Animal Planet's report on puppy mills and Petland

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by judiz, May 19, 2010.

  1. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Animal Planet had a documentary on last night where an undercover investigator from the Humane Society visited puppy mills that sell dogs to the Petland stores. Petland denies buying from these puppy mills and is currently being sued by dog owners whose puppies died or needed thousands of dollars of medical care days after being bought at Petland stores.

    For those unfamiliar with puppy mills, please google puppy mills and see what thousands of innocent animals go through everyday. Please do not support puppy mills by buying dogs (or other animals) from any pet store!
     
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  2. StonewshMullet

    StonewshMullet New Member

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    AMEN. I got my furbaby from Petfinder, bless yourself with the gift of a rescued pet.
     
  3. Amy L

    Amy L Well-Known Member

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    I adopted a rescued puppy mill breeder dog. When she was too old to regularly have puppies, she was literally dumped at the side of a highway. She was emaciated and furless when she was rescued. Until then, she had never walked more a few feet in her entire life, which caused her legs to be deformed. She was traumatized and had severe separation anxiety for over a year, but her terror when she heard thunder never went away. Even though she had a lot of health and psychological problems, she lived with me for ten years. She died over a year ago and I still miss her every day. She was the sweetest and smartest dog I've ever known. I feel so must disgust at whoever it was that had kept her caged and abused for so many years.
     
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  4. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to add. Buying from a reputable breeder is also good. Never, ever buy from a pet store. I don't know of any that don't sell puppy mill dogs. Whenever you buy a dog, as opposed to rescuing one, buy from the breeder. Go to the breeder, see all of the dogs and how they are cared for. I pray for a day when all dogs are bought from reputable breeders and that there are no puppy mill dogs who need rescuing.

    Warning, not easy to watch, heartbreaking:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXHSu01dfMY&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nce-dNjYt5I
     
  5. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    This is actually old news and has been investigated before.

    Most pet stores buy from some sort of puppy mill. The amish are known to be in this business also. Best to get a dog or kitty from a rescue or a ligit breeder.
     
  6. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    It is old news, but it should not be forgotten. PA has really made an effort to create and enforce legislation to stop puppy mill breeding. I don't know how the Amish are still getting away with it. The debarking thing is :(&:angryfire.

    This is such a vicious cycle. Pet stores buy from puppy mills, people buy from pet stores, the dogs are sick, people ditch the dogs, the dogs are rescued, and then people are encouraged to rescue dogs from shelters and not buy from reputable breeders. The problem with this is that it doesn't shut down the offending businesses. I believe, with all my heart, that no dog should be abused or destroyed or suffer preventable illnesses. But in encouraging people not to buy from reputable breeders and only get dogs from shelters, we provide the market for the puppy mills. The puppy mills owners don't care what happens to the dogs once they get paid for them. They don't care if they go to a loving family or wind up on the street. Once they've gotten their money, their done. They know the pet stores are selling them (or destroying them) because the pet stores keep buying more "stock". The dogs that currently need adoption should be adopted, but why aren't officials more diligent with shutting down the puppy mills and sanctioning the pet stores that buy from them? Why are there still so many sick dogs that wind up in rescue? Not saying that there are no dogs that are abandoned, that are purchased from reputable breeders, but at least those dogs start out in better health and do not suffer from terrible illnesses caused by neglect and irresponsible breeding.

    It seems that going after the puppy mills themselves is not getting anywhere. Maybe what they need to do is impose fines and jail time to pet store owners that buy from them. Maybe it should be illegal - PERIOD - for pet stores to sell dogs. Then the puppy mill breeders would have to deal with the public. Then people would see where their dogs were coming from and the conditions they suffer.

    I've owned 3 dogs (as an adult), all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. All from very reputable breeders. Every time I got one, they interviewed me extensively, told me that if for any reason at any time I could not keep the dog, they would take it back and give me my money back. Every time, I went to the breeder, saw the dog's mother, could evaluate her health, saw the conditions at the breeder's home. The dog I have now is 3, when I got him the breeder sent me home with full records on his mother & father, my dog's health and immunization records to that date (he was 10 weeks old), a bag of dog food that she prefers, instructions on how often to feed him (and how to do it correctly - as in don't leave food out all day), how to train him, toys, and printouts of any and every substance that could make him sick.

    Interesting little tid bit: Until about 10 - 15 years ago Cavaliers were not AKC registered. They had their own clubs for showing and breeding, The American CKCSC, the CKCSC (I'm not including the clubs in other countries). Cavalier breeders did not want to join AKC because they feared that they would lose control over breeding, and that the dog would find it's way into puppy mills. After all they are small, sweet, and adorable - quite the "product". Well, the AKC made it impossible for Cavaliers to be shown in any national dog shows, unless they joined the AKC. The CKCSCs finally agreed to join the AKC. Guess what, Cavaliers are now showing up in puppy mills.
     
