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placeholderYour Rights Are Endangered

Remember old TV shows where the kids and their dogs had adventures in their neighborhood? Doesn't happen much anymore. Dogs aren't allowed in the areas where your kids are. Laws that originated to protect people from rabid dogs, loose animals that endangered stock or themselves, created nuisances and that protected animals from cruelty are being expanded to instill a philosophy onto all of the United States through backdoor legislation and undue influence in public schools. They are misrepresenting their purpose with diversionary marketing.

Under the auspices of humane treatment, animal rightists are gathering money to ensure these laws stop all use of animals, including pets, farm animals, dairy cattle and service dogs. PDFA tries to stay on top of this movement and bring the truth to the public.

                               SPAY AND NEUTER

Most breeders encourage the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats not being kept for show or breeding. Their pet animals are usually sold on a spay or neuter contract, although very few would recommend or want their puppies neutered at a time when many of the new proposed mandatory spay/neuter laws call for. That is most safely done once the animal has reached maturity. Ask a woman if she considers a hysterectomy minor surgery... or if she would consider having one done on a 6 year old child. Not only is there danger in spaying, but too early a spay has been shown to have ill effects on health and even temperaments. Dogs neutered early, especially large dogs, grow tall and too narrow for their size, stressing their bones and too many develope bone cancer. Most breeders have sterilized animals on the premises as they make for calmer pets, especially if there are unspayed bitches on the premises. Responsible breeders do however, understand the breeding cycles and keep their unspayed and unneutered animals where they will not be indiscriminently bred. It is not in their interest to have unwanted pregnancies. There is a big difference in a "puppy mill" that breeds whatever they have, including "designer cross-breds" for money and little regard for the animal, and a responsible breeder, especially a hobby show breeder.
The case against early spay/neuter: http://www.dogsports.com/rethinkingspayneuter.html

The campaign to spay and neuter pets has been largely effective. When the campaign first began in 1970, there was an estimated 21-22% euthanasia rate in the US. In 2007 it was down to 2.6% of the total population of dogs and cats. When you compare the number of families that plan to get a dog to the number of dogs being euthanized in shelters, the claim that far too many dogs are being born doesn't fit the math. Forward thinking humane societies are transporting dogs to shelters with higher demand for adoptions. What some of the shelters, claiming there are too many unwanted dogs in this country, are actually doing is transporting dogs in from outside the United States - while telling you that to buy a purebred is to condemn a shelter dog, they skew the numbers of dogs in shelters. Some of these shelters are themselves becoming "pet stores" driven by income from the sale of these dogs, including confiscations. They are not interested in dropping reported numbers of euthanized dogs. They are interested in getting laws passed that forbid pet shops from selling anything but rescues, furthering their influence in where you must buy your pets.

Now it is becoming big business to breed dogs outside of the US for US consumption both by groups, shelters and individuals. The smuggling of purebreds across the border has become an issue and people are also buying dogs on the Internet from foreign contries, where there are no assurances of what you are getting...or if you even get it. It also introduces disease and some of these imported dogs have had rabies. So the drive to demonize Americans who breed well thought out litters and those who want what a purebred offers them is based on deception to another purpose. There is no excuse for the treatment of the breeder who sold Vice-President Biden the German Shepherd puppy he wanted. Both were within their rights and the puppy was wanted, yet the transaction was oppressed by a philosophy. That is no different than denying people the right to eat in a restaurant because of their color and should not be tolerated by anyone who values freedom.

Mandatory spay and neuter bills are continually brought to communities through animal rights activists, and much of the reason they are not needed are listed above. If for no other reason than economics, these are not good laws to pass...they will double your animal control costs, as many communities have found. As a result, some of these laws have been rescinded. The costs for those abiding by the law who want to breed is one of the reasons it is becoming difficult to find responsible breeders and people are driven to poor breeders elsewhere. None of the promised income from "punishing" those who would dare to breed has come to pass. Like those businesses driven out of states by high taxes and regulations, they either discontinue their activities or move and those proposed taxes are not collected.
It has been found that low income neighborhoods are the most likely to have a large percentage of unneutered dogs and the solution has been to offer low-cost clinics where they are not afraid of being investigated and charged with violations. This has been found to be the most effective way of cutting numbers in the shelters. High license fees on the other hand, increase those numbers as dogs are turned in or unclaimed.

PDFA letters against mandatory spay/neuter and breeding bans:
     That Dog No Longer Hunts      Letter to VA Legislators (content)     Letter to CA Legislators 

         FINDING A WELL-BRED PUPPY - GUILT FREE

        show crested and puppy mill crested since bred by ignorant owner

Different breeds have different characteristics. It is the expectation of temperament, size, coat and appearance that makes a purebred the pet of choice for many families. Some breeds come with inherent traits that some find unacceptable while others find the look appealing. Good breeders try to overcome health problems those traits may bring while still maintaining the look. No responsible breeder produces an animal such as the poorly bred crested that held the ugliest dog title for so long (which was bred by an ignorant breeder to continue his awful traits). All breeds AND mixed breeds have issues. Good breeders want their dogs to be healthy and take steps to eliminate as many health issues as they can from their lines, both by testing breeding stock and in choosing dogs to breed.  They live with these dogs in their homes - they want them healthy and long lived. They suffer the heartbreak when one of their dogs pass on. Most breed, not to supply puppies, but when they want a puppy to continue their line, so there may be a long wait, but they may know someone else that is expecting puppies and might have something for you.

