2.28.2013

If You Insist On Buying From a Breeder...

 Follow-up to my previous post. CLICK HERE to read: Maybe They Just Don't Know...

Today, I'll attempt to explain the differences between different types of breeders... in an effort to reach those who insist on buying their next pet from a breeder. 
Save a life! ADOPT!

But before I go there... let me just say this:

I'm clearly NOT a fan of breeding, in any way. I'm actually very against it. In my personal opinion, it's insanely reckless and irresponsible for anyone to intentionally (or unintentionally) bring even more pets into this world, when MILLIONS of beautiful, deserving, healthy pets are needlessly dying in shelters each year. 

I just can't understand how anyone could disagree with me on that...

Further, I personally believe that EVERYONE who is looking for a new pet should always ADOPT a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group. Or... at the very least, adoption should always be their first consideration (before even thinking about going to a breeder).

But... that being said... I do realize that some people disagree with my personal feelings on this subject... or maybe... they just aren't willing to hear me out. Either way, no matter what I say, those people aren't going to change their opinions or behaviors regarding their pet decisions. Meaning: they're not going to adopt their next (or any) pet from a rescue or shelter; they're going to buy from a breeder. Period.

So... knowing that I'll never convince them otherwise... maybe --at the very least-- I can educate them on the differences amongst breeders, and explain how to identify (what we'll call--for lack of a better term) a "responsible" breeder, versus an "irresponsible" breeder.

Okay, so, if you INSIST on buying a pet from a breeder, please try to make the most "responsible" purchase decision possible. If you don't know how to go about doing that, then READ THIS FIRST:

Here goes...

Within the highly-unregulated breeding industry, there are many different types of breeders. There are "backyard" breeders, "accidental" breeders, puppy millers, "hobby" breeders, etc. 

Since many people classify the smaller, hobby-type breeders as the most "responsible" and/or "reputable" group within this industry, I'll aim to compare and contrast the "irresponsible" breeders (backyard, accidental, puppy millers) against the "hobby/responsible" breeders.

First, let's start with a general overview of the different types of breeders:

Backyard Breeders-  This group represents the vast majority of pet breeders. In short, a backyard breeder a person who intentionally breeds their animals in order to produce offspring, which can later be sold for profit. The backyard breeder may have one or more motives for their breeding decisions, such as: generating a profit, making their "money back" from their initial purebred dog purchase(s), allowing their children to experience the "miracle of birth," etc. However, this person often has little --if any-- understanding or concern for aspects such as breed history, breed standards, genetics, and so on. When it comes to backyard breeders, breeding ethics are poor at best, often engaging in dangerous practices such as inbreeding, over-breeding, breeding genetic defects, etc. In addition, living conditions for the breeder dogs and offspring may be substandard (or even deplorable), and the health of the animals isn't always a priority, which leads to many current and future medical issues. Further, these types of breeders tend to have little consideration for the long-term welfare of the purchased offspring. Meaning: the puppies/kittens are sold to anyone who can pay the asking price, with no screening of new homes, no refusal of sale to unsuitable candidates, no contracts, no follow-ups after the sale, etc. (often resulting in irresponsible pet ownership, animal neglect, and animal cruelty). Backyard breeders often advertise "puppies for sale" in newspasper classifieds, online ads and/or websites. Or... you can see them selling puppies on the side of the road, in Walmart parking lots, and so forth. They may also sell to pet shops. In general, backyard breeders tend to be smaller-in-scale than puppy mills, but equally as unethical in their practices. 

"Accidental" Breeders- An "accidental" breeder is a person who doesn't attempt to prevent unplanned pet pregnancies through spay/neuter. Thus, their unaltered (meaning un-spayed or un-neutered) pet inevitably becomes pregnant, or impregates another dog/cat, resulting in unwanted offspring... which are often dumped in animal shelters, sold, or given-away "free to a good home." While this form of breeding may be classified as "accidental," it's fully preventable through spay/neuter. Plus, it's every-bit as irresponsible as intentional breeding. SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS!!!

