Commentary: I Will Judge You for Buying a Dog From a Breeder

A sad pitbull in a shelter.

In this day and age, most people have some familiarity with animal rescue. At the minimum, they have a Facebook friend (like me) who shares animal rescue information or a neighbor who rescued a dog. Or they’ve seen billboards promoting adoptions from the local shelter.

A mural at Oregon Humane Society. (Photo by Kezia Willingham)
A mural at Oregon Humane Society. Photography by Kezia Willingham.

With all the attention the rescue movement has received in recent years, you’d think 100 percent of people would choose to rescue over buying a dog from a breeder, right?

Apparently not.

The other day, when a FB friend asked where to find a certain breed of puppy, which I know is easily found in local shelters, I shared some resources. By the end of the comment thread, however, she appeared to have found a puppy from a breeder. It was then that I realized I’m not as open-minded as I like to think: I immediately thought less of the person for buying a dog instead of rescuing one.

An adorable puppy for adoption.
Cute little adoptable puppy. Photography by Kezia Willingham.

Ever since I learned about animal rescue, I’ve been passionate about supporting the cause. In fact, I think animal rescue is one of the best acts of goodwill a person can perform in her lifetime. Rescuing just one dog or cat and saving a life feels good; it’s a tangible act of service that benefits all involved.

If you’re a parent, this also is a profound way to teach your children the value of saving a life and what it means to care for an animal. Character development is best done through demonstration.

A child playing with a cute adoptable puppy.
My son Justin visiting with a puppy at Oregon Humane Society. Photography by Kezia Willingham.

My opinion on rescue vs. buying from a breeder is clear: Adopt, don’t shop.

I’d like to think that I don’t judge other people. It’s petty and immature. It’s a waste of time and energy. It does no good. And yet, here I am judging someone for choosing to purchase a puppy from a breeder as opposed to adopting one. What kind of hypocrite am I?

I guess I’m the kind of hypocrite who could pretend not to care when friends who have the intellectual ability to adopt choose to buy — but I do care, and I’ll judge them for it.

One of the author's rescue dogs.
My first dog ever, May Belle, adopted from Seattle Humane Society. Photography by Kezia Willingham.

Maybe I shouldn’t subscribe to as many rescue pages on Facebook, because every single day I see cute, adorable dogs and cats in desperate need of homes. Many have limited time in overwhelmed shelters that will kill them if they aren’t adopted, and this profoundly affects me.

I think I’ve done my part by adopting five rescue dogs (two of which are foster fails). In fact, none of the dogs we have living with us are my “dream breeds,” but I love them all for their personalities and the joy they bring into the life I share with my children. They are treasured gems who miraculously found their way into our lives.

My son Justin with our dog Magnum at the dog park. Photo by Kezia Wilingham.
My son Justin with our dog Magnum at the dog park. Photography by Kezia Wilingham.

I like Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, and think they are delightfully cute. I confess that I’d like to have one of them eventually. I’ve gone so far as looking up breeder information online (and learned that buying a puppy from a breeder can be very expensive, depending on the source, gender, and age of the dog). I wholeheartedly agree that the Bostons and Frenchies I’ve met are about as charming as can be.

And yet, almost every shelter has many equally adorable dogs and cats for a fraction of the cost. Adoption compels me more than finding the “perfect” looking puppy from a breeder. And, since you can often find adoptable dogs from breed-specific rescue groups such as Bulldog Haven Northwest, I don’t see why I would ever go the breeder route.

Even though I think it’s morally wrong and a waste of energy to judge others, I have to be real and admit that I think less of a person who buys a dog from a breeder when so many precious lives perilously wait for their forever homes in shelters and rescue groups. These animals are everywhere, across the country. Take Villalobos Rescue Center of Pit Bulls & Parolees fame — at any given time it has close to 400 adorable, adoptable dogs looking for homes.

Me with May Belle at the dog park. Photo by Zinnia Willingham.
May Belle and me at the dog park. Photography by Zinnia Willingham.

To me, saving a life is a more noble choice than purchasing a dog from a breeder. I wish everyone felt the same way.

Do you agree with me? Or do you still give a pass to people why buy dogs? Tell me your reasons in the comments.

Read more about buying a dog from a breeder on 

About Kezia Willingham: Also known as the Breadwinning Laundry Queen, Kezia works as the Health Coordinator for an urban Head Start program and lives with her family, which includes a pack of rescued animals, in Seattle. She is a regular contributor to Catster & Dogster. You can find her on Twitter @KeziaWillingham.

