Why do Pets End up Homeless?

I shouldn’t have to say this, but the websites that are forums for buying  and selling, and I will particularly single out Craigslist and Kijiji, if not E-Bay & Amazon, rely on the integrity of sellers….as well as buyers.  Adam Smith, the early economist pointed out how important integrity and trust were to capitalism and a working marketplace. Businesses do collapse when  found to be  shoddy and the word gets out.  Unfortunately, with the internet, you can change your name ans start over.

This is why the person selling—- dumping an item (or a live animal), gaming the system—- sold you something that didn’t work.  Whacha gonna do about is, sucka?  Sue them over $200?  Warn others?  No, you bitch to your friends and eat it.  You might complain or leave a bad review on EBay, Etsy, Amazon, or Yelp!   If you has sense, you’d complain to your State’s Attorney’s division of consumer fraud. If you bought a pet, you either take it to a shelter or try to sell it to the next idiot. Not  Healthy?  Not housebroken?   Not Good with kids?  Not your problem—let  the buyer beware, right?  You will pray to Jesus for forgiveness and you can live with yourself.  Be absolved of your sins, Move on to the next one.

Do you  think I am being harsh? The pet industry is saying that if they breed and supply healthier pets, they should be allowed to sell pets. It is up to buyers to be more informed and discerning—not up to sellers to screen and lose a sale.

I come from a different reality.  I believe that when it comes to a live animal, sellers  should  have to act with more integrity.  Since a pet store employee will  be fired for not making a sale to a  financially qualified buyer, pet shops can  not be counted on to act with integrity when it comes to  selling pets.

I’ve written before about  Fred Alderman, the  owner of Dynasty Afghans, who refused to sell dogs to people who would not spend a day grooming with him.  The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America encourages co-ownership by the breeders0 of all pet puppies until they are  titled or neutered.  The culture of integrity varies from breed to breed.  I was only able to purchase my 2nd Saluki because the breeder knew the breeder of the first one I owned.  The breeder of my first Saluki knew me from my participation in field trials.

The backyard breeders (byb) don’t delve too deeply.  They may have  overpaid another BYB and want to make their money back, and now they have pups and didn’t realize how hard they’d be to sell.  You got  money, you responded to the Craigslist post, you seem nice, Sold.  I don’t  want to know that you live in an apartment with a month-to-month lease with your mother who doesn’t want a dog, or that you  are gone from home 12 hours a day and have no idea how you will housebreak the dog.  Not my problem.  Until you the buyer, realize you are in over your head, and  you can’t trick someone else into overpaying.  That’s what animal shelters are for, right?

My tax dollars at work. Don’t shop—adopt. right?

On the one hand, we have  dog pounds. You pays your money and takes your chances.  You get a dog or cat.  No questions asked. No better than a pet store, just cheaper.

At the other  end, we have the breed specific rescues that ask so many questions and have such onerous applications  it’s amazing they are able to place any dogs at all. And, among them, we have the hobby breeders who will buy puppy mill dogs at auction to ‘save’ them, thus  essentially sabotaging their own efforts—because why should anyone pay for  YOUR over  priced  champion bred puppies when the puppy mill saves cost less than half that?    Since we should not buy puppy mill puppies….I am confused…since YOU bought them to ‘save’—are they healthier?  What’s up with that?

Nobody is dealing with the puppy mill or BYB. My own state  department of Ag doesn’t have enough inspectors to get to dairy farms, let alone puppy mills.

I am amazed at the naivete of  the public, and even my friends and relatives.  They really believe that people selling pets are honest for the most part, because they have no indication that they are NOT.  I partly blame veterinarinans, if not pushing spaying & neutering,k are also not  informing  BYB about  the odds of finding good homes or breeding dogs with genetic defects..

There is some statistical evidence that up to 25% of these dogs bred by BYB (who  won’t acknowledge their contributing to the dog surplus) will wind up in shelters, if not abandoned  somewhere.  If the dogs seem cute or endearing enough they will be adopted.  Most dogs  in shelters are too frightened to put on a good personality display, and may now be dangerous or ‘fear biters.’ Unless a no-kill group saves them they WILL BE KILLED.  Do you think that by taking that 1 pup posted on Craigslist, you will be preventing this?  If you pay  more than $25 not only will you not be, you will be encouraging this BYB to breed more.  If the  person posting  is a broker  for the BYB, and he sells  4 dogs at $100 each, he has made money.  Shots—if given at all, cost about $10, and you can buy a packet of the certificates that say they were given—they often come free with the vaccine.  This is pretty good extra income for that guy who works at Walmart for $12 an hour.

It’s a puppy you want,  not an adult do with ‘problems’, right?  You’ll make your own problem dog, right?  I have not bought a puppy in over 30 years. My last 5 dogs came to me as adults from shelters, rescues, or  networking.  Great dogs, all.  To me,the only reason  to take a puppy is that no adult dogs are available,  Think about it. The whole chewing, lunging on the leash not being housebroken.  Is that  so much more fun than an adult dog from a shelter  who appreciates  your attention?

But here’s the deal, really:  if you don’t have time to  work with a dog—training it, bonding with it—at least 1/2 hour a day, starting now, and  you don’t know how much  shots, other veterinary care, and grooming costs, or  who will take care of your dog when you are away, yo are not prepared for a dog right now.  And if you haven’t done research into  the type of dog who will fit into your lifestyle, and talked to owners of those kinds of dogs, you are not ready.  And if you haven’t at least visited an animal shelter before choosing your companion for the next 12 years or so, you are not ready.


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