I received an interesting email the other day which has spurred me to write this post. The first thing I want to say, however, before I continue, is that I always welcome reader comments, positive and negative! I want to get discussions going, and I don't believe I know all the answers.
Callie's Wag is a blog that takes a firm stand against puppy mills/puppy farms as well as the majority of breeders that are feeding into the commercial dog industry and not caring for the health of the dogs in their care. Check out Lucy's Law in the UK - I want to see that legislation here in the US!
Lucy the Rescue Cavalier #LucysLaw
My first recommendation to anyone looking for a dog is always going to be adopt, adopt, adopt! There are so many dogs in shelters and rescues seeking homes, and there are plenty of breed-specific rescues if someone wants a particular breed.
IF someone wants to go to a breeder instead, I will support that as long as that person understands what to look for in a responsible breeder. Someone who breeds few litters a year, health tests both parents and grandparents, who doesn't breed mom before age two and doesn't let her have many litters, among other things. Here's a link to another piece I wrote on how to find a puppy.
Those who know about puppy mills and breeders who feed into these cycles are crying out for the whole system to be stopped, but I don't see that as the complete answer. I want to see the commercial dog industry stopped. This is the industry where breeders can use third-party brokers to sell to pet stores or over the internet. This is the industry that isn't regulated - despite being under the USDA - and regularly sells puppies along the side of the road or through their own small mills. These are not the breeders I support.
But, if there aren't ethical, responsible breeders who are working on getting various dogs back to a healthy point, we will lose some of these beloved breeds forever.
What is the answer? I'm not sure I know.