111 thoughts on “Commentary: I Will Judge You for Buying a Dog From a Breeder”

  1. I truly don’t understand the vast amount of people saying that they only want “healthy” dogs, or calling shelter dogs “rejects.” Shame on you.

    Disabled and chronically ill pets need homes, too. I have rescued 17 dogs and cats, and they have all been special needs. I have adopted animals with type 1 diabetes, blindness, missing limbs, heartworms, cerebellar hypoplasia, and cancer, despite having a *very* limited income as a graduate student.

    To me, animals are like children, and you do not get to “return” children for being ill. I am deeply saddened at the amount of people here I who feel this way. However, maybe the comments here are disproportionately biased, as breeder-buyers come here to post in an effort to justify supporting a shameful practice.

  2. I’m 22 and about to leave for grad school. While I was in high school, my family got a well-bred lab from a reputable breeder. She requires all dogs to be neutered/spayed, has an intensive application process for a puppy, has all of her breeding dogs checked and certified for health and genetic testing every year, and legally requires owners to commit to returning their dog if, for any reason, they can no longer care for it. I trained our “purebred” lab for therapy work – which his parents and bloodline have been known for. As a 16-year-old training a puppy, it was incredibly helpful to know exactly what kind of dog we were getting. After years of therapy work, I am devastated to be leaving my best friend and partner behind when I move away. I’ve applied and am accepted to get a puppy from the same breeder. I cannot wait until I have the money and time to adopt a shelter dog, but having a dog whose personality and health I know and can vouch for is important to me at this stage in my life. If something comes up in my puppy’s health, I will accommodate that, 100%. But I need to avoid any future risk of an unpredictable, difficult-to-train, or unhealthy dog. Someday I will have the money and stability to take on a dog whose character and health cannot be vouched for, and I will love that dog with my whole heart regardless of how they turn out. But moving across the country with a companion I feel sure of, a guarantee of health, and a reminder of my precious baby at home is exactly what I need right now, and I do not feel guilty for my decision.

    1. I adopted a blind insulin-dependent diabetic dog during graduate school, despite living on an extremely limited student income in NYC. It’s not about the money or the health, it’s about how comfortable you are with justifying your support of breeding.

    2. I adopted a blind insulin-dependent diabetic dog as a graduate student living in NYC on a VERY limited student income. He was facing euthanasia and I morally had to intervene. Does he come from a line of “champions?” Doubt it. Does it matter? NO. He lived 13 long years without ever having a complication from his diabetes.

      It’s not about your income, it’s about how comfortable you are with justifying something as terrible as breeding. You having to say at the end of your story that you don’t feel guilty, suggests that you feel guilty.

      1. I understand the adoption, rescue, foster world of the dog lovers world. I have even had a stray mama whelp out 10 pups in my closet on Valentines Day 2020. All 9 survived and are in happy homes. The puppies were of 3 different looks. Obviously 3 males had bred her. That's where most of the puppies come from at shelters, if they are lucky enough. Most die out in the woods. Dogs have a purpose that they are bred for. The mixed dogs are often such a blend, you don't know what traits you're getting. Instead of advocating for more mixed breed dogs, try helping more get spayed and neutered. Over 75% of dogs in shelters are mixed, the other 25% are mostly pitbulls and chihuahuas. Purebred dogs aren't the problem. Intact mixed breed dogs are the main problem.

  3. A breeder (not a puppy mill) a breeder will take back a puppy no questions asked and does guarantee their health for a certain time. They test their parents for defects and you have the entire history on the dog and its background. Though you may get one that happens to get sick, it is vastly different than the dogs at a shelter. Most of those are from backyard breeders, puppy mills and irresponsible people.. it is why the dog is not back at the breeder, but at a shelter. You sign a contract with a breeder that the dog cannot go into a shelter and they literally scour the wanted ads to ensure their dogs don’t end up there. I am on a few Australia shepherd groups and people will screen shot ads of aussiea with where they are at so breeders in the area can follow up. They also called my vet and did a background check on me. Shelters sadly do not. (Rescues do, mostly). So this nonsense that you are saying is simply not true. You are talking about puppy mills, not breeders

  4. The DNA is important on a dog as well. I know my dogs family history. Their personality and their health. Though the dog may be healthy at the time of adoption, you have no way to know what genetic material that dog is carrying.

