Thoughts on non-profit breeding groups?

kittensMay 3, 2010

If we had an organization of not-for-profit volunteer breeders that cropped up, offering purebreds for simply the cost of spay/neuter and initial shots, do you think we could make any impact on the puppy & kitten mill industry? Why aren't we fighting fire with fire?

Say 100 of us joined forces and decided to backyard breed a couple of litters annually of poodles for no profit across the US. We advertise them through the organization for sale for say $120 (actual low cost spay & shots). When we are contacted, we refer the adopter to a reputable breeder first for discussion. If they still make the choice to not take a well-bred poodle, they can have our puppy for the $120 (and a full listing of genetic problems associated with such).

Each poodle would stop a sale to a mill and it would be spayed/neutered before leaving so not to add to the problem of the homeless. Do you think if we took the profitability out of breeding we'd be more successful? Could volunteers breed like this without a huge financial output?

If you are a responsible breeder that received the referrals, would you help the organization with quality breeding stock if there was an agreement not to disclose the pedigree?

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Personally, I wouldn't buy a dog or cat from such an organization. I want to buy from a breeder that is committed to the breed, to only breeding the best animals in order to pass on the best traits (and not pass on the issues), that requires the spay/neuter of all the animals she sells unless sold to another dedicated breeder, that tests for as many things as possible and doesn't breed animals with any issues. And I can't believe that can be done low cost. My cats' parents had genetic, DNA and a bunch of other tests done on them (echocardiogram, etc.). You can't do that on the cheap.

I think a back yard breeder is better than a mill, but I wouldn't purchase from either. And this is not snobbery, I fell in love with and purchased a mill kitten. I loved him until the day he died, but he was the basic mill kitten health disaster. Expensive. A healthy kitten that cost $600 is less expensive than a "free" kitten with genetic issues.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:49AM
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Gotta agree with sue36. People who shout about "breeding for profit" simply don't understand the breeding process at all. The only people who make a profit from breeding are puppy-millers who will breed anything to anything and don't bother taking proper care of the animals; reputable breeders do not make a profit, once you factor in the costs of genetic testing, stud fees, proper veterinarian care, etc.

To then think that you could start a backyard breeding operation and somehow prevent people from buying puppy mill dogs is frankly naive. The reality is, people who buy puppy mill dogs are either uninformed or buying on impulse; how would your backyard-bred dogs fight either of those issues? People have been trying to inform the public of the issues of puppy mills for years now; creating a side-source of pets that people would actually be aware of would be a massive venture, and would barely make a dent in the puppy mill issue, IMHO. And fighting the impulsive buy is the other half of the issue -- unless you got your dogs into the stores, which frankly, as a "reputable" breeder, why would you do that? A good breeder wants to know exactly to whom their pups are going.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:22PM
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There is an article in the WSJ about the high incidence of cancer in Goldens. One thing they mention is that there may eventually be genetic tests to determine if a particular dog carriers a gene that causes this increased risk. If that were to happen a breeder could choose to only breed dogs without the gene. But those tests will be expensive. A quality breeder would do it (just as my cats' breeder did the echos), but most breeders are not going to care about something that won't show up for 10 years.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:39PM
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I agree with you guys about people needing to find reputable breeders. But, they aren't! For a multitude of reasons they are still mill shopping despite the years of publicity.

Sue, if back then, when you were shopping for your mill kitten and the breeder disclosed all the reasons why you shouldn't have bought the kitten and the costs involved in future health care, would you have bought the kitten? I know I wouldn't have bought the kitten shown on my page.