Puppy millers- A puppy mill is a large-scale breeding operation, with a primary focus on profitability over animal welfare. Puppy millers will often house hundreds of dogs in horrific conditions, by utilizing tiny, overcrowded crates, stacked one on top of the other... in order to get the maximum use out of the limited, inadequate space that's available for housing of pets. For the puppy miller, the value of the animals lies in the profitability that can be generated from the offspring... instead of in the value of each precious life itself. Meaning: these are not "lives" to them; they're "products." Therefore, puppy millers focus on producing as many offspring as possible, from as many breeds as possible, as often as possible, to make as much money as possible. The true welfare of the animals is of little importance to the puppy miller, because it's all about the numbers, and the money. As a result, these dogs are subjected to insane-levels of neglect and cruelty, receiving inadequate food, water, space to live, socialization, and vet care. This leads to immense physical and emotional suffering for these dogs, in the short-term, and long after. 

"Hobby/Responsible" Breeders- "Hobby/responsible" breeders represent a very small portion of the breeding industry. A "hobby/responsible" breeder is a person who breeds a particular breed of dog, due to their love of that specific breed. This breeder is focused on the animals and their well-being, instead of on the potential revenue that can be generated from those animals. A "responsible" breeder is knowledgeable about the breed, genetics, animal health, etc, and they strive to be ethical in their breeding practices (only breeding dogs that meet the breed standard, limited number of breedings, genetic testing, etc.). Animals and their offspring are housed in sanitary, adequate living conditions, with exercise, socialization, and comprehensive vet care being provided. Further, a "responsible" breeder will screen potential buyers to ensure the quality of homes, refusing to sell to unsuitable candidates. Lastly, some breeders within this group will attempt to work with reputable rescues/shelters, in order to find homes for some of the remaining offspring. Again... this group is the MINORITY; very few breeders actually qualify for the "responsible" category. (PS- Many irresponsible breeders will use descriptions like "small, hobby breeder" in their ads, in an attempt to fool you. Most "hobby" breeders don't actually use the term "hobby" to describe themselves.)

Okay... now that you have a general understanding of the different types of breeders, let's talk a little more about that "irresponsible" group of breeders... and why you should NEVER purchase a pet from them.

Irresponsible breeding operations utilize unethical, inhumane, and illegal practices. For starters, an irresponsible breeder will likely have several different breeds available for sale (This is a RED FLAG: they clearly have too many animals to properly care for each). In addition, many of these breeders "market" the majority of their animals as "purebred." However, this often means inbred. In other words, the breeding of those who are closely genetically related. Inbreeding and over-breeding (excessive breeding of the same female) lead to a massive list of genetic defects and medical problems for the offspring.

Further, irresponsible breeders often house their animals in horrific conditions... forced to live in tiny, over-crowded cages, or small outdoor kennels with insufficient space, bedding, and shelter. Animals often receive inadequate food, water, space to thrive, socialization, and vet care. This causes immense physical and psychological issues for both the breeder dogs, and their offspring (thus, the puppies/kittens they sell to you). 

You may wonder: Why would any breeder do such a thing?
As I've said, when it comes to irresponsible breeders, the value of their animals lies in the profit generated by the offspring... not in the welfare of the animals. Producing more offspring... means making more profit.

BUT... producing more offspring also means having an increased number of animals in their care... each needing food, water, medical attention, etc. In addition, having more animals in their care also requires more SPACE to house those animals. At least... it should...

Yet... it costs money to provide adequate space, staffing, food, and so on to care for the very-large number of animals they're breeding and housing. Therefore, many irresponsible breeders cut their costs by stacking crates, crowding cages, and limiting food, water, vet care, and the number of caregivers. Cages are rarely cleaned, which forces the dogs to live in massive piles of urine and feces.