  5. A well bred dog also has the genetic component. My husband had all rescues. All had an issue. The last one was a herding breed and reactive. She bit and was territorial. After she died j spoke to my vet about dogs and breeds. She suggested an Australian Shepherd. She also suggested I get it as a puppy from a responsible breeder (there are some)… for health and temperament. She said all herding breeds need a proper upbringing as they can be territorial. My husbands dog also cost 10k out of pocket in the last year of her life (we had very good insurance that covered 80%). His ex wife got all shelter dogs, disasters with health,
    some with temperament. I fostered dogs, some were ok. Not the personality I wanted, and those that did, did come with problems. His exs last dog was a pure bred from a breeder.. no issues, at all. Our dog, no issues. Our family and friends with breeder dogs, not a single issue. Our current dog is absolutely perfect. And I don’t feel bad saying that. With 2 very small kids, I needed a dog that fit with us and our activities and didn’t have health or temperature issues. Yes, there are responsible breeders. Not all are puppy mills and my experience forever changed my mind on breeders. I would do it again in a heartbeat (actually on a list for a 2nd Aussie). I don’t judge those who adopt. I do judge people who can’t see past their own views and judges others.

  6. When looking for my service dog, I needed a puppy with a clear genetic history, predictable temperment, and controlled whelping environment. This is not usually possible in a shelter dog.

  7. People who want to buy a dog from a reputable breeder shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for not rescuing someone else’s rejects.

    Adopt a rescue, they say. Don’t buy from a breeder, they say. Tell me then, why are most of the available dogs pit bulls, Labradors, and chihuahua mixes? Who keeps making these puppies? Who keeps buying them? Why are they then dropped off at shelters? I know put bulls have a bad reputation and strong jaws, but many are good dogs, but I want long hair, no shedding, hypoallergenic. I don’t want a pit bull. I don’t want a Labrador. I don’t want a chihuahua. Those are the breeds dumped off in the thousands by owners. I have always been a responsible dog owner, as in, I keep it no matter what behavior problems it has. I will work through it. I spay neuter every pet I’ve ever owned. Until death do us part.

    1. what a sad statement. really reflects who you are. No one should make you feel guilty about not rescuing someone elses rejects. wow. No one CAN make YOU feel guilty I am sure, just based on the fact that that came out of your mouth.

  8. The problem is not with all dog breeders. A reputable dog breeder with the intent on making the breed healthier and giving it to people who are dedicated is not the problem. The breeders that are puppy Mills or breeding to make the breed have a certain look is the issue. If we got rid of all breeders then all there would be are mutts. I have no problem with mutts and think they are just as important as any other dog. The only issue is if we had mutts breeding with mutts and years go by and there are no distinctive qualities or traits then people don’t know what theyre getting themselves into. For example a 60 something year old just retires and wants a dog as a companion. They go to a shelter and get a mutt because that’s all there is. We know nothing about that dogs traits or characteristics. Imagine having a person buy a dog expecting them to be a lap dog but that dog has the same energy level and temperament as a border collie. This 60 something year is most likely not going to be able to handle that. They will not be able to keep up with the dogs energy and may not have to resources to meet the dogs needs. So either two things will happen, the dog doesn’t live a fufilling life or that person gives the dog up. Breeders that breed dogs so people can have an expectation to what they’re getting themselves into is ok. It gives them the opportunity to prepare for that type of dog and make sure it meets their lifestyle. If you have a long line of mutts who the heck knows what kind of dog you will have and you won’t know what energy level/temperament/traits they have. If that were to happen you’d be seeing a lot more people give up dogs because it may be too much or too little than what they expected. The problem is with bad breeders, puppymills, pet stores, and laws that aren’t strict on neutering/spaying. That’s what we need to focus on. Getting rid of breeders as a whole will just end up with more unwanted dogs.

