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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 8 December 2003 Issue

Good vs. bad breeders

I, like a growing number of others in this country believe there is no such thing as a "responsible" breeder. If one was "responsible" he or she would be helping to fight the battle against pet overpopulation and bring regulations to the breeding industry so we could finally learn what a responsible breeder might be.

The following is an article, written by a young writer, which was printed in a newspaper I published a few years ago. Nothing has changed to make the article obsolete:

"GOOD" Breeder: Is it a contradiction in terms?

"Good" breeders versus "bad breeders. Should there be a distinction between the two?

Even among animal protectionists, there seems to be differences of opinion.

Somehow that seems strange. Those who are outraged by the fur-production industry have not made excuses for the "good" breeders of fur-bearing animals.

Yet, some animal welfare activists seem to think some sort of distinction should exist among pet breeders.

Just what is the difference between a good and a bad pet breeder?

It is assumed that the bad breeder is the operator of a puppy mill, a place where animals are forced to reproduce excessively and in despicably inhumane conditions.

A good breeder, on the other hand, is considered to be one who provides all the necessary accommodations for their pets, whose facility is clean, and who may or may not have a genuine concern for the well being of the animals.

Good breeders are usually engaged in the business of breeding purebred animals. Their animals, they claim, never end up in municipal shelters.

Unfortunately, that is not true. Various estimates place the number of purebreds whose lives end in municipal shelters at 25 to 40 percent of the total number of animals killed.

And each time an animal is purchased, usually at a fairly high price, from a good breeder, another animal, waiting on a shelter's death row and who could be adopted, sometimes even for free, is robbed of a good home.

But the bottom line for both the good breeder and the bad breeder is money.

It makes sense for breeders to put their best faces forward--to show healthy animals, clean facilities, etc--in order to make a sale.

And media attention on puppy mills has run a few bad eggs out of business while making good breeders more concerned about the appearance of their facilities and, no doubt, increasing their business.

But it's all a facade While the good breeder is busy showing off clean facilities and producing purebreds, more and more pets are winding up on the street, in tax-supported shelters and in euthanasia rooms.

Every breeder, regardless of the quality of his or her facility or professional affiliation, contributes to the tragedy of pet overpopulation.

Ultimately then, we must conclude that there is no difference between the two.

No matter how clean a facility may be and to what lengths the breeder may seem to go to insure the well being of his or her puppies or kittens, every new litter contributes to pet overpopulation.

So should we really be praising someone who is contributing to a national tragedy of suffering, death and taxpayer burden...even though he or she is doing it just a little more neatly?

Deloris Delluomo, President

The National Organization to End Pet Overpopulation

Return to Animals in Print 8 December 2003 Issue

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