Why Should I Adopt A Dog, When I Could Just Buy One From A Breeder?

12 11 2008

sad-pound-puppyLife is a precious thing.  No one understands this more than a dog who is facing his last few days on earth, simply because no one wants to give him a home.  Believe it or not, I was once facing such a situation.  My doggie mom, Autumn, used to “cruise the neighborhood,” and one day, BAM! there I was.  Not just me, but a litter full of my brothers and sisters.  Of the bunch, I was the only one that looked like my doggie mom.  All of my brothers and sisters looked a lot like Rottweilers.  Somebody made the suggestion that we should all be hit in the head and killed, just because we were not “purebred Golden Retrievers.” Lucky for me, that is when my Mom stepped in, and she moved us to tiny wet room they called a “shower.”  As we grew up, Mom found homes for my brothers and sisters.  There must be something special about me, since I stayed.  I came from such humble beginnings, and look at me today!

When Mom and I were surfing the Web the other day, we found out that the guy who beat my candidate for President, some guy full of hope and change, would be extending his family to include a dog.  He has really scored some points with me lately because he and his family are searching for not just any dog, but a shelter dog!  Now don’t get me wrong…  I believe that there are some great purebred dogs out there.  Great purebreds that people want and love and care for, all because they know who the daddy dog was.  Because of these dogs, the AKC has set standards for each breed.  Because of selective breeding, it is assumed that with each generation, only the best qualities will endure.

Enter Murphy’s Law.  If it can go wrong, it will.

What about the rest of us that do not adhere to a breed standard?   What about a dog whose mom is a poodle, and whose dad is a spitz?  Or a labrador/coonhound mix?  Couldn’t it be possible that they contain the absolute best of both of the breeds they came from?  Perhaps, but that is not what people see.  Forever, he will be known as a mixed breed, a “Heinz 57,” or just a mutt.  It really does not matter if he can prove who his daddy was, he is still canine through and through.  That makes him an honest to goodness dog.

Although we would like to think of ourselves as independents, dogs are quite dependent on human beings.  Mostly, we need you to love us.  We also need you to feed us, and give us water (and occasionally, a treat).  We need you to provide medical care, and, unfortunately, that includes having us “fixed.”  Those of us who are “fixed” usually belong to responsible humans that know the unwanted pet population is out of control.

In America, there are over six million of us killed every year.  Why?  Because there are not enough homes for all of us.  That also means that the selections at the local shelters and rescue groups far exceed anything from the purebred side of the fence.  By the way, both of my grandparents were from the purebred side.  But not me.  I could very easily have become a statistic.

If you are thinking about owning a dog, give us a helping hand with the pet population and visit a local shelter.  There are a few links on my site that will direct you to some local rescue groups.  Let’s really try to shrink the number of animals killed each year. In fact, let’s start now.




One response

23 01 2009
A Letter From a Shelter Manager « Ask Spike Online

[…] people adopt dogs from shelters and rescues rather than buy one from a breeder or a pet store.  I have talked about this in the past, but I do not think that the point can be driven home enough. A Letter from a Shelter […]

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