Due to the poor living conditions, most buyers are never allowed to view the kennel areas where the irresponsible breeder keeps their dogs (RED FLAG). Sure... that breeder will meet you somewhere else, or take you to their "showing area," or sell their dogs to you on the side of the road, but they'll rarely let you see the reality of their operation... because it's heartbreaking, inhumane, and illegal.

Okay... so WHY should this matter to YOU? 
Well, if you plan to purchase from a breeder, then you MUST do so "responsibly." Here's why:

1) When you purchase from backyard breeders and puppy millers, you provide them with the monetary incentive and support they need to continue their operations. Therefore, you directly contribute to the neglect and cruelty forced upon hundreds of other existing and future puppy mill dogs, as well as the deaths of millions of shelter dogs. While you may feel like you "saved" this particular dog from the breeder/puppy mill... you've actually just ensured that many, many more like him/her will be born into that same horrific environment. While I'm not saying that was the intention of your decision, I AM saying it was the outcome of your decision. 

Let me explain. While I hate to discuss animals like they're products, it's the only way I can describe how the mind of an irresponsible breeder works. So, you must look at your purchase decision in terms of demand and supply. If you cut the demand for the irresponsible breeder's offspring (Meaning: you --and others-- don't buy from them), then there will be no profit incentive for that breeder to continue breeding. Thus, they'll cut the supply (number of breeder dogs/offspring). Eventually, with a goal of profit and no resulting revenue, they'll stop breeding altogether. 

Even if it doesn't seem like your individual purchase matters... IT DOES! Because they'll NEVER stop breeding... if YOU keep buying from them. Trust me on that. 

2) If you're looking to pay a premium price for what you consider a "premium" dog, then you should never, ever, EVER purchase from an irresponsible breeder. Irresponsible breeding practices lead to a massive list of ongoing, lifelong health problems for the offspring, which means insanely-high vet bills for you, and an extremely poor quality of life for your dog (and likely, a shorter lifespan). In truth, these "premium" dogs are actually the lowest-quality dogs you could find (in terms of health). Further, due to the emotional stress these dogs are forced to endure during their time with the irresponsible breeder, the dog will likely exhibit some extreme mental and behavioral issues, even after you bring them into your loving home. Some of these issues will take years of training and positive reinforcement to correct; some issues may last a lifetime... 

Obviously, there's so much more to this issue... more than I'd ever have time to write about here. But here are the main points I hope to get across:

-Adoption is a life-saving decision, and it should always be the first (and hopefully-- ONLY!) consideration when looking for a new family pet. 

-If you INSIST on buying a pet from a breeder, PLEASE do so "responsibly." Meaning: do your research on the individual breeder, ask questions, and make sure you SEE things for yourself. Don't just take their word for it! 

-A "responsible" breeder will also have important questions for YOU (requirements may include an application, interview, home visit, vet references, contract, spay/neuter, etc.), which is a critical distinction. 
Therefore, if a breeder has nothing to say to you, other than: "I'll take your money; here's the dog" ... then, that person is an irresponsible breeder. DO NOT purchase from them! 
If they won't let you view the living conditions of the puppies, see the parents, etc., DO NOT purchase from them! If any of their dogs look unhealthy, DO NOT purchase from them! If they have many different breeds available for sale, DO NOT purchase from them!

-PLEASE DO NOT support irresponsible breeders by paying them money to continue their cruelty!

-Lastly, if you run across someone you believe to be an irresponsible breeder, please report them to Animal Control, the local police, or another animal welfare agency. Please.

And above all else, if and when you do bring a new pet into your home, PLEASE be a responsible pet guardian... by loving, caring, and providing for that pet for his or her entire life, no matter what.