  9. Im quite disappointed with the self-righteous rescuers out there. They post all of these “supposed” adoptions available for their websites full of pictures of dogs they need to place. Then after taking the time to submit very thorough completed applications to at least 10 rescuers in my area, I get no courtesy email back. No response telling me that the dog was adopted, nothing.
    I have no problem paying the hefty adoption fee, and jumping through all the hoops to prove I’m a wonderful experienced dog owner. I would have even adopted special needs dogs, or dogs missing an eye, etc.
    You people judge people like me for going to a breeder or the newspaper to buy a dog/pup?
    I’m going to go to a breeder to buy a pup. I’m tired is wasting my time with these rescue organizations.
    Wonder how many of them are 501 c3 affiliated so they can get donations as a tax write off for doing nothing to help people who really wanted to adopt.
    I’ve taken in a lot of rescues in my life. I’ve been on many rescue forums, and all you hear are the rescues talking about how self-righteous they are. And how they are doing the world this huge favor by being the only people “worthy” of owning a dog, no one else can even come close to how awesome they are.
    I’m done.
    You have the gall to judge a person for buying from a breeder? Maybe you should take your self-righteous attitude and talk to the rescues who aren’t doing their jobs placing their animals.
    Or perhaps its because of your lousy judgmental holier than thou arrogant attitude that makes up the rescues I sent applications to.
    I have a life too, and a job. It’s inconvenient for me as a potential adopter to waste my time on these rescuers websites.

    Next time you decide to judge, maybe look at yourself in the mirror first.

    Can’t wait to get my new pup.

  10. You are absolutely right, except one thing though. Don’t judge people who are ignorant, judge people who know better and still choose buying a pet instead. When I was in college, my family bought my dog which is from a pet store. That means my purebred Pomeranian dog came from a puppy mill. This is the absolute WORST thing you could do, but yet me and family didn’t know any better at the time. Since then I have become the biggest rescue and animal welfare advocate. I foster full time neonatal kittens and puppies so they are not euthanized at the shelter. I volunteer at the shelter every week and get the privledge of spending time with some pretty amazing animals. I also do a ton of advocacy volunteer work for HSUS. I do TNR and care for community cats by getting them fixed. I even adopted my first animal and love him to shreds.
    Once you know better, there is NO EXCUSE when millions of animals are needlessly being euthanized each year. And guess what, it’s not the shelters faults, it’s the people who breed, buy, and do not get their animals spayed and neutered and refuse to foster animals in need.

  11. I don’t like backyard breeders, however I fully support reputable breeders who care about breeding healthy, genetically sound cats and dogs.

    We have two cats – one is adopted from a shelter (he is a domestic short hair), and one is a purebreed from a breeder registered with the GCCF, and has been genetically tested. Both have lovely temperaments, but the shelter cat was obviously bred by someone who had no clue what they were doing as he has a heart murmur and nearly died from a blood clot this year.

    HCM is something that should be tested when you go with a reputable breeder. Our $60 shelter cat is now costing us $100 a month in medication, and a further $500 a year (not including when we have to pay the excess each time we claim). The costs will continue to rise each year, which is clearly more expensive than the purebred cat cost us to buy. I would rather pay more for peace of mind.
    I’m not saying that rescuing is bad, of course its not. It’s just not quite as black and white as people seem to think. Personally, I want to know the genetic history of my pets after this experience with our shelter cat. I wouldn’t trade him for the world, but it’s an experience I would like to take steps to avoid in the future as much as I can, because the costs have been ridiculous.

  12. My families first dog was a rescue dog. I did not know very much about her background, but I wanted to do the right thing and rescue a dog. After she bit 3 children in the face on three separate occasions, I had to take her back to the humane society where I had got her.

    The next dog was a one year old Jack Russel that was not wanted in a breeding program by its breeder. It was a great price, his name was Lucky. Unfortunately Lucky had not been socialized well, and was actually a very mean dog to members of my family, excepting me only. The neighborhood kids decided not to play with my kids because we had the dog. It lasted one week,and I took her back to the breeder.

    I decided a puppy was the only way to go, to have a better chance at having a dog that behaved well. I bought an inexpensive mixed breed pup at 8 weeks old. We had him for 16 years, until he finally died of pancreatic cancer.

    Now that I am older and my kids are grown, I really wanted another dog that met a few simple criteria. 1) I did not want dog hair all over. Been there and done that for 16 years. 2) I needed a small breed now that I live in a townhouse. 3) my granddaughter has severe dog allergies- I needed to get a dog she could be around.

    My research led me to a BREEDER of Havanese puppies. I think the fact that I am indeed making another forever commitment to a dog allows me to choose one that will work for me.

    So really my friend, I don’t care what you think of me.

  13. I know right… let’s start judging new families for getting married and having their own children. People are pathetic and that is why God gave us Jesus. When you feel like judging, think about him, he will have the final say so and I dont think buying the best dog that fits your family will keep you out of heaven. May God bless you family.