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Given that puppy mill dogs would last five seconds in an AKC ring, I fail to see how it's their fault except making the breed more popular. And popularity is not an inherently bad thing.

    The most likely victims in puppy mills these days are designer "breeds" like poodle crosses and the rash of chihuahuas and crosses. The worst thing for dogs is the trend to toy breeds and idiot celebs and celebutantes toting the dogs around in kewtsie little bags and giving them clothes and aww, it's just like a doll. That bites, poops, and 90% of which are poorly bred and make lousy pets for the average household. Just because it's little doesn't mean it's a good choice for a family pet or that it can be treated like a toy or a child. Toy breeds are still dogs and need to be trained and handled as such. But as long as there are morons who see a dog in a movie ("Beverly Hills Chihuahua" I'm looking at you, though the original offender was "101 Dalmatians", possibly one of the LEAST city-friendly breeds you can find) or getting stuffed in Paris Hilton's Louis Vuitton and think "I want one!" and are dumb enough to pay $500 to anyone who runs a classified ad or posts to Craigslist, there'll be puppy mills. You go to an AKC or UKC show and performance breeder who actually has comformation, agility, or working/field wins to back it up, and you'll practically get background-checked before they decide you may have a puppy.
     
  8. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That wasn't my point. The point was once they became AKC registered the ACKCSC & the CKCSC lost control over breeding. Unscrupulous breeders got ahold of dogs and bred outside of the Cavalier club rules. They were able to register them with the AKC but not with ACKCSC or CKCSC. So, these registered AKC dogs were not up to the health and conformation standards that the Cavalier clubs formerly controlled. Then these dogs with "papers" got into the puppy mill system.

    Yes, they are breeding everything with poodles now. People want non-shedding dogs, and they don't care what the cross breeding does. Even Cavaliers are being bred with poodles now - they're called Cavapoos. They are cute, but they are simply engineered to be allergy and shed proof. How awful if dog hair got on the floor :eek:! Cavs are perfect as they are. Small but not tiny (though they are at the large spectrum of the toy category) 14 - 20 lbs. They have the personalities of big dogs - you can wrestle with them and not fear breaking them :lol:. They are beyond affectionate - commonly refered to as "love sponges" :lol:.


    I agree. You don't get a pet because it's a fashion statement. You get a pet because you want to share love with an animal. Why are people allowed to sell animals on Craig's List?

    I was almost background checked by the breeder I got my current dog from. My dog's grandma was best in breed opposite sex a few years ago at Westminster. She wanted to know the names of the breeders I got my first two dogs from. When I told her who I got my second dog from, she said "Joy sold you a dog?". I said yes and she said "Well, if Joy sold you a dog you can come and see my puppies". She then checked up on me :lol:. When I went to look at eh puppies, she had me sit on the floor and let some of her older dogs lose in the room with me. To see how they and I would interact. They jumped all over me and curled up in my lap, I guess I passed the test, I got a baby :lol:. My vet tells me that in his next life he wants to come back as my dog :lol:. I adore my dog and I love Cavaliers. Not because they are popular, I've had them for 28 years, long before celebs even knew what they were. I just can't resist those eyes :).
     
  9. wickedwitch

    wickedwitch Well-Known Member

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    A lot of times this is simply a case of someone not being able to take care of their pet and charging a small fee to make sure that only people who are serious about taking care of the pet will respond. That's the advice that's given on the cat forums I'm on.
     
  10. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I was asked if I wanted to use my female Standard Poodle to breed labradoodles by the assistant in my vet's office. I'm quite certain her boss wouldn't have approved. I hate the poodle crosses.

    I don't shop at pet stores. It breaks my heart to see the puppies. I buy my dog food at stores that do not carry pets or a farm supply store. Actually, the farm supply store carries what I want and is cheaper than pet stores.

    Good breeders will require you spay or neuter a pup unless it is show quality. They will always offer a money back return if you cannot keep the dog. That's in part to protect their kennel name and bloodlines. The problem with people who buy from pet stores or backyard breeders is they don't know anything about dogs to begin with or they'd know not to go there. They aren't equipped to deal with a puppy and don't let dogs be dogs. They expect them to be cartoon dogs or humans.
     