33 comments:

  1. Very well written blog Ashley. I have purchased from the last group of breeders before...I have a passion for a certain breed, but the fact that the pup was registered was the least of my goals. I spay and neuter everything with fur and 4 paws crossing my doorstep. Many "hobby breeders" will only sell with a spay and neuter clause in their contracts, meaning that the buyer MUST spay or neuter, and that the seller retains part ownership of any puppy he or she sells until after proof of altering is provided. Most additionally will take back any animal they sell, at any time in its life, if the owner cant keep it for any reason. They feel personally responsible for all progeny they cause to be brought into this world. Those are the only ones Ill ever deal with.

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  2. I must admit, I was an accidental breeder. My baby girl got out and got impregnated, then after failing to find homes for them, and with an impatient landlord breathing down my neck, I decided to follow my family's advice and just "get rid of them" (a phrase I now abhor). Then I found this blog, and a myriad of other rescue blogs, and realized what a terrible mistake I had made. I visited my babies every week at the shelter, refusing to let them down, and luckily, ever single yellow fuzzball found a home. But those visits to the shelter affected me, changed me, enlightened me. What I did-or didn't do, really-was a terrible thing. I should not have brought a dog into my life if I wasn't going to properly take care of her, and for that I apologize. Not only to Baby Girl and her pups, but to every other homeless dog out there, the product of people like me. But not only do I apologize, but I join in the fight for your lives! I am a reformed accidental breeder, I am a new animal rescuer, and I will not stop until there is a no kill USA! Thank you Ashley, for every thing that you do to help animals, educate and inspire other people, and especially for enlightening little old me. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

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  3. Accidental breeder......no one is born knowing it all. Ill never forget the time when I was younger, a new cat owner, and I confided in a receptionist at my vets office, that I wanted to breed cats. I received my education that day. I didnt know til later about back yard breeders and puppy mills, but through association with the right people on online forums and message boards, I learned about them as well. Then I enrolled my dog in an obedience class and I learned that dogs are smart and people are not always so smart, and my education has proceeded from there. You can be forgiven for a onetime mistake. The salient point is that you learned. If you can learn, then so can "they", if only they want to.

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  4. oh my goodness. the anonymous poster who removed her post... we know who you are *cough cough brenda** you are so lame. you do more damage to animals all over than any other. why? because you make ignorant posts, act like you are all about rescue, but when you do "rescue" and you don't get your proper response, you return the poor creature to the previous location of hell because you can't be bothered. you now are promoting "responsible breeding"? really. have you ever actually stepped foot inside a shelter? have you actually every seen the eyes of a dog or cat being euthanized because there was no more room, because they were brought into the world because of callous uncaring humans. you are a joke. step away from rescue brenda

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  6. Well "anonymous"...you know who I am but I dont have the pleasure of knowing you. Ok...gloves off then? There is no hard and fast answer to the problem of pet over population, and you know that. We could euthanize the bumper crop of ignorant backyard breeders but thats illegal in this country. When you demonize ALL breeders, knowing that the scum of the earth will continue what they are doing, if quality breeders stop breeding, then what we have left are inferior quality animals....we are left with whats left over. Yes, its possible that one might get lucky and find a labrador or german shepherd who doesnt become crippled with hip dysplasia or cancer or whatever myriad of genetic diseases they are prone to, but it is more likely that all that will be left are animals who are genetically inferior because the only people left to produce puppies are the very ones who dont read this blog. That is not to say that there are not some very lovely and sweet dogs in bad situations, but you cant look at the outside of an animal and know what genetics are inside. You are biting the ankles of people who strive to improve the breeds. In demonizing breeders, do you also go after organizations who provide service animals? The Seeing Eye has its own breeding program. Are they bad too? How about other working dogs....is it wrong to attempt to preserve certain proven lines, or does one simply contact you for a dog who can do the job? I am not anti rescue....I believe in it with all my heart and soul. I AM against pointing the finger at anyone who ever brought an animal into this world and accusing them of being THE problem. Instead of flaming me, why not direct that emotion towards convincing the ole boy network and changing the laws in this godforsaken state and finally do something about the lack of civilized animal protection laws. Im only one person and Im spitting in the ocean here in Newton but, I assure you, that the animals we have HERE in rescue and shelters are not here because of the breeders that I espouse. If you want me to walk away from rescue, then here is my resignation, but come and get this abandoned puppy I picked up two weeks ago, and, next time I get a phone call about an animal in a bad situation, Ill just call you and let you handle it. Im sure you'll get right on it.