  14. Over the past 15 years I have had 4 dogs that were being given away; in one case a very dodgy St. Bernard who had bitten someone. My most recent acquisition is a mixed-breed shelter dog who was the product of a backyard puppy mill and was never socialized; we’re working through his shyness issues with the help of my well-adjusted pack. I also have a purebred Aussie Shepherd I bought from a reputable local breeder. Most of what goes through the shelters here are “pocketbook dogs” or pit bulls, none of which are suitable “security system” for my large horse farm. My guys have a JOB to do!

    ALL my old dogs lived to or beyond their life expectencies, outdoors in a communal kennel-house and run at night with a fenced yard in the daytime, and I work from home. But they don’t sleep in the house. I DO use “Invisible Fence” to prevent digging and challenging the hard-fenced barrier and for added security. I do not use toxic flea/tick/heartworm products because we have no meaningful exposure. Those circumstances ALONE would get me rejected by most “rescues.” But my VETERINARIAN has been rejected, too!

    Primarily, for not sharing their “PC” criteria–recognizing that giant dogs living inside the house are far more comfortable outside, excessive medicalization of normal, healthy animals which could cause iatrogenic problems (such as collie Ivermectin problems) etc. In some cases, I walked away from the “rescue” because I felt their requirements were condescending, judgmental, intrusive, and egregious violations of my privacy as a competent American adult. Bear in mind, $600 clams and my arm waving in the air at any local auction would get me an 18-hand Shire draft horse I could bring home with no questions asked at all! Or a Mustang fresh from the Bureau of Land Management.

    THIS ATTITUDE, people, is what drives good people to go buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. At least they don’t invade your privacy, judge your character by parameters that are ridiculous, or force you to adopt an “ideology” along with a dog.

    Shelter/”rescue” people, PLEASE look in the mirror and ask yourself honestly if you’re really TRULY TRYING to rehome dogs, or just virtue-signalling to others of your “tribe” on the illusory bubble-universe that is social media.

    If you’re sincere, don’t let PERFECTION be the enemy of Good Enough. There are as many situations as there are dogs and people, and most work most of the time!

  15. Until you are faced with heartbreak of a dog lost way too soon due the unknown genetics that come from rescue dogs, you will not get it. As for me, my heart cannot take that again.

    A repeatable breeder titles their animals in dog shows. They strive to produce healthy examples of the breed. They test all their breeding stock for prevalent genetic diseases and guarantee against it. Reputable breeders are NOT backyard breeders and they spend an incredible amount of time caring for their dogs and the breed, place them in good homes, have contracts that the dog must always be returned back to them should you not be able to care for it, ect.

    It is not your place to judge anyways. You have no idea what people have gone through in their lives. The dogs they have loved and lost. The heartbreak. I once was an ‘adopt don’t shop’ girl but my heart can no longer pay for other people’s indiscretion in breeding.

  16. For those who say breeders are so unethical, how do you think dogs should be produced? By surprise where the puppies will be even more likely to end up in a shelter? My breeder gave me a contract I had to sign that said I will get my dog neutered by a year and if I ever need to get rid of him I need to let her know first and have it approved. This is her way of preventing my dog and other puppies to end up in shelters. It’s not the reputable breeders that are at fault it is the ones who get a dog they are unwilling to make a commitment for. The people who use them for fights. The puppy mills. The people people who are too irresponsible to spay or neuter their dog.

    1. Those that say breeders are unethical are absolutely ignorant, and any debates with them is a waste of time.

      Your post is excellent by the way and all your points are spot on. Kudos.

  17. Puppy mills are not real breeders

    Whelp I WAS for adopting but if adopting means turning into someone like YOU then I will only BUY dogs

  18. quote”So isn’t adopting basically just supporting backyard breeders and irresponsible pet owners rather then good reputable breeder(who take their dogs back if an owner can’t keep). If people only bought from good reputable breeders then there would eventually the problem with dogs in shelters would resolve.”

    Good point Celia.

  19. Go right ahead and judge me. I’ve had rescues, I’ve bought dogs. I’ve also rescued cats and rabbits.

    Think whatever the heck and hades you want about me. The last TWO rescues of adult animals were literally a DISASTER.

    Unless it’s a puppy (and even that is questionable, if you ask me, but it really depends on the situation) I will NEVER rescue another dog.

