Friday, March 22, 2013

National Puppy Day !!!

Tomorrow is National Puppy Day!  Unofficial, but it addresses the problems with puppy mills and the rearing of animals for profit and nothing more. Most people think puppy mills are not a good thing and they also do not realize that pet stores are often the final destination for puppy mill dogs. Many of us do know this and always look for puppies from shelters. Thanks to all of you who have adopted pets from shelters and rescues.  You are my heros; you never know what you are going to get but rarely are you disappointed. You have no lofty expectations.

Now I will throw in my experience as a regular person (a veterinarian in practice for many years and offering my services for free to many rescue groups and shelters.) I went to Beagle rescue years ago to get a dog friend for my single, lonely dog. It was an eye opener. I know the rescues and shelters mean well but honestly, they grilled me like I was a convicted animal abuser, checked my physical home, questioned my motives (do you want this dog to be used as a blood donor?) and finally asked me who they would use for veterinarian referral (they wanted to be sure I took good care of my dog.) I admit I was offended. I had been working with Beagle rescue in Maryland for many years.  They called my by my first name yet they acted like they didn't know me when I wanted to rescue a dog for my personal "use".  Really?  How picky can they be?

I am not the only person who has experienced this abuse. Many of my excellent clients who have lost their pets, have gone to rescues to adopt and were turned away and ended up at pet stores, spending $1,000 on a "pedigree" dog they just wanted for a pet. The pup they wanted in the shelter probably got euthanized.

I respect the folks who spend their time helping homeless animals, inspecting homes and choosing appropriate new owners, but I think there is a hint of power and control here. If a veterinarian who offers free services to homeless animals is not good enough, is any one?

Perhaps the shelter folks are forcing the adopting folks to end up at the puppy mills.  Just a thought.