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    1. Brenda,
      I realize that you weren't speaking to me directly with your comment, but I'm going to respond anyway.

      It seems you're missing the point of both of my recent blog posts. I'm not saying that breeders are the ONLY problem... but they are very-much contributing to the problem, in a big way. I'd never blame the problem on one group (breeders, the public, shelters). Instead, I think EVERYONE should accept their role, especially the breeders ("irresponsible" or otherwise).

      Also, I'm super offended that you continue to say things like: "then what we have left are inferior quality animals." Brenda, that's NOT an okay statement! What you're implying is that ONLY the dogs that come from these "quality breeders" (as you call them) are dogs of quality. The rest are clearly "less than" in your mind? By saying that, you're reinforcing the inaccurate public perception that dogs in shelters/rescues etc are not as WORTHY or "quality" as "purebred" dogs. I'm NOT okay with you saying that, because it's so-far from true. You should know better!!!

      Further, are you aware that many dog training programs (you mentioned seeing eye dogs) are actually extremely successful in their use of rescue dogs (mixes and otherwise), and many are using rescue dogs now for these very purposes. They're able to train these dogs to do THE SAME tasks as the purebred dogs you mentioned. Dogs are insanely smart, trainable creatures. A "quality" purebred dog (as you call them) is NOT the only dog that can be trained as a service dog, police dog, etc. That's just ridiculous, and untrue.

      Again, as I said to you on fb, you're missing the point of my posts, because you're only focusing on the "I need to defend the breeders" aspect, instead of the core message. Since you live in the state of MS and know the reality of rescue, I'm confused on why you continue to seemingly "push" breeders and their practices, instead of throwing your support into the "adopt" message. I've seen you on pet buy, sell, trade pages promoting breeders. I've seen you looking for purebred breeder dogs on these pages. All the while, you say you have too many dogs and can't afford to care for them. It's just confusing, as a whole, and I think that was the point the previous commenter made. It's frustrating for the rest of us who rescue in Mississippi, when someone is asking for our help with rescue, etc., but then that same person is pushing a "pro breeder" message, and coming onto rescue blogs to argue/support those breeders, INSTEAD of rallying behind the ADOPT message. I'm sure you can understand the frustration on our parts, hearing this from you.

      Especially for me, because I put a lot of time and energy into writing (what I hoped to be) informative, heartfelt blog posts on this topic, and yet, you continue to come here in an attempt to undermine my efforts and discard my important message. While I'm always open to feedback, your's seems to be even-more one-sided than you claim I'm being with my writing. You don't have to fully agree with me, or even agree with me at all... but if you're a "rescuer," then please don't try to undermine another rescuer's efforts.

      Again, if you really read what I wrote, I didn't simply "lay this problem at the feet of breeders." I said they DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTE to this heartbreaking problem, and they DO. When you're talking about an OVER-POPULATION, then common sense will tell you that the people who are ADDING to that population with even more births are CLEARLY CONTRIBUTING to the excess in population. I'm not saying they're the only factor, but they're certainly a contributor. A big one.

      And as a "rescuer," I thought you'd have realized that by now.
      -Ash

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    2. One more thing...

      The purpose of this post was to educate the BUYERS (those who insist on buying from a breeder). Clearly I don't expect any breeder to read or listen to what I have to say, which is why I spoke to THE BUYER. My attempts to educate the potential buyer would actually help all of those "responsible breeder friends" you say you have, because if people know what to look for in a breeder, then they'll know to buy from your "responsible friends," and not the irresponsible group. So, wouldn't my post somewhat help your friends? (even though that's really not my goal).

