|Posted by ranchdogrescue on August 12, 2009 at 2:01 AM|
Today's puppy mill bust in Kaufman, TX will quickly be big news for the DFW area. Hundreds of volunteers will generously donate their time and resources to help care for these recently rescued dogs and puppies. The general public will hear all about the horrible conditions that these 600+ dogs have lived in and contact numbers will be flashed on our television screens for those wanting to adopt one of these dogs. These are all good things, but this is not the whole story.
What you will not hear or read is that approximately the same number of dogs who are already anxiously awaiting homes in shelters will be euthanized, because there simply isn't room for all of them. The rescues quickly fill up with the flood of dogs from the puppy mill busts, and consequently have no room to take in other dogs from the shelters. The shelters temporarily lose a valuable resource for placing their dogs. The puppy mill dogs take priority, and are unlikely to be euthanized due to the publicity they receive and being placed directly into rescues. Nobody wants to hear that these dogs were rescued only to be euthanized because they weren't adopted. But the fact is, the "unknown" dogs will be euthanized instead. Dogs who are well socialized. Dogs who have once known love, and through no fault of their own, end up homeless in a shelter. Good dogs. Hundreds, even thousands of them. They are the ones who will pay the price so that we may help the ones we've rescued from the puppy mills.
What is the solution? Is there a solution? Solving the pet overpopulation problem is multi-faceted.
Never-ever buy from a puppy mill! This means that if you buy from a breeder, you must thoroughly check them out to be assured they are not a puppy mill. No puppy mill will advertise themselves as such. Pet store puppies and kittens, unless from a shelter or rescue are nearly always from puppy or kitten mills.
Spay or neuter your pets. There are low-cost spay/neuter clinics available in most areas of our country. Accidental breeding accounts for thousands of puppies and kittens every year.
Make sure that your pet has ID tags on at all times. Better yet get them microchipped, and keep the information updated. Lost pets can wind up many miles from home. Nobody ever expects their beloved pet to become lost, and yet it happens every day. Your pet could end up in a shelter a very long way from home, and without identification, there is no way to find you.
If you can provide a life-long, loving home for a pet, opt to adopt instead of buying from a breeder. Do your homework, and know exactly what kind of pet will fit into your lifestyle. If you want a purebred, there are many rescues that specialize in particular breeds. Purebreds can be found regularly in shelters as well. Don't rule out adult or senior pets. They are often already trained and can blend into your family almost seamlessly.
If you already own a pet, be responsible to that pet for life. There are few truly legitimate reasons for giving up a pet.
If you have a single cat or dog, consider adopting another. Most animals love having an animal companion.
Volunteer your time or services to a shelter or rescue. Donations of money or items are always needed and appreciated as well.
If you have already adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue, spread the word about how wonderful your adopted companion is. Encourage your friends and family to adopt when they are ready to add a new pet to their lives.
Until everyone is made aware just how critical the pet over-population problem is, and begins to act responsibly, the problem will continue. Those of us who look into the gentle eyes of so many unloved dogs and cats every day, ask for you to help us help them.
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