Posted by | Jan 28, 2011 | Comments Off

Every day in this country 10,000 pets are destroyed in shelters because they have no home.

This is George.  He was destroyed on Christmas Eve 2010.  Nobody came for him.   He died alone in a cold room while his previous family celebrated Christmas.  Maybe the shelter worker put a towel on the stainless steel table before they killed George.  Maybe they didn’t.  His body was put in a freezer and taken off to a rendering plant.

George deserved better.

George didn’t bite anyone.  He didn’t hurt another dog.  His only sin was that his family grew tired of him and dumped him at a shelter.  They probably thought that because they were taking him to the shelter they were doing the right thing.  People say that all the time.  The language has changed, but the “shelter” is really the pound.

We can’t expect the shelter to care when we don’t care.  We can’t expect the shelter to act responsibly when we don’t act responsibly.

A dog is forever.  It’s not for right now, or until you get tired of it or until you have to move.  Your commitment to the dog goes for as long as the dog lives.  You don’t dump your Dalmation because Britney Spears just got a Yorkie and now you want one of those.  They are living creatures, not the latest Air Jordans.  It is our responsibility to treat them humanely.  Anyone who does not understand this concept doesn’t deserve to own a dog.  As responsible members of society, we have to tell them.

If you live in a rental  and your housing and financial situation is somewhat fluid, it may not be the right time to get a dog in your life.  Volunteer at a shelter or a rescue until your situation stabilizes.  Now you have a goal.  When I first got a dog, I vowed to live in my truck before I got rid of my dog.  She passed peacefully in my home 15 years later.  That is how it should be.  Are you willing to live in your vehicle so that your responsibility to your dog is fulfilled?  Will you do whatever it takes to assure your dog is safe?

If you don’t have the stomach to humanly euthanize your dog when the time is appropriate, you need to rethink if you’re emotionally equipped to own a dog.  Taking your dog to the shelter because you can’t handle doing the right thing is unconscionable.  Your lifelong friend is left confused and frightened.  Perhaps a good Samaritan will come along and take your dog home for a few hots and a cot and then let them go humanely.  More likely the dog that served you well over it’s entire life will be killed on a cold stainless steel table in a brightly lit room amongst the bustle and screaming of other condemned souls.  Don’t do it.  It is the morally wrong thing to do.

I hear a lot of people saying “Oh I’m just going to breed them once and then fix them”.   Every day in America 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.  Did you know that the theoretical number of dogs produced from one female dog and her offspring in a six year period is 67,000.  Are you ready to take responsibility for 67,000 puppies?  Then what are you thinking?

I hear a lot of people complaining about the cost of a purebred dog.  There is a cost associated with finishing a dog in conformation or agility or with a working title.  There is a cost associated with health testing.  There is a cost associated with proper vet care.  A responsible breeder only has one litter at a time on the ground.  A responsible breeder is not a commercial enterprise.  A responsible breeder will not have both parents on site.  On the other hand, a guy selling puppies for $400 will probably have both parents on site.  He’s advertising on craigslist and in the newspaper and if he can’t place the poorly bred puppies he’ll dump them at the shelter.

A well bred dog will cost you money.  If $2000 or more for a healthy well bred dog is too much, that’s understandable.  Keep in mind that if your dog eats a towel that surgery will cost thousands of dollars.  If your dog breaks a leg that’s thousands of dollars to correct.  Dog ownership is not cheap.  Consider a rescue and pet insurance.  Most rescues charge between $250-500 for a dog.  These dogs have been vetted.  They have all of their shots and a professional has evaluated their health.  They have been trained by the rescue and have probably lived there for several months.  Most rescues don’t make money.  Most rescues lose money.  If you can’t spring $250-500 for a dog, how are you going to cover the vet bills?

A lot of men don’t want to neuter their dog.  These men are ignorant.  Your dogs testicles have nothing to do with your manhood.  If they do, you need to take a hard look at yourself.  Real men act responsibly.  Real men spay and neuter.

Intact male dogs are more inclined to behavior problems.  Neutered males are more inclined to stay home and not end up in shelters.  They are less inclined to fight and mark territory.  They are not less loyal.  They will not become fat or lazy.  Intact males have a higher rate of cancer.

A lot of people and organizations want to blame breeders for the pet overpopulation problem.  Currently only 25% of the dogs at the shelters are purebred.  What does this mean?  It means that people not being responsible with their dogs are the reason for pet overpopulation.  61% of all dogs in the shelters in America are ultimately destroyed by the shelters.  75% of the cats.  Every years this costs the taxpayers nearly $2 billion dollars.

The easiest way to save tax dollars is to put the shelters out of work.  The easiest way to do that is to act responsibly.  Do the right thing.  Are you one of the responsible ones?  Are you part of the solution?  Are you ready to pledge?

Breeders pledge now!

Owners pledge now!

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