No one should buy a puppy without researching the breed and the dogs behind their puppy of choice. Don't be a window shopper buying on impulse. It isn't fair to you, the puppy or the breeder. All  puppies are cute - but what will they grow up to be? What health issues might they have? Do they fit your lifestyle? Does the breeder have a good reputation? Not all breeders are created equal. Can you meet the puppy's parents? Have you seen the contract? A well-bred puppy has health testing behind him, has his shots, shows socialization and may not be available because there is a waiting list. While the breeder may want a certain pup to go to a show home, many prefer their puppies go to pet forever homes. Be prepared to have to answer many questions and have a home inspection. The hardest part of being a breeder is placing your puppies where you believe they will become permanent family members. In an age when partners who marry for love are often splitting up in hate, imagine that task.

Learn as much as you can about the breed first - it shows the breeder you are serious. Breeds have national club sites where you can go for information and they are usually listed on the www.akc.org  They also have listings of rescue groups for that breed in the event you would prefer to help rehome a dog vs. a puppy. People who take older dogs often comment they will always take an older one instead of a pup in the future. It may amaze you how quickly some of these dogs come into your heart and adapt to your home. Many who have taken a rescue continue to come back for another as their dog passes.

There are those that tout their dogs, often of their own registry or one they paid to have entered into an open registry as problem free. They take no tests to prove it and often have no idea what caused a death. They cross breed and claim hybrid vigor. In the first place, hybrid vigor refers to cross bred animals such as a horse and a donkey, giving you a sterile mule. Every puppy carries genes from both parents and breeding a displastic mastiff to a husky with megasophagus does not give you a problem-free cross. Nor does breeding a golden with bad hips to a poodle with PRA and diabetes.  Those genes pass on to the puppies. Genes behind those genes pass on. And those dogs at the shelter may also carry those genes. While dogs left to their own to breed and fail to thrive on their own through many generations may have strength through survival of the fittest, the claim that mixed breeds are healthier can only be made because no one knows or studies what problems they have or what caused their death. Purebreds are tested and kept track of. That doesn't mean not to adopt a shelter dog - just don't repeat the misinformation on the health or deem it a purebred because it has some common traits. You may get a long lived healthy dog either way. (Many breeders have a rescued mix breed at home) Not even dogs with parents who are clear of elbow OCD can be guaranteed not to develope it, you just have a better chance of having a cleared puppy. And a good breeder will guide you on how to feed and care for a puppy to prevent some problems.

As to inbreeding and line breeding, it is how breeds are developed. One does not take the poor puppies to include in their breeding programs. Dogs are tested for health issues and not included in close breeding unless the issue can be handled if bred to a clear dog. Those dogs are then tested and eliminated from breeding if they carry the unwanted trait. When the puppies begin to carry forth  consistant traits, then one can set a standard and apply for registration. One can take an inbred dog out to an unrelated dog for traits they want to incorporate without losing the type they have set. For instance one breeder wishing to establish a tailless boxer without docking, bred to a tailless corgis and within 5 generations had dogs with none of the corgi trait except the lack of a tail that he was after. Once a breeder has established a line that is relatively free of health problems in that line, every out breeding can potentially bring new issues as well as strength.  They must know their pedigrees and trust other breeders to be truthful. It is a science not undertaken without knowledge or possible problems...but those problems can show up with totally unrelated dogs as well. And all that testing is expensive. That's why not everyone does the testing, but who would you rather put your money down on?

Good breeders do not fill shelters. You are not killing a shelter dog if you buy from a breeder. The same people who came up with that slogan are helping to import dogs for sale in those shelters. (They also have the highest kill rate of AR organizations) They are the reason for a boom in foreign breeders shipping to America as more and more hobby breeders get too old or feel the expense and hassle isn't worth it any more. More people want dogs than are being euthanized in shelters (and many of those are not adoptable) The campaign to vilify breeders continues as PETA and animal rightists strive to end all breeding and pet ownership.

Breed clubs are the ones that set the standards and education on their breeds, not AKC. It is the breed club and its members that have to address health issues cause by extremes in their standards. People who like the wrinkles, head type and build of the English Bulldog need to find a breeder whose dogs can breath well and have minimal health problems with their skin. The breeder should cover all possible health issues for the breed, as it is a responsibility for the owner to keep the dog healthy. They should not buy such a dog and then decide it is too much trouble to put up with snoring, drooling and putting cream on their wrinkles. ..they need to know that is part of owning such a dog. They must also take part of the responsibility of dogs that need c-sections to whelp puppies because they want that huge head and bully front. It is a popular breed for both its looks and its other features and if that is what people want, it is what they are going to buy. Their choice of breeder could influence future problems and high vet bills.

What has happened to some of the breeds is the responsibility of their breed clubs. While on one hand one breed may have ruined the hind end through fad (unfortunately not all breeders care more about the breed than "going one better" over what is currently winning), another breed now has very little coat problems, another has eliminated unique health issues through selective breeding, and so on. People who love their breeds become their caretakers and must be the ones to protect it. To not do so is to give credence to complaints about extremes that are not healthy for the breed. But just by virtue of being purebred, does not mean unhealthy or not natural. Many breeders work hard to keep their breeds in good stead. May you find them in your searches.
    
 Guilt free dog ownership.                       

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