    I have also spent years looking for a specific breed. And I also don’t care what you think about THAT. Dogs were bred BY HUMANS for certain reasons. Now suddenly we’re terrible for WANTING them for certain reasons? Please…

    I’ve been turned down by breed rescues for working. I’ve been turned down for being too far away. I’ve been turned down for not having a fenced in yard.

    So to the person who said people who buy are the problem…think again. If you REALLY wanted to save animals, let’s talk about ways to encourage people to spay and neuter. Let’s talk about making adoption of dogs a smidge easier (and NO I am not suggesting we give them to just anyone. But seriously…some dogs do not need a fenced in yard and some dogs are quite happy in apartments and some are perfectly content for 8 hours a day while their owners work). Let’s talk about finding animals a GOOD home, not a PERFECT home. Let’s talk about educating dog owners so that fewer are abandoned.

    The fact is I didn’t cause the animals in the shelter to be put there. Irresponsible people who didn’t take care of their animals are the reason they are there. Cruel people who hurt animals are the reason they are there.

    I am a dog owner who buys from responsible breeders. I take my dogs to the vet. I spay and neuter them, I get them vet treatment when necessary. And since I buy from responsible breeders who health test their animals, my dogs are healthy and that’s less often than someone who gets one somewhere else. That means I can afford the care, which means I don’t dump them at shelters. My dogs are loved and cared for.

    I am not the problem. The problem of overpopulation is a multifaceted problem that must have a multifaceted solution.

    But go ahead and be quick to judge. I’ll be just fine sitting here with my wonderful companion animals bred by an amazing breeder who RARELY makes a CENT off her dogs. And anything she DOES make usually goes to bettering her facilities.

    You go right ahead.

  20. Jean Marie Ragus

    All of my dogs have been adopted. My heart goes out to the older dogs who are less likely to be adopted. I’m from California and have a particular affinity for Beagles. My last Beagle I flew to Oklahoma City to adopt. The rescue organization had a thorough investigation of me as a pet owner, called my vet to be clear about the kind of pet owner that I would be. They sent a random person by my property to make sure that I had a fenced yard. I had both Beagles up to the age of 18, 3 years over the national average. This time around I may buy a puppy since I never had this experience, but I will also adopt another one allso,

  21. Dog is my co-pilot

    I currently have two rescue dogs and have had ten others in my lifetime. Last spring I adopted a puppy from a rescue. The dog had severe genetic issues that could not be treated and I had to euthanize him seven months later. We were devastated. So now I am purchasing a puppy from a breeder to lessen the risk of genetic issues. This breeder produces one litter a year and is highly regarded by several people whom I trust. I feel zero shame or guilt for my decisions. I have rescued dogs with severe behavioral issues and expensive health conditions (against the advise of my vet btw) and they all lived long happy lives with me. You want to judge me? Go right ahead. I’m not losing any sleep over it. Just as you probably wouldn’t lose sleep over me judging you for having children, eating meat and not serving in the military. Oh and I also judge people who don’t pay off their credit card balances every month.

  22. So isn’t adopting basically just supporting backyard breeders and irresponsible pet owners rather then good reputable breeder(who take their dogs back if an owner can’t keep). If people only bought from good reputable breeders then there would eventually the problem with dogs in shelters would resolve.

  23. So, when you “adopt” you just walk in the door and take the first dog you see, right? No questions asked. Or do you walk around, meet the dogs, and choose one you like…other wise known as SHOPPING?
    You’re buying a dog just like anyone else. Get over yourself.

  24. Bravo!!! Anyone who chooses to purchase a dog from a breeder when so many wonderful animals are suffering behind cages and dying in shelters every day across the world deserves to be vilified and scorned. It’s absolutely immoral. Drive across the state if you have to- it’s worth saving a life.

  25. I judge people who choose to reproduce their own offspring when the world is already so full of orphaned children.
    For every one of your own children you bring in to the world, you are personally responsible for one more child growing up without a family.

  26. No. Humans, like other animals, are “wired” to want to have sex, which leads to pregnancy, which prevents the species from dying out. “Maternal desire” is merely a societal expectation for all women, and since females are trained from a very early age to “be maternal” (with toy dolls, etc.), they think this is something “genetic,” something that they’ve always wanted, and many never bother to question it.
    Women have reproductive options today, so sure, pregnancy can be an accident, but giving birth is never an accident. Therefore, bringing either a child or a pet into your life is a conscious decision. Bringing a new human into this world just because it shares your own genes when there are already plenty of children that need homes is absolutely similar to the decision to buy a dog for its breed versus rescuing one.