Say I was breeding Labs to replace mill Labs. I would explain to them all the potential problems & costs associated with my type of lab and refer them to you first because you cancer screen, hip test, etc. After discussions with you, if they still chose to make the wrong decision, they would be welcome to come back to me. No matter what we do, there are still people that will take a chance on a mill puppy (or backyard breeder if you will). I'd like to see the profit taken away from the mills. I think given the choice and the education directly from someone offering you a cheap pet, you're going to push a high percentage of shoppers to responsible breeders. Won't that give us better all-round breeds in the future? I also think the volunteers breeding would doing their very best to care for the pets in their charge and it would relieve the horrific conditions the mill animals are subjected to. And would it not take away the temptation from new these new backyard breeders that crop up all the time? They can't financially compete.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I was 20 years old and my boyfriend and I went to the mall and when we passed the pet store I saw a 5 month old Persian. I felt bad for him, still being there at that age, all alone in a cage (this was 1988). My boyfriend bought him for me for my birthday. I never thought about it, I'd never purchased a cat before (every cat we ever had growing up was a stray we brought in). I was clueless. I don't remember people talking about puppy or kitten mills back then. Would I have bought him even if I knew what would happen? Probably not. But once I brought him home I couldn't return him (some problems became apparent immediately, including eye scratch and ulcer, broken jaw that healed crooked and ringworm). They would have taken him back, but they would have put him down.

I am pretty radical when it comes to animals, I think people who keep an unfixed cat or dog should have to pay a yearly fee (high enough to discourage all these guys who think a dog must be unneutered so they can show how macho they are). I think people who breed should pay a per offspring fee.

I guess we are in agreement on the end result, just not necessarily how to get there.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:32PM
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I agree with sue36 and I dont think price is really the reason people buy these dogs. where I live pet shops source all their pets from mills or backyard breeders and sell them for usually around $1000-$1200 mixed breeds. you can buy many pedigree breeds between $550- $1000 from registered breeders.
But people buy from pet shops on impulse, you have to go out of your way to find a registered breeder, so it's largely easy availability and impulse buys IMO. That's why I dont think your idea would work any different, unless pet shops etc stop sourcing the animals from these places nothing will change.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:46PM
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I agree a Not for Profit breeder would be difficult to do.

First, costs are way more than just medical. In fact, many breeders do so in an attrempt to get champion show dogs or simply because they love a breed. Profit is secondary and missing in many breeding operations.

Breeding often contributes to problems in breeds. GSDs for instance. The breed was bred for a certain look. That look caused huge hip problems and almost ruined the breed.

Another possible problem. Cheap purebreds would put more dogs in the hands of owners who cannot handle the breed properly. Many dogs are bought because of reputation or cuteness as a puppy. Many people have no concept of the responsibilities of dog ownership.

I happen to have an unneutered male dog. He is primarily a watch/guard dog. He is also a rescue(as were his predecessors). I already did pay an extra fee($100) to license him. I have no problem with that concept. I do have a problem with the attitudes of many people who think they know better than I do about how to own/train/use a dog. My dogs have never been a legal problem---even when they have bitten people. They bit people because those people were in my yard/house illegally. That was their job.
Want to know how well my dogs are trained? Two of the people thewy bit were introduced after being bit and could pet/scratch/play with the dog that bit them. Because they were no longer illegally in my house, but invited.

And none of my unneutered males have ever created unwantred puppies.

Blanket accusations always have exceptions.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:50PM
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People don't usually buy from reputable breeders because they don't know how to go about finding them. Puppy mill animals are sold thru pet stores and brokers (people who falsely advertise themselves as the actual breeder) so it's much easier for buyers to come across them.

If I were searching for a pup and came across your organization, why would I ever go back to you after hearing a breeder explain the benefits of buying his/her pups. I just can't imagine a breeder would be willing to spend time educating someone on the difference between your dogs and theirs just to give them a 2nd option. I know there are buyers out there who want something for nothing, but once someone really understands they're getting a healthier dog by paying a little more upfront why they would return to you and pay $120?

Sorry, but I don't think you're grasping the overall effect of what you're proposing. If everyone were to chose the breeders puppies over yours then that leaves your organization continuing to add to the overflow of unwanted pets.
In my book, 'volunteer' breeding and backyard breeding are one and the same.

