I think everyone has their cause and this is something that I feel really strongly about. This is not an opinion that I have that you can argue against. These are facts that can't be disputed. First let me tell you something so that I don't sound like a hypocrite. My dog is from a breeder. Never ever would I buy from a breeder again. There are entirely too many dogs that die in shelters (purebreds as well, in fact 25% of shelter dogs are purebreds) every year due to back yard breeders and puppy mills. There is such a thing as a good breeder, but they are very hard to find. I would like to think in my head that Tuck came from a good breeder b/c her life was showing dogs and that's usually one sign of a good breeder. I didn't check to see if she did any genetic testing or any of the millions of other checks that should be done before you buy from a breeder. Here is a list to show the few differences from a backyard breeder and a reputable breeder. Basically a reputable breeder has a love for a certain breed and works to improve that breed by doing extensive genetic testing and breeding in a responsible manner (one dog should only have one litter, usually *always* has a waiting list and would never breed without knowing the pups had homes in advance, neuter contracts, etc.). You can read more about what to expect from a reputable breeder from the above link.
Back yard breeders are killing dogs in shelters regardless of what you think. If you have a cute little maltese and so does your friend and you would just love to breed them to create another cute little maltese. You ARE a back yard breeder and you are responsible for the deaths of these shelter animals. Your pets that you breed are no better than all of the purebreds that are lying in shelters across America. I beg you PLEASE, do not contribute to this problem. I'm sure you think that one little litter is no big deal, but if that litter has 6 puppies, and those 6 puppies have puppies, you can see how easily our country has become overpopulated with dogs.
Here's a clip from a special that Oprah did not too long ago. It's not pleasant to watch but if it makes it more real to someone than it's worth it.
7 million dogs die a year in a shelter.
99% of dogs that are in pet stores ARE from a puppy mill. If you buy from a petstore you are contributing so much to these problems. I beg you to search the web for some pictures of the horrendous conditions that these dogs live in at a puppy mill. These dogs are forced to have litter after litter in inhumane conditions. These dogs usually have severe health problems and they're put in a petstore at an unreasonable price. I don't even buy toys or set foot in a pet store anymore.
I love my dog, don't get me wrong, but there are tons of shih tzus that are in shelters. If I really wanted to go through a breeder, I know I could've done a lot more research than what I did. I really want to spend my life educating people about the mistakes I've made and that other people make all the time. Some people are just simply uneducated about this, just like I was before I started doing some research.
One more paragraph that I feel I need to add. There is no such thing as a "cockapoo" or a "maltipoo". These are mutts at incredibly jacked up prices and NO responsible, reputable, breeder would ever breed these dogs. If you want a cockerspaniel poodle mix (it is insulting to call these dogs by their 'designer breed' name), check petfinder online and rescue one. They are out there and they need homes. There is no such thing as a 'teacup' chihuahua or a 'minature' shih tzu. A bad breeder is taking the runt of these litters (they usually have health problems due to being small) and breeding them with other runts to create these so called minature dogs and then they add $1k to the price. Why would you pay more for that and support that, why?
I truly didn't write this post in order to get on a high horse. I wrote this post to educate people b/c I remember how little I knew before I started my own research. This is a serious problem and I really hope we can all do our part and rescue, support reputable breeders, and shut these pet stores/puppy mills down. These babies don't deserve it, and get your puppy spayed or neutered!
*Someone* was neutered today and is doing awesome =) All it takes is for me to look at him and imagine him cramped into a cage at a puppy mill, or sitting by himself at the shelter waiting for a home and it's enough to break my heart.
I can't remember where I found this poem, but I really like it.
I Rescued a Human Today
I rescued a human today.
Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.
I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.
As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.
As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of myhead up against the bars to comfort her.
Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.
Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.
I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.
I rescued a human today.