

1.money- the breeders and mills have large organizations behind them such as the AKC. The single largest competition to shelter animals is the AKC and its quest to promote more breeding.. therefore more money for them. Westminster dropped Pedigree because the ads were too sad- the AKC cannot have that kind of competition-- they cannot have that kind of advertising associated with them.-- because, it will make people question- if animals are sitting in shelters with no homes…. then why support breeders? So those who don't want their pocket books dented by those who say it is better to adopt than to buy-- work very hard to make the public think there really are not too many dogs and cat - they work very hard to make their buyers feel comfortable supporting mills and spending large sums of money while perfectly good dogs and cats sit in shelters. 

2.status- too many people look at animals as status symbols -- as an accessory. People will buy a hairless dog because they like the attention it brings them... then they get to brag about how they are somehow keeping that type of dog from going the way of the unicorn. (even though there are plenty of hairless dogs needing homes in shelters) Some people think having a pit bull will make them look thug- a great dane will make them look interesting like Lady Gaga - or a chihuahua will make them somehow rich looking like Paris Hilton. pet stores and puppy mills can produce what is in demand... they produce pets not based upon total numbers of open homes- but, upon what people are looking for at the moment.. Shelters hold the aftermath of when people become bored with what they have or move onto a new breed. (it is a shame more people are not aware of the large number of purebred animals in shelters - the AKC could do a much better job of promoting that fact.. it could help people fulfill their status desire and save a life at the same time)

3.impulse - puppy mills can ship dogs over the internet-- all they need to do is set up a website- toss some cute picks up and charge several hundred or thousands of dollars.. or set up a store front in the mall... combine this with the 'need' for certain looking dogs and the fact that a person can brag about overspending on a purebred dog - it allows for the person to treat the buying of a puppy akin to picking up some Jimmy Choos… using pet stores to adopt out dogs instead of selling dogs is a much better way to go- but, you cut into that impulse when you have a shelter worker actually ask the impulse buyer if they have truly thought about their purchase and are even qualified. (no one questions the buyer when they buy from a mill or a store—all that matters is if the credit card works) 

4.ignorance - this one is a bit harder since I still am shocked that there is a person alive who is not aware of the conditions in puppy mills and the huge numbers of animals in shelters.. but, there are truly people who are so ignorant that claim not to know about the truth. There are also people who are ignorant to actually believe that a puppy mill puppy is somehow healthier than shelter dog... and there are some people so ignorant to believe that the AKC fights for the rights of dogs in puppy mills-- it looks very much as though they fight hard against laws to protect them. 

5.irresponsibility - it truly is irresponsible to buy a dog or cat when there are millions that are killed in shelters.. it is very irresponsible. People still do it. Puppy mills and pet stores selling puppies/kittens exist in large part to an irresponsible society that treats its companion animals as objects that are warehoused and reproduced as products...they don't care-- those in the business thrive on irresponsibility - they make a ton of money off of it.
Over population is real.. and it is truly shocking to think that a person could possibly turn this into a simple math equation. I honestly think this is one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard. 


Just because there are 10 homes open does not mean that 10 homeless dogs will find their way into them-- you cannot put a 10 year old pug into the home of someone who wants a young colllie and you cannot think that just because a home is open that it means a dog lover will want a cat. This whole over population is a myth is so utterly bizarre in that it simplifies a complex problem. Look at petfinder and ask yourself why there are any people selling pit bull puppies when there are often times over 20,000 pit bulls and pit bull mixes listed needing homes right now. I have two large American bulldog mixes-- I love them .. they are one of the most common breeds at the Miami shelter where I adopted them- yet, it would be beyond ignorant to think that every person looking for a pet would want or be able to handle that type of dog in their life.. and the truth is that there are too many .. and therefore too many sitting in kennels waiting for people to adopt them that do not exist... saying they exist will not make it so. 


Just warehousing dogs and cats does not make less animals.. it does not make the overpopulation fail to exist.. all it does is trick the public into thinking that it is ok to keep breeding pets.. make them think all is well.. it is not. Hope this clears things up for those who might be confused.

- Mary Lundberg



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