I am a firm believer in pet adoption. I know that people sometimes decide that they want a very specific breed of dog, and they want it as a puppy. I get it, people like owning high-end things. I like having nice things. I love my Vitamix blender, my Kitchenaid mixer, and buying expensive cheeses. My desire for name-brand, purebred, and otherwise “flawless” items does not go so far as to include pets. Purebred animals have a tendency to have genetic flaws (just google breed-specific conditions). These are commonly a by-product of breeding selectively for particular attributes, and the negatives tend to get emphasized along with the desired traits. While I am not proposing that mixed breed dogs do not have these traits, in my experience, the prevalence of them tends to be lowered due to the diversified gene pool. Plus – do you really NEED that purebred dog? I am not showing my dogs. I do not need for them to conform to some sort of breed standard. I need them to be sweet and good pets. Rescue dogs make great pets. Yes, you occasionally get a basket case. But other times, you get the most wonderful, incredibly ridiculous creature you’ve ever come into contact with(Helo, I’m talking to you). You end up with a similar grab bag when buying a purebred dog. People seem to be under the impression that if a dog is in rescue, it is somehow “defective.” That is simply incorrect. Dogs end up in rescue for many reasons, but some of the more common ones are family losing their house, moving into an apartment building that doesn’t allow dogs, or needing to take on more hours at work and not being home for the dog.
You want to breed your dog? REALLY!? Why? Because your dog is just SO NEAT that there need to be 5 more of them? You’re insane. The last thing that this world needs is more dogs. Think of it this way: every puppy that your dog has (if you’re able to find loving, caring, forever homes for them) displaces a rescue dog in a loving home from some piece of shit backyard breeder, or guy who didn’t like the idea of chopping his dog’s balls off, or dog that was horrifically abused. So yes, by breeding the random dog that you have that you like, you are essentially dooming other dogs to the death penalty. Every year, millions of dogs and cats are euthanized. MILLIONS. That is a pretty huge number. I’m glad you’re enjoying your purebred that you bought from a breeder.
And you know what, there are TONS of purebred dogs in rescue. A couple years ago, WAMAL
had a purebred female that was an owner-surrender. They were told that she was fixed. They placed her in a home with a papered and intact male malamute. They held onto her for a couple months until it became obvious that their male and her were not going to make friends. The rescue took her back (Any good rescue will have a policy allowing the “return” of dogs if the home situation does not work out. They should want the best fit for every dog.) and ended up with quite the surprise shortly thereafter. I believe they had 6 puppies. And every one was spoken for before it was even born. Purebred malamute puppies, from a rescue organization. AND – rescue dogs are cheap. Seriously. They are fixed and have all of their shots. That is an incredibly expensive thing to do to a puppy. The adoption fee is often under $300.
And if you’re not totally needing a puppy, you can forego the frustration of chewing and potty training by adopting a young adult dog.
Rescue dogs have heartbreaking stories. HEARTBREAKING. Any person with an intact conscience would be horrified by what some of these dogs have gone through. Our first dog, Boris’ story is pretty sad. He was owned by a family when he was a puppy. He was cute and cuddly, and had floppy ears and an expressive crinkly forehead. But then he turned into a big and rambunctious puppy. Instead of handling the big puppy that they had decided that they wanted at some point, they locked in in a 4’x4′ outdoor kennel and left him there. For months. Living in his own waste. They must have fed and watered him with SOME regularity, but he was skinny when we got him. Then, when they moved, they LEFT HIM LOCKED IN THE KENNEL IN THEIR BACKYARD. IN DECEMBER (it got down to 11 degrees outside the week they moved). Luckily, on their way out with the uhaul, they swung by a neighbor’s house and mentioned to the neighbor that if they wanted a dog, it was in their old back yard. If the neighbor had been as much of a piece of shit as that family was, Boris would be dead. Luckily, the neighbor took him in, and fed him, and tried to make him work with their family. He was too rambunctious of a puppy for their toddler, so they located a no-kill shelter and handed him over.
There was a gorgeous 10 year old dog that was turned in at a shelter to be euthanized. Know why? SHE WAS OLD. That’s it. There was nothing wrong with her, no health problems, she had just gotten “too old” and the owner wanted her to be put down. The shelter contacted WAMAL and they took her. Imagine what she went through. She was having a happy life with her owner, then all of a sudden was at a loud, barky shelter, confused and scared, and not young enough for anyone to want.
Or another dog. He was found wandering around town in a rural area near Seattle. Someone called animal control, and WAMAL ended up getting their hands on him. He had to be shaved. Not because of mange, but because COCKROACHES WERE LIVING IN HIS FUR and it was so matted that they couldn’t get them out. So they shaved him, and he took to wearing sweaters to stay warm. He had infections in both of his ears, both his eyes, and his urinary tract, plus a few infected wounds. He was old. One of the volunteers took him in as a foster. Her son bonded with the dog, and he had a warm home, soft beds, and loving hands to scratch behind his ears. Several weeks later he died, but he had a loving home for the last couple months of his life. How lucky that dog was to finally have a nice place to love and care for him in his old age.
If you have the ability to, please look into a breed of dog that you would be interested in either adopting or fostering. Petfinder.com
has a great way to search by breed, and you can also find breed-specific rescues in your area. If having a pet isn’t at the top of your list, consider donating either time or money to the local organizations. WAMAL doesn’t have enough foster homes for all of the dogs that they take in, so they have to pay to board the overflow at a kennel. Not only does it get expensive, but those dogs severely lack socialization and human interaction, which can make them more difficult to adopt out when the right family comes along. People able to take some time to walk or run with the dogs, feed, brush, pet, train, or play with them are in high demand.