It’s Not The Dog’s Fault

Yesterday, CPR stepped in to take in 6 breeder dogs from a hoarder/breeder case in Georgia involving a total of 90 dogs. I sent out a fundraiser for our “With Six You Get Eggrolls!” dogs and received a question from one of our supporters:

The work you and the many volunteers, etc do is phenomenal and I am glad to help when I can. My question is, what keeps these hoarders, puppy mill breeders and other insensitive individuals from turning around and doing the same thing again….after you clean up the mess they made? Is anything being done to curtail the problem?

It’s a good question – here is my response.

As long as there are people who want purebred puppies cheap and don’t care where they get them, don’t wish to be asked questions, just want a puppy, there will be backyard breeders and puppy mills. Until we change laws that consider dogs property, to be sold with no questions asked, then this won’t stop. In the US, I believe only Oregon currently recognizes certain pets as sentinent beings.

Here is an excellent article – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-hodgson/reclassifying-dogs-as-sen_b_8717888.html

For the work we are doing now . In most of these cases, when I go in, I negotiate with the owner/breeder to reduce or shut down their breeding operation. Most of the ones I work with want to anyway. This was the case with the 34 we took in May. I talk to Karen, the owner/breeder routinely and have updated her on her “babies” and she is very happy. Having said that, it does not mean they won’t change their minds later. I have no legal control over that. With some of these people, hoarding is an addiction/mental disease. And it takes a long time to break the habit if they ever do.

When animal control goes in and seizes animals (usually for neglect) with plans to take the owner to court, the ultimate goal is to negotiate with the owner/breeder to drop charges in exchange for their voluntarily signing over the animals and agreeing to a court order limiting them to a certain number of animals that are spayed/neutered. These types of situations are very successful in reducing or eliminating the backyard breeder who should not breed and usually has a good outcome. We all avoid a costly court trial at taxpayers expense, the dogs get to receive much needed medical work and to find homes and most will comply with the court order.

This used to bother me too. I remember feeling like Big Lots, going in and taking the leftovers, the discarded, the unwanted and wondering if I was enabling another round of indiscriminate breeding. Then one of my early mentors, Sally Poindexter of the Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation, told me something I have never forgotten. She told me it was not the dog’s fault where he or she was born. It was not the dog’s fault he or she had been a breeder dog. It was up to me to help the dogs. I’ve never forgotten that.

Thanks for caring and inquiring. I hope I’ve given you some good food for thought.