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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 4 May 2004 Issue


*The magazine of the AARP has printed a column telling their members--those over age 50--that rescuing a dog is a bad idea, but buying a purebred dog and breeding it is cool.

The following will appear soon on the home page of our web site
( ). Please take a moment to let the AARP know that they have screwed up big-time on this one, and PLEASE CROSS-POST WIDELY and encourage other rescue groups to take on the AARP on their web sites too.

In the current issue of AARP The Magazine, the new financial
columnist suggested that members of the American Association of Retired Persons spend some of their tax refund on a purebred puppy and breed it, to earn extra money. And as if that weren't bad enough, the column also discouraged seniors from getting a dog from a shelter
or rescue group:

"You could get a pup free at the animal shelter, but you won't be sure if you'll have Toto or Marmaduke when the dog matures. If you want specific characteristics, consider a thoroughbred [sic]. You'll pay $750 to $1,500 or more for a pure-bred dog. Spring for one with great bloodlines and champion ancestors, and he may even earn a few bucks occasionally; stud fees range from $250 to $750."

Just about every phrase in that paragraph is wrong. Rescue dogs ar
not free. The vast majority of rescue dogs are adults, so you know exactly what you have adopted--which is not the case when buying a puppy. Purebred dogs (not thoroughbreds; a "thoroughbred" is a breed of horse) end up in shelters and rescue groups as often as mixed
breeds. And, of course, casual breeding of dogs is simply morally
insupportable at a time when literally millions of dogs are killed every year simply because they are homeless.

Isn't it outrageous that an organization that is supposed to support
and lobby for the rights of people who are often overlooked, ignored, discriminated against and even dumped in nursing homes just because they are not young and cute any more would actively discourage people from adopting rescue dogs, in favor of buying a cute new puppy? And it is incomprehensible that an organization that positions itself as progressive would discourage anyone from adopting a rescue dog while encouraging more of the irresponsible casual breeding that sends millions of dogs into rescue (if they're lucky; if they're not, it's to death) every year in the first place.

We will no longer accept such casual wrong-headedness on the part of
national publications and broadcasts. Please speak up! You can read the article here  and you can e-mail the editors of the magazine to express your opinion at [email protected] . If you are an AARP member, please let contact the organization directly and let those in charge know what you think.

" Example Letter to ARRP from Staff VefanRadfem:"

Dear AARP Friends,

I read your article at  encouraging your members to take their tax refund, buy a purebred dog and breed it for profit. I would like to respond.

It appears that you have no idea what is happening in the U.S. and the world with companion animals.  This is a common problem, as the mass breeding and euthanasia of pets occurs behind closed doors and, I feel, there is inadequate discussion or coverage of this and it's the CAUSES. The causes of the overpopulation of pets in the U.S. include breeders and 'puppy millers'. To encourage people to go out BUY puppies and produce MORE puppies is sickening and highly irresponsible. We don't need any more inexperienced backyard breeders producing "pure bred" dogs! Millions of companion animals are gassed, shot and injected to death soley because they are homeless, despite being 'purebred.' There is no shortage of either mutts or pure bred dogs anywhere in the world. 

Encouraging your members to purchase from breeders and start pumping out yet more litters is outrageously irresponsible and appalling.

A better use of people's tax refunds would be; To get ALL of their companion animals spay/neutered;  To get their neighbors' and friends' pets spay/neutered;  Set up a bank account to fund their pets' future medical expenses;  Donate to their local animal shelter.

I trust you will print a correction in your next newsletter, encouraging your members to adopt from local shelters, to spay/neuter their pets and NOT to breed. 

Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

Most Sincerely,

Jillouise Breslauer

Return to Animals in Print 4 May 2004 Issue

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