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I understand that does happen. And I do sympathize. Hey, I am highly allergic to my dog, if I started getting really sick, I would probably have to give him up. Though I'd have to be seriously ill. I take Zyrtec and sneeze a lot. It would be a valid reason to not be able to keep a dog, but he'd go to either the breeder (and I would not let her pay me back for him - he has given me so much) or he'd go to a family member or trusted friend. Of course the likely hood of me giving up my fur baby is about the same as my walking to the moon.

    But, I don't think people should be able to sell animals on the internet. That is a very good reason why buying from a reputable breeder is best. If you can't care for your pet, you bring it back to them and they will place them in a good home. They also have breed specific rescues. For instance, when a breeder stops breeding or for some reason cannot take the dog back, if you go to the breed web site, they give you a phone number to call for that breed's rescue/adoption resources. The rescue adoption for Cavaliers almost always has a waiting list. Because people know that there is a better chance that a dog from a specific breed rescue is healthy and not from a puppy mill.
     
  12. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    One of the most heartbreaking things I ever saw while doing some volunteering work at an animal shelter was a tiny chihuahua puppy that had been found on the side of the freeway. The vet there figured that the people who had it had NO IDEA how to care for a puppy. They probably fed it only once a day, and likely with adult dog food. Which is fine for an adult dog, but not for a growing puppy. It was so weak it couldn't stand on its own. The volunteers had to spend several minutes every few hours training it to stand.

    But its nails were daintily polished pink when it was found. :wall:

    People who take ownership for another living being without doing ANY RESEARCH AT ALL how to care for them make me unspeakably angry. :mad: And then to punish the dog by abandoning it on the side of the freeway because it wasn't growing like YOU thought it would...
     
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    How sad :(. I agree, people should not get animals if they are not prepared to care for them. I grew up with dogs and was typical of most kids: Promised to take the dog out and feed it, but my mother did it. That said, I knew when I got my own dog, no one but me was going to care for it. I didn't really do research (no internet back then :lol:), other than to find the breed that I thought would be a good fit. But I knew how to take care of a dog and the breeder told me what and how to feed and train it. My only regret with regard to that dog was that for the first two years, my husband and I both worked long days and the dog was home alone a lot. Well cared for, but a little lonely. When my daughter was born and I was home all of the time, that dog was like a pig in $hit!
     
  14. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

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    People discard animals for all kinds of reasons.
     
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    You want to laugh, check out the HORSES on most CL ads. Well, laugh or cry.

    I don't object ot on-line horse-sale ads. You have to get buyers somehow. But some of the people on CL...."homogenized" does not mean what you think it means, honey. (She was going for "homozygous".)

    I'm waiting for the ultimate designer dog: The cockapeekapoodledoohuahua.
     
  16. StonewshMullet

    StonewshMullet New Member

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    On another note I have an issue and need some advice. Posting it in this thread is as a good as any:

    You know I love animals, ok some animals more then others. I have always been respectful and mindful of people's emotional state when they lose someone or something that is special. Well, a lady I know just suffered the loss of her families pet tarantula. She is truly upset. I don't know what to say or do. I can't very well go and talk to her and commiserate... what if she pulls outs a picture and asks me to look? I. CANT. DO. IT. I am extremly arachnophobic . She is a nice lady with interesting taste in pets. RIP Charlotte the spider, hopefully if there is such a thing as a Heaven its separate from the one I would like to end up spending eternity. Seriously should I send a card or an email?
     
  17. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    If the spider (I'm with you here) did mean a lot, an email would be nice. It's the thought that counts. Just don't say, I'm sorry your hairy, creepy spider bit the dust, Morticia.
     
  18. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    :lol::lol::lol: Thanks for making me laugh! I guess is not rational for the pets some people choose. A tarantula - maybe they got the idea from Home Alone?

    I agree, and email would be very thoughtful.

    Do they cremate tarantulas? Or give them "Viking" funerals ( AKA American Standard funerals)? Is that mean?
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    error post
     
  20. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    error post, don't know how I did it twice
     
  21. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    ITA that much more needs to be done in order to terminate puppy mills. They are abhorrent businesses which abuse animals and both the SPCA and animal rights legislation are guilty of just letting it go on.

    Also, I've heard that selling puppies in pet stores is illegal in California?

    And with regard to using a reputable breeder - we got our golden retriever without papers because it was so much more expensive to get one with papers. At the time we also had an elderly blind and diabetic dog whose care required a lot of money and a somewhat aggressive sharpie-border collie mix who had had a traumatic puppyhood. Because we live in a small space and because I run a business out of my home we chose a golden retriever and it proved to be the perfect choice for us. We met both of her parents and liked the people who sold us our pup. They didn't qualify as backyard breeders from what we could see, but they also weren't 'reputable breeders'.

