‘Tis the season to stop backyard breeders

Published 4:19 pm Saturday, December 17, 2011

By Carey Sharp

Mower County Humane Society

Holiday gift giving time is in full swing and ‘tis the season for backyard breeders to make money.

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Ads are popping up in newspapers everywhere: “Puppies for sale, just in time for Christmas, holiday puppies, cute puppies, will make great Christmas gifts.”

Even worse are the ads posted at convenience stores and restaurants that seem to prey upon people desperate to find that last minute gift.

Many people will succumb to the tempting photos of cute and fluffy puppies, purchasing on impulse, without truly thinking about the realities and responsibilities of pet ownership.

The ads posted by backyard breeders are often misleading and full of misconceptions. For instance, many boast of puppies that don’t shed, are low shedding or even hypoallergenic.

All dogs shed to some extent. Some may not shed great clumps of hair, but they all shed dander.

Many of the ads are selling puppies that are great with kids. Most puppies are great with all people and other animals. It’s how they are raised and socialized after they enter their homes that molds their personality and character.

Backyard breeders have one goal: to make as much money as they possibly can. They charge outrageous amounts of money for their animals, even mixed breed puppies, which are now called designer breeds.

Their interest in the fates of the puppies they sell fades as soon as the money exchanges hands.

Every time a puppy is purchased from one of these breeders, a shelter dog will remain homeless and waiting. Some people justify purchasing a dog because they want a specific breed or type. Guess what? Shelters are full of purebreds and designer breeds of every type, shape, size and age. There are even breed-specific rescues.

Shelter dogs are not damaged or broken, a common misconception. They are victims of irresponsibility, neglect and apathy.

Having a dog is a privilege, and while it is a gift, it’s not best to give one as a gift during the hectic holiday season.

Dog ownership is a huge responsibility and should be planned and well thought out. Shelter workers are an excellent source of advice and information. So please, don’t go shopping, think about adopting.

The plans for the annual Pasta Dinner and Silent Auction are underway.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, at the Holiday Inn in Austin. A good time is planned for all.

The MCHS is thankful for memorials received in memory of Joyce Eblen, Paula Smith, “Fjord” Pascal, and Edith Finley.