I’ve been kind of absent from blogging and such lately as I’m dealing with a very difficult personal situation right now. However I feel compelled to write this post because I am so pissed off.
Having worked in rescue for several years and having instituted and developed programs that have saved thousands of lives I believe I have a right to voice my opinion on this topic. Many animal rights advocates will disagree with me, and that is just fine. If we really think about it, we are laying the blame on the wrong people.
I see emails, videos and posts constantly condemning people who happen to buy a dog from a breeder; criticizing these people saying that the dog they bought caused one to die in the shelter. Guilting people and making them feel like crap for doing just what we as animal rights people do – loving an animal. If you’ve read my posts and articles I have a stringent list for someone to be considered an ethical breeder, but they are out there. There are puppy mills and backyard breeders, but then again in rescue we have hoarders who many say are just as damaging to animals. My point is this: Is the person who buys a dog from a breeder and keeps and cares for the dog for its entire life at fault – Or is it the selfish moron who gets a dog, irregardless of where they got it, and then dumps it in the shelter when they grow tired of it?
Ask yourself this honestly – and ask yourself why we can’t lay the blame on the people who are dumping dogs? I’ve never dumped a dog at a shelter nor had I ever been to a shelter before I started Bound Angels. Bound Angels, under my direction has directly saved hundreds of dogs (and countless thousands indirectly through our programs). Dogs that were dumped at the shelter by selfish, stupid, un-caring people. Rescue people jump at the people buying the dog from a breeder and let the guilty walk away scott free.
I think it’s time we focus on the real culprits… those that are responsible for the death of millions of animals a year. The people who dump dogs in shelters, those that don’t contain their pets and those that don’t care and abuse the pets they have are the guilty ones and they should be held responsible. If you get a dog, whether it’s from a rescue, shelter or a responsible breeder and you keep that dog for its entire life, if you care for that dog and train that dog, if you vet the dog and provide for him, you ARE NOT a part of the problem and you should not feel guilty. If the world consisted of people like this there would be NO SHELTERS.
Unfortunately the world is not such a kind place. Millions of dogs are killed in our nations shelters each year, thousands are abandoned by the roadside, others are cast away in dumpsters and worse yet. But we are not helping by laying blame on the wrong people.
Recently a dog that I did a Bound Angels Shelter Angel Video on named BONO was rescued (by a local rescue organization) and then dumped back at the shelter claiming he was aggressive. Needless to say, he was not and eventually found a perfect home. But here is an example of someone who should be rescuing and advocating for dogs and instead they are creating a bigger problem than they could imagine. I know 100% if I did not have the relationship with the shelter that I do, this dog would have been killed based on the testimony of one idiot.
I have friends that rescue and I have friends that have purchased dogs. Both are my friends because I support people who love animals. Those that love animals care for them and never abandon them…. NEVER. They don’t give up on them when they don’t get along with their current pets, they don’t say “It’s too much work to train them.” – They don’t give up when the medical bills come in and the dog becomes old.
Let’s look for a minute at the true problem and align ourselves with others who care. In my view people who love animals are just that – people who love animals. I don’t draw a line between those that only love a particular kind of animal. How many times have I gone to a rescue event only to find rescuers saving dogs and eating HOT DOGS! I’m not saying everyone should do as I do, but it does deserve a second look.
The next time I see people screaming ADOPT don’t SHOP and multi-million dollar organizations criticizing people for caring for their pets no matter where they got them, I’ll ask them to read this post.