  27. Please stop with this argument; it’s a logical fallacy. Women are genetically wired to (most of the time) want to mother their own children. Our species would not have survived without this strong maternal desire. The decision to carry or adopt a child is not equivalent to the decision to rescue or buy a dog. Furthermore, pregnancy does occasionally happen by accident, whereas adding a pet to the family is a conscious decision. Please consider the irrelevancy of this argument before using it again.

    1. Don’t forget the other half of the population

      You fail to mention males, who face different issues than females. For them, the decision to have biological child/adopt a child is more closer to getting a dog from a breeder/shelter, than it is for females.

  28. I’m with the woman who asks if your children are adopted. If they aren’t then YOU are the cruel, cold hearted person who puts animals above human beings.

  29. This kind of makes me laugh. Judge away. We have 2 rescue dogs and a beautiful corgi that I picked out after I met both the sire and dam at the breeder’s home. We have a rescue kitty from the local shelter and 2 black kitties we rescued from a sanctuary in Mexico. Love them all. You do you; I’ll do me.

  30. Jeanne Vanderhoff

    I wonder if the author is aware that, by condemning breeders, she is effectively advocating for the elimination of all purebred dogs within about 20 years. Personally, I love the amazing diversity of dog breeds. I appreciate the fact that different breeds excel at different things, from herding sheep, to aiding a disabled person, to finding an avalanche victim. I love that people can exercise their freedom to select a dog breed that is known to possess the qualities that will fit with that person’s family, living situation, budget, and personality. How sad it will be if breeders give up and, in a very short time, we no longer have beautiful, diverse breeds like Collies, Huskies, Corgis, Dalmatians, etc. What a loss! And, yes, I judge the author for pushing us in that direction!

  31. There is absolutely nothing wrong with judging someone for performing a morally reprehensible act. In fact, you *must* judge people based on their behavior.

    This is not at all the same as judging someone based on how much money they have, how pretty or skinny they are or how arbitrarily attractive you think they are. These have nothing to do with a person’s character. However, taking part in the immensely cruel, life-and-death, profit-driven industry of pet breeding is exactly the type of behavior that shows a person true character (or lack thereof).

    Judgement based on behavior is how our species determines right from wrong. Buying a pet for whatever selfish reason a person comes up with (my spoiled child really wants this; this one is cuter; I swear I’ve spent some time looking at shelters and haven’t found *exactly* what I want yet so it’s really not my fault; etc) while knowing you are condemning an innocent shelter animal to death is *exactly* the reprehensible behavior for which you *should* be harshly judged.

    If you are offended that you are being judged then you clearly see something wrong with your behavior. If you weren’t ashamed of what you are doing this judgement wouldn’t bother you in the slightest. Use that shame to learn, change, grow & of course never, ever, ever, ever, ever breed or buy while homeless animals die.

  32. Changed my mind today

    Wow, this thread was a rollercoaster. I’ve always been partial to shelter dogs, for much of the same reasons listed here – there’s so many nice homeless dogs, why make more when some are already needy – but then, I used to feel the same way about people having their own children rather than adopting someone else’s. Needless to say, I’ve done a complete 180 on the latter, but hadn’t really thought much about the former in years.

    After reading the hate, vitriol, and frankly obscenely poor understanding of the longer term consequences of what they advocate, I have to say I’ve changed my mind. I will definitely be purchasing dogs exclusively from a breeder in the future. Diminishing the market for healthy dogs bred deliberately in order to subsidize “rescue” operations that thrive on unhealthy dogs bred indiscriminately is something I can no longer ethically support.

    Anti-breeders, you accuse others of being short-sighted, but you need to truly think about the long term effects of the position you’re advocating. If you want to permanently reduce suffering across the entire species, we MUST breed them for better health, and above all, better temperament. Many, many dogs are abandoned at shelters because of temperamental problems, and these same problems are a huge barrier to find them homes. Additionally, the “There are no guarantees (about health)” argument makes zero sense. Not all purebred puppies are disease-free, therefore we shouldn’t bother breeding for greater health! Let’s rephrase that about human children. Not smoking during pregnancy won’t guarantee my child is born without lung problems – therefore I shouldn’t bother quitting! Just because something isn’t 100% guaranteed is no reason not to try. If you care about the well-being of the next generation, you should put some effort into trying to better their conditions.