    I'd like to get another dog but one problem I face is that we rent and I would prefer not to ask our landlord for permission to get another dog. This will sound irresponsible but it is not the case - we have been here for 15 years and our landlord has no idea how many dogs we and our downstairs neighbours have precisely (three at the moment, four in the past and we'd never go above that, two for each suite). I would be nervous to ask him for permission because it might cause him to actually think about it.

    Basically, I am someone who would never surrender her animals unless I were sick or dying. If we are required to leave here because the landlord sells the house I would move to a trailer park and live in a dumpy trailer if I couldn't find somewhere better that allowed me to keep my animals. Rehoming them would not be an option. I love them too much to give them up.

    We have cared for all of our dogs and cats very well over the past 17 years and all have been well-loved. But I prefer not to deal with the permission requirement.

    Again, you may call me irresponsible but the facts of our animal ownership shows otherwise.

    How do I explain my situation to a shelter or a reputable breeder? We did get permission to adopt a cat in the past few years but prefer not to request it for a dog, especially given that we will be one dog over the legal limit. An SPCA official told me that they would not intervene in such a situation if the dogs would well-loved and cared for, but I don't want to announce it.

    We are a a year or several years away from getting another dog - I want to give my golden a chance to be a therapy dog in hospitals and such - but I do think about how I will proceed when the time comes. Invariably,
    I return to buying a pup from a private home, probably a mix next time, with no need of papers.
     
  22. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    There really shouldn't even be *mixed* breeds. (I know the argument that all breeds developed by mixing and it's an artificial concept, but it's what it is in the US and Europe.) All dogs should be spayed or neutered unless the dog is an excellent example of the breed standard and the mating is an effort to get a better dog than the parents. This one act would save thousands and thousands of animals from the fate most meet in shelters, along the highways or at the hands of some owners.

    Both of my Standard Poodles have been/will be neutered. I'm not showing them, therefore, I'm not breeding them.
     
  23. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The concern any RESPONSIBLE breeder would have is less that the SPCA will come after you (it's hard enough to get most AC to go after actual neglect and hoarding in most jurisdictions) than concern that if they sell you this dog and your landlord realizes you're in violation of the lease or building codes, they'll evict you and you AND their puppy will be homeless. It's less about reputation in the sense of "My dogs won their groups at Westminster" than about a breeder who is highly selective about what parents they cross and why, and about whom they sell the puppies to. They don't want someone buying one who's going to get kicked out of their home any more than they want someone who's already got thirty cats in a one-bedroom bungalow.

    Does your county shelter, though, ask about renting? Some don't. Some county agencies are so overcrowded their only concern is you obey the spay/neuter clause so you aren't bringing an entire litter to dump on them a few months later.
     
  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I think that the term "reputable breeder" can be applied to breeders who do not show dogs. Yes, you go to a reputable breeder and get dogs that meet standards of a breed. But, I do think that some "backyard breeders" can be just as responsible, adherent to standards, and loving as the more high profile breeders. What we need are laws to govern who can and cannot breed dogs. They need to be supervised by a health organization and get licenses, which should have to be renewed every year or two. And in order to renew a license, they must be inspected. We also need laws that limit the inter-breeding of dogs. Breeding every dog known to man with poodles, to get dogs that don't shed is wrong. I understand that getting a dog without papers was less expensive, and I strongly believe that many dogs that do not have papers were bred by very responsible people (your dog as an example :)). But papers protect the dogs. If people could only buy dogs with papers, it could go a long way toward stopping puppy mills.

    My Cavalier is stunning! This is his sister and Cooper is prettier. http://www.orchardhillcavaliers.com/pedigreebaby.htm He looks a lot like her, but has a wider blaze on his head (the white strip between his eyes and down the center of his head) and slightly longer feathering on his ears.

    The breeder sold him to me because he had a slight overbite as a puppy (his baby teeth). She was not sure she could show him, so I got him :cheer2:. I brought him for her to see him when he was 9 months old (at the National Cavalier Show - it was near where I live). She grabbed him and ran around showing everyone his teeth, which were now adult teeth and perfect, saying how could I let this one go! Everyone there thought he could be a champion. We considered showing him and did not neuter him. We ultimately decided that we'd had enough judged event experiences in skating and decided just to let him be a pet. He is now 3 and still not neutered. He is well behaved and does not show any improper behavior typically associated with a non-neutered dog. The reasons I have decided not to neuter him are:

    1. Cavaliers tend to get very sedentary after they are neutered.
    2. Cavaliers tend to gain weight after they are neutered.
    3. Cavaliers tend to get mitral valve disease more frequently than other breeds - consequently the above reasons are for his heart health.
    4. I have spoken with several vets and breeders who agree that neutering can sometimes make congenital defects happen earlier. Especially ones that are age related.

