I agree with some of what you're saying Terri. I'm kind of in a unique position, in that I firmly believe in responsible breeding, but I also feel that there is way too much breeding in general. The thing is, responsible breeders (really good ones) aren't typically contributing to the strain being placed on rescue. And let me clarify here - just because breeders show their dogs and breed puppies with champion bloodlines doesn't mean they're truly reputable. As with everything, there's a distinction there.
I've bred one litter in 15 years. I had one puppy survive from that litter, and I placed him in a great home. I have also contributed to rescue by donating a ton of money, organizing fundraisers, fostering three Cockers and doing transport when I can.
I have a very strong belief that EVERY breeder should contribute to rescue, preferably by fostering. I realize that it's not possible for everybody, but I think it really opens peoples' eyes to the reality of rescue. Seeing pictures is one thing - being a part of things is something else entirely. I wish there was a way to get more breeders involved in rescue. I promote it at every opportunity, but I don't seem to be that successful.
Getting rid of breeders entirely isn't the answer. Finding a way to get rid o BAD breeders is a major part of the answer. The majority of Cockers in rescue come from people that just wanted one litter out of Buffy, or people that figured they could make a quick buck off of selling puppies.
As for people feeling like their pets are disposable - I wish I knew the answer. Pets are a lifetime commitment in my world and I get disgusted by people just casually throwing them away for no good reason. Yes, sometimes people genuinely can't keep their pets, and I am more than willing to help those people, but most just can't be bothered anymore.
People that do rescue are angels. They deal with (and see) the worst of the worst on a regular basis. The good thing is that they also see good on a regular basis. Great foster homes, amazing adopters, and donors that come out of the woodwork when most needed. It's not an easy job, and I think most people appreciate it. I sure as heck hope they do!
I agree with Kelly.
Karen in KY wrote:
If we didn't have reputable breeders who health test and breed for specific traits, we would no longer have specific breeds. In my opinion, the real question is why don't people spay or neuter their pets?
I do understand that you are asking because you care about the dogs. It's wonderful you are able to foster. Not everyone is able to do this so thank you for giving thses guys a second chance.
I Also Agree with Karen...you have to realize, without the breeders - there wouldn't be dogs to rescue - that sounds horrible coming out of my mouth, but its true. Those dogs came from SOMEWHERE, and 85-90% of the time, its from either A) A Puppy Mill or B) "BYB" who thought they could make some money off some puppies by breeding Fido & Fluffy, but turns out a litter of puppies is too much to handle - let me go drop them off at the local shelter, they will SURELY get adopted! Chances are, an adorable puppy WILL get adopted, but not always. Then there are those dumb owners who decide one day they want to go out and adopt an adult dog without looking into it first, and end up stuck with a dog who has separation anxiety, isn't housetrained, not that great with kids...so they think the most logical thing to do is drop them off at the shelter, rather then calling in a professional or even asking for help!
I have a Rescue and a Breeder dog. Henry, my 8 years old Labrador, is a Rescue who I assume was abused prior to me getting him. He's terrified of EVERYTHING. Water, Cars, Trashmen, not great with other dogs...you name it. But its been 8 years since I got him, and i wouldn't give him up for the world. We've worked with him! When he was 6 years old, I got Rudy. He was NOT thrilled. He literally sulked the entire day. Giving me the "When is he going home?" look for WEEKS. A few months passed, and he let up on it a little but growled if Rudy came anywhere near him. Now, Rudy is almost 2 and Henry is 8 and they are basically inseparable. They get their moments where they want to be away from each other, but other times they are best friends.
What I'm saying is....I completely support Rescue 100% and I've been volunteering with Heart to Heart Cocker Rescue for quite some time now...and after seeing what these dogs go through, it breaks me heart.
But I also support Breeders who actually know what their doing....if they didn't exist, we wouldn't have ANY of the breeds we have today......