      Again... as I said, I'm hoping to --at the very least-- stop people from making purchases from irresponsible breeders, which would positively impact the pet overpopulation (I said all of this in my post. Read it again.)

      Soooo... why would you continue saying: "If all the quality breeders stop breeding..." blah blah. Did you read what I wrote??? I said if people stop buying from these backyard breeders, puppy millers, etc... then those breeders will stop breeding. How exactly does that force your "responsible breeder friends" to stop breeding? Again... you're missing the point.

      Lastly, the "responsible" breeder category is so insanely small... very few people qualify. But by you coming here and ranting and raving... it sends the message to buyers that there are many "responsible" breeders to choose from. There AREN'T. So, instead of you feeling the need to defend these very few people, why can't you realize that I'm focusing on the other 90+% of breeders, and leave it alone. If your friends aren't doing anything wrong, then just let them keep doing what they're doing, or let them defend themselves.
      But I didn't write this blog "for" them. I wrote it to educate the buyer. I don't expect breeders to read anything I write, and that's just fine with me.

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    3. I am going to through my two cents in. Dog Tracks-your "inferior quality animals" REALLY pisses me off. How dare you say that any animal that is not a quality pure breed is "inferior". I would love to take a look at your blood lines and bash you for the inferior quality humans we are left with.

      My dogs may not have Championship plaques on the wall, but I will guarantee they are just as loved, just as spoiled and just as smart as all those pure breed dogs all your friends are breeding.

      Like Ashley pointed out, you must have missed all the service agencies, law enforcement etc who are turning to shelter dogs to perform the same task as those high dollar pure breed dogs are!

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  7. :::head:::desk:::head:::desk::: I give up. When one is so busy talking, its hard for one to listen. As the anonymous anonymous poster demanded, Im done with this, but going forward, Ill direct calls to you Ashley, and to your cronies, friends, and cohorts, to deal with the mess here. I know I can count on you since you all have THE answer. My only question is that, as you know all the answers, why is there still the problem of pet overpopulation? Ohhhh....thats right...because of my friends the good breeders.

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    1. Brenda,
      Just because others disagreed with you or were offended by what you said, that doesn't make those people my "cronies," so I don't appreciate you saying that. Other people can think for themselves, and guess what? Just like you don't agree with me... some people don't agree with you. That's just life. It has nothing to do with me.

      Further, if you're willing to throw-up your hands and be done with rescue... simply because someone disagreed with you, then that's your choice... but it definitely isn't MY fault that you made that decision... and it definitely isn't MY responsibility to take care of whatever things you're no longer willing to do ("I'll direct my calls to you Ashley, to deal with this mess here.") I'm already doing everything I can. If you don't want to do your part, fine by me. But that's on you... NOT on me. Don't blame me or anyone else for your choices, and don't play the victim, please.

      Lastly, please don't blame others for not listening to you, when you've proven here (and elsewhere) that you're unwilling to do just that. If you'd actually read anything I've written, then you would've heard me say (over and over again) that I don't blame any one group for the problem. You would also know that I've never claimed to have THE answer. Therefore, you really shouldn't attempt to put ridiculous words in my mouth. When you keep twisting the things I've said... to the point where they've totally lost their meaning, then it only proves that you're just looking to argue for the sake of arguing, instead of focusing your energy on the animals and working toward actual solutions.
      -Ash

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  8. Ashley, thank you for pointing out to the people who see this the difference in breeders. They need to know that all breeders are not the same, however adoption is still the best way to go, I believe. You can find just as many pure bred pups in TRUE RESCUES LIKE YOURS, and shelters. The only difference is they will not have that little piece of AKC. CKC, or whatever paper they so desire and that paper is not worth near as much as the love from a pup that has been rescued.