  33. I volunteered at an animal shelter but bought my dog from a breeder. My dog is a Cavalier, and this breed is usually not available in shelters. I don’t believe this makes me a bad person, and I wouldn’t change a thing because my dog is a great companion and in good health. Responsible breeders keep certain breeds from dying out, and buying from a breeder is definitely better than from a pet shop.

  34. This is what you don’t see, you don’t see why someone like me at this moment cant adopt a shelter dog. Little background- at 16 my mother told me we could get a puppy. She took me to a pet store (big no, no!) now that i realize where most of these puppies come from but he was bought and i couldn’t change anything. Live&Learn. 6 years later i bought my husband a dog from a responsible breeder who has loads of information on her lines and has even worked with wolfs on their behaviors/nutrition/etc. She even wants them back at any age if someone can’t take care of them anymore. Anywho. . . Threw out those years my pet store dog had kennel cough (right when we brought him home), worms ( again right when he brought him home), heart murmor, phenomia, a skin infection that wouldnt heal without special soap(and always came back), a tumor on his lumber spine, in his golden years an open wound infection that wouldn’t heal because he torn his acl. Talk about roller coaster of emotions from worrie, sadness, heart break, panic. . .That dog was the last of my childhood, my pride, my joy, my responsibility and we had to put him down at age 12. He was on medication perminatly for 3 years and spent thousands just to make sure he wasn’t in pain and lived a happy life (and he did). My whole point is that right now i can’t go threw that again. I can’t purchase a dog that i have no medical history on. I can’t go threw the heart ache of what he went threw from very poor breeding. I tried my best and he outlived his 4 month death sentance and gave us 3 more precious years. I’m not under a rock and know very well that you can’t control what health problem will pop up with any human or animal but i do know that when we purchase our future puppy from our breeder, he’s got a good chance of being healthy from careful breeding. Please be open minded to other peoples choices and emotions. I can’t say that ill never adopt a shelter dog but i know for me personally i can’t do it right now.

  35. And this is exactly why I will NOT go to an Animal Rescue! The people who support them are admittedly the most hateful, judgemental people. If there was a kind bone in their body towards humans, if they had any redeeming social qualities, I could deal with them. But it’s just “take ours only or incur our wrath”. Well, frankly, your “wrath” is creating more homeless animals. It’s not them…it’s YOU!
    Start respecting others who don’t have your opinion. You don’t have to agree, but the senseless hatred makes every normal person want to stay away from you and your animals.

  36. To all those people supporting breeders, I encourage you to watch Earthlings. Have you ever seen or heard of dog gas chambers?, if not, do your own research, it’s too painful for me to explain it. Do you think it’s ok to euthanize all the shelter dogs because nobody adopted them and they don’t have any more space for them?.

    What do you think would happen if all the breeders where shut down and people only had the option of adopting, well first, there would be way less dogs that would have to die because of human selfishness and ignorance. Two: people would start shifting their perception of dogs, they are not in this world to “fit your lifestyle” and to “make you feel better if you’re depressed”, they’re here to coexist with us and that can be a hard thing sometimes.

    Like humans, some dogs also have complicated personalities, special needs and neurological disorders. If you adopted a kid that turned out to have a mental disorder and made your life much harder, would you return it to an orphanage?, no, you would adapt and learn from this and give this kid the best life possible, why can’t the same be done with dogs?.

    Also, question yourself: what is breeder?. It’s a person that PROFITS from breeding animals in a world that is full of homeless street dogs and homeless shelter dogs that get killed by the millions each year.

    Some breeders even have the guts to say that they do it because they love having puppies around. This to me is pure selfishness, you just want to be “entertained” and “loved”, this is not real love and compassion.

    Real compassion starts with what you put on your plate and into your body, is your belly a morgue or a garden?. What impact do your decisions have in the world?, are you helping control the population or are you contributing to overpopulation?. The moment we step out of our comfort bubble, which is isolated from landfills (which are overfilled due to overpopulation), a lot of this waste also ends up in the bodies of water since there is no more space to house so many living beings generating all this waste multiple times a day.

    It’s up to each person to dig deep in and decide what they want to support and how they decisions impact the world we live in………

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