|Barked: Fri Nov 9, '07 1:53pm PST |
|Tia, the answer is education, education, education. No, it's not going to happen overnight, and yes, it's going to be tough to convince people not to go to the BYB who's advertising puppies for $300 in the newspaper, and you can go see the pup and its mom and dad for yourself.
But that's already a better choice than buying from a pet store or over the internet, and let's not forget that it is better, even though it's not going all the way to where we want people to be.
Puppies from responsible breeders may be more expensive than some BYB puppies, but they're generally less expensive, significantly so, than pet store puppies or puppies bought over the internet from a high-profile mill. It's not nearly so hard to make the case that puppies should be raised in homes, not kennels, and that a puppy buyer is better off paying less for this healthier, better-raised puppy who does not have to be shipped in cargo in an airplane. Or that if you can be more flexible about your specific needs (i.e., it might not work if you're in the northeast and need a small dog), you can get a good dog at a shelter. (This ought to be a particularly effective point with people who mock purebred breeding.)
What we need is to get the big players on board with this. Not PETA, because they're opposed to the existence of domestic animals, but HSUS and ASPCA. HSUS has apparently finally seen the light on No Kill as a goal, that is, the publication of Redemption has finally pushed them to do the math and see that, if we can bump the percentage of pets adopted from shelters from 20% to 30%, and lower the birth rate slightly, the shelters will be nearly empty. Get the other 70% of new pet additions, the ones that won't be from shelters, shifted from BYBs and puppy mills to responsible breeders who screen, temperament match, and take lifetime responsibility for the well-being of the dogs they breed, and the shelters will stay empty. If we can get HSUS and ASPCA to make that last conection, and they get behind the push for buying only from responsible breeders when you can't find the right pet in a shelter, we can make huge progress.
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