    Brenda, I am hoping this lets me post under my name but just in case it doesn't, this is Glorya from Philadelphia.. INFERIOR DOGS? Get real. Wake up and listen for a change. There is no such thing as an inferior dog, cat, squirrel, or any other animal. Am I INFERIOR because I have diabetes, coronary artery disease, along with all the other problems I have? YES, the dogs that are bread by backyard breeders do have many problems but a lot of those problem are from overbreeding and from not giving the proper care to them or the parents.

    People who claim to RESCUE do not buy dogs just to have them, they only BUY a dog when that is the only way they can save them. Everyone of us need to pull together to ave all the ones that truly need help instead of trying to turn things around to make ourselves look good or to just be mouthing off. I have also seen you on the BST sites on Facebook trying to buy certain breeds, Brenda. That's why you are no longer an admin on MPNL.

    Yes, this STATE needs to change some of their laws regarding animals of all kind but states up NORTH also have some of the exact same problems we have. Yes, we need laws to stop the selling of pups online, at flea markets and in parking lots. Yes, we need to make sure all our animals are spayed and neutered or that there are precautions taken for no accidental pregnancies. Backyard breeding needs to be stopped.

    Ashley does all she can do to educate through her blog here and make people understand. The main focus for everyone should be try to adopt the breed you are looking for through a RESCUE or shelter first. You can find the exact same breed you want to buy if you look long enough.

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  10. My hunch is that at least half of the backyard breeders don't report and pay income tax on the profits they make. Those profits aren't trivial... $100,000 per year isn't out of the realm of possibility. That's merely 5 dogs sold per week @ $500 each for 50 weeks which brings in $125,000. Subtract about $25,000 for expenses like dog food, vaccinations and occasional vet bill when problems arise and you're left with $100,000.

    Many of these people don't recognize that they may be endangering themselves. Many require customers to pay with cash because they don't want to deposit checks in a bank account which would create a paper trail for an IRS auditor to use as evidence of their unreported income.

    Any one of the strangers who come over to the backyard breeders house might recognize that the breeder probably has several thousand dollars in the house, especially on weekends when most puppies are sold. A really bad person might decide to rob the breeder at gunpoint.

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  20. This post is awesome! And I am totally sharing it. As the owner of a purebred, a BYB baby who was a hand me down, and a puppy mill rescue I completely support rescue and responsible breeders. I do not support BYBs or puppy mills. those industries need to end period. There is no excuse for the government that allows this to continue with thousands of dying and homeless animals.

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  22. Ashley, I really agree with you here. There is a crisis of pet overpopulation in this country, and anyone who purchases a dog from a breeder is, simply stated, doing nothing to help the situation, when in fact they could be doing something. I feel almost like it's a moral question.

    I once asked the question on our company facebook page: why would you go to a breeder for your pet? And a woman answered frankly: because I love poodles, and I can't get them from the shelter. And I thought, fair enough. (Although I know there are breed-specific rescues).

    But it nagged me all day, until I thought about her reasoning some more. Really? You have to have a poodle? Are they so much different than other dogs? Do they think differently, see the world differently, love you more? Or are we just talking about what's on the outside of a dog? And is that so important, when you get down to it?

    I don't wish for businesses to go out of business. But I do think that bringing more pets into the world, deliberately, is wrong.

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  25. I think where you get your dog should epend on what you want that individual dog for, if you want a show or working quality dog, then yes, go to a hobby breeder, like I did. If you want a dog for any other purpose, go to a shelter or rescue. All but one of my 5 dogs are from shelters, my show quality American Pit Bull Terrier came from a breeder friend of mine, I was on a 6 month waiting list though, and even though I was a good friend, she held no exceptions for me. I still had to submit to a home check, background check, and had to give vet references, just like anybody else, and then, when I went to pick my new dog up, I got a 2 hour history lesson on his lineage and bloodlines. And even though I have raised puppies before, I got a packet on basic puppy care. It was bout as rigorous as adopting from a shelter or rescue.

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