Tuesday, November 6, 2012

3 Reasons Why I No Longer Support Dog Breeding

"Blue and Rodrigo"
By Kimberly Gauthier, Keep The Tail Wagging

When I launched Keep the Tail Wagging, one of the missions of my blog was to educate people about finding a reputable breeder. I’ve met great breeders and felt that more needed to be done to highlight these amazing people and condemn irresponsible breeders.

And then the Universe brought some amazing and challenging life experience to our door that change my mind. I don’t support dog breeding. I don’t condemn responsible dog breeders, but after my experiences this year, I can no longer support dog breeding, because I don’t agree with bringing more dogs into a world overrun with dogs who need a home.

I no longer support dog breeding for three simple reasons…

1. Riley – Riley was a puppy that was found and turned in to a shelter. We don’t know if she was exposed to Canine Parvovirus before or after she was rescued, but it doesn’t really matter. She’s no longer with us. Whenever I go through something painful, and this rocked my world, I try to understand what lesson I’m supposed to learn. Even as I type this, my eyes are welling up with tears, because losing a dog is so very painful.

I believe that Riley came into our life for three reasons. To give her a home filled with love and happiness, for a brief time. To show us that we had room for one more rescue. Having three dogs is a lot more work than I expected, but the happiness and laughter in our home is a fantastic trade off. And losing a puppy made me want to take my blog more seriously, sharing accurate information on dog training, behavior, health, nutrition and safety.

2. Blue – Blue joined our family nearly a month after we lost Riley. We were planning to adopt a third dog, but wanted to wait 6 months to a year. I came across Blue’s video and couldn’t stop watching him. When we met him, it was love at first sight for my boyfriend. He loves our first two dogs, but I think the loss of Riley broke my tough guy’s heart and Blue was able to help him heal.

Blue was a stray (or lost puppy) who was found and turned in to the shelter. Shelters aren’t a great place for puppies and this shelter immediately contacted the rescue group we support, Motley Zoo, who picked up Blue. He was placed in parvo quarantine, he received his first and second round of vaccinations and was neutered, and then he went to live with a foster family before he came to live with us.

Blue loved us immediately and warmed to our dogs quickly. But it took him 2 weeks to relax in our home. When he realized he would be staying, he turned into the outgoing, crazy puppy who makes us laugh every day.

3. Puppies sold on the side of the road – There is an empty lot in Smokey Point near Target and Costco where dog breeders sell puppies. This was the first year that I noticed people with puppies and as I sat at the traffic light watching people pull over, I wondered: Are the puppies vaccinated? Is it safe for so many strangers to handle the puppies? Do these people understand the size of adult Mastiffs or the energy level of Australian Shepherds? Will the breeders do a home inspection?

And on and on the questions went. I have no idea if these were “reputable breeders,” but I do know that the breeders that I know would not sell their puppies on the side of the road. They take finding homes for their puppies very seriously and their adoption process is very thorough.

Again, I’m not judging people who breed dogs or choose to buy their puppies from breeders, but personally, I can’t support dog breeding in this current environment of dog rescue. I choose to rescue and support dog rescue and I hope to continue to see more steps taken to put irresponsible breeders out of business.

Author Bio: Kimberly Gauthier is the founder and Editor in Chief of Keep The Tail Wagging, an online magazine for dog lovers that shares tips on dog training, dog behavior, dog nutrition, dog health, dog safety, and new pet products. Kimberly lives in Marysville, Washington with her boyfriend, their three Cattle Dog Rescues and two very tolerant cats and also writes for Girl Power Hour as The Fur Mom (Twitter: @TheFurMom).

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