    Now, this is the choice I have made for my dog. I understand that not neutering can cause a slightly higher risk of testicular cancer. My dog is seen 3 times a year by the vet and is checked. If there is any indication that neutering would be needed, we will do it. My dog only goes out on a leash. A short leash. He is never outside alone. We do not have a fence, physical or electric. I live in a very wooded area and there are a lot of wild animals around. Fences might keep my dog in, but they don't necessarily keep animals that could hurt him out.

    So, while I do agree that it is most responsible to neuter/spay dogs. There can be compelling reasons not to. And if the owner understands the responsibility of owning a non-neutered dog and is diligent, it's okay.
     
  25. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    Why? I'm not trying to start an argument, just genuinely curious.
     
  26. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

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    You even have to be careful with purebreeds. In the effort to emphasize certain aspects of the breed standard, some "reputable" breeders are perpetuating deformities and other problems.
     
  27. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That is true. That is why you sometimes have to look hard for a "reputable" breeder. The first question I ask when I speak to a Cavalier breeder is how are your dog's hearts? Obviously, mitral valve disease is in the dog (actually most toy/small dogs tend to have mitral valve problems). It often does not show up until the dog is 6/7 years old, so it's difficult to completely resolve. But, it is the dogs where mitral valve problems show up by the age of two, that the problem is most serious. Reputable Cavalier breeders will not breed a dog that is younger than two for that reason, regardless of their physical aesthetic perfection. They also screen the grandparents to lessen the odds that mitral valve will turn up. They are making good progress, but it takes time. Mitral valve can be treated, and if the dog gets adequate exercise and is a healthy weight, they can live a long happy life.

    Mosts breeds have some sort of genetic issue. Whether its hips, knees, heart, cranial, or some other problem, the best breeders address it, acknowledge it, and work to eliminate it. When called the breeder for this dog, the first question she asked was am I familiar with the breed, did I know about their heart problems. I said I'd already had two, that one did develop mitral valve, but that my vet & I knew how to treat it. That influenced her letting me have one of her dogs.
     
  28. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Not because the pure breeds are *better*, but because mixed breeds are typically the result of irresponsible ownership. Cruisin is correct in that there are sometimes reasons not to neuter a male dog (more than not to spay a female) and there is debate about when is the best time to do so. She is not going to let her male out and mate with any female dog in heat. Sadly, the result of this are mutts nobody wants who end up in shelters. That's not to say purebred dogs don't end up there as well, but most are mixed breeds.

    All dog breeds were developed by humans. Selective breeding has been done for millennia to produce a desired result: size, coat, temperament etc. So, on one hand it's difficult to argue with those seeking to produce today's so-called designer breeds. However, the overwhelming majority of people doing so do not understand genetics and are doing this simply to make money. Breeders with respected kennels will quickly tell you, you don't make a lot of money selling puppies. They do it to produce that elusive better dog.
     
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, my breeder told me she does this for the love of the breed. that she barely makes back her costs when she sells a dog (and her dogs are not inexpensive). But, she her puppies are thoroughly checked out medically, have all shots, and are more than well cared for. She also sent me home with the brands of immunizations that she wanted our vet to use. When I brought Cooper home and took him for his well puppy visit, I gave the vet the list - The vet looked at me and said I wish all breeders were this well informed.

    I also wanted to agree with you about the genetics. You might have a poodle breeder, who decides to do a designer mix. She might know a lot about poodles, but does she know enough about the new breed she is introducing? Will she know about the genetic issues associated? (Used she, but can sub. he :)).
     
  30. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    I understand that. And have no fear of eviction - we've been here about 15 years and had four dogs and four for between the suites for a number of those years. The landlord has a darn goo deal with us in that my husband does all the household repairs and both we and the downstairs neighbours have put considerable $$ and work into renovation (painting, etc.). Saving him a ton of money.

    And as I said, surrendering my animals if I had to move would not be an option.

    My point is I prefer not to have to be investigated to the hilt, so prefer not to buy from a reputable breeder or rescue who screens potential owners heavily. I wouldn't buy from a pet store, either, so that leaves me with a private sale or buying from someone I know (like a local dog owner whose is planner to breed her 'papered' golden retriever).

    In general I think there is bit of a bias against renters - it might be warranted, I suppose. But I read through the Craig's List ads for rehoming dogs and by far the most common reason is 'not enough time'.