I really don't see things changing until puppy mills are no longer legal and pet stores refuse to buy and sell pets.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:06PM
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Puppy Mills will never be a thing of the past. There are thousands of homeless dogs, millions being put down every year. Thousands more being neglected and abused. Why would anyone contribute to mre over population of dogs??
PS - I think this should be in the debates forum

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:21PM
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"I really don't see things changing until puppy mills are no longer legal and pet stores refuse to buy and sell pets. "

exactly right, a very high percentage of puppies and kittens are sold through places like pet shops and backyard breeders, much much more than reputable breeders are even breeding and selling. It would need to be banned by law, pet shops and puppy mills make a lot of money out of these badly bred dogs so it's just simple greed and pet shops and puppy mills etc won't do it willingly.

I spend quite a bit on my dogs, accessories, premium dog food, expensive brand of shampoo etc but I feel so strongly about it I won't buy anything from a pet store that sells live animals and I know which ones locally do and don't. The one's that don't get my money.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:53PM
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Promote the pet rescue groups, and work to change local laws.

Just requiring that all cat/dog be sold with all required shots at a minimum age of 3 or 4 months (after the "puppy shots" or "kitten shots") would slow down the backyard breeders and not bother the ones serious about improving breeds.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:23PM
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I'll play Devil's advocate and speak for the "other" side of this problem - sometimes the people at the base of the issue are ignorant of the problems they are causing. They are so blind to reality that they are breeding dogs like crazy thinking that this enterprise is going to make their lives complete or provide them an income. I hear it everday, not only about dogs and cats but about any sort of exotic pet or fancy collectible or rare plant. The uniqueness of the pet makes them think that they will make money by breeding more of them. There is no way to get through to them that what the world needs is less NOT more. They are blind to the problem.

The customer is blind. In most cases you cannot say anything to talk them out of the purchase. It's not about the potential for expensive healthcare. It's not about the horrible system they are supporting with their money. It's about how they feel when they look at that animal and how bad they want it.

The mill breeder is blind too. There is nothing you can say to talk them out of being involved in this sort of business. They've worked it all out in their mind that this is best thing for them to be doing.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Just last month, I saw a 10 month old Lab puppy, for which the owner paid GOOD money, who she had no intention to breed and therefore didn't care about OFA. Now that said dog will probably die of hip dysplasia because owner can't afford $4500+ PER HIP to get them replaced (dog is beyond any hope of salvage procedure) she regrets not checking OFA on the parents. BTW the breeder isn't returning her calls. This was a backyard bred dog, not a puppy mill dog. Now her dog is literally going to die of pain, probably before he turns 5 years old, solely because of poor breeding. If she had paid $120 for the dog, it still wouldn't have prevented the inevitable heartache her family is just starting to understand will happen.

And the puppy mills are doing just fine despite all the backyard bred dogs.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Ann, I would hope they wouldn't buy from me but instead go to the reputable breeder. That's really the point. However, even with all the education they receive people are still choosing to get the mill puppies. I've given out information & referrals to numerous people for reputable breeders yet they don't purchase. (Some do listen, thank goodness). I think much of the reason is price and much is availability of the animals. People are shopping for pets on the internet and much of it is price driven.

Mazer, puppy mills are never going to be a thing of the past if we always continue to handle things the same way, ways that obviously don't work. Has there really been much of a reduction since they began the efforts to stop them or has it escalated?

I don't see how breeding free animals would create more homeless animals. (Initially you would because the mills have no where to sell their last litters of pups but that would phase out). If you have 50 people searching for a poodle, 50 get bought. 10 from reputable breeders and 40 from questionable breeders breeding solely for profit. How many of those 40 poodles right now go out the door not fixed thereby adding to the problem? I have it going on right here in my neighborhood. 40 going out the door sick, some horribly suffering and unfixed. (Many even meeting death before being sold). And you know what, there are 3 more breeders that have cropped up over the last year, now! Where do you suppose they are coming from? The 40 that went out the door unfixed! And yup, I see them pop up on craigslist from the owners that didn't get them fixed, too - lots of 1/2 breeds!

So now, I'm frankly sitting here disgusted because I know all about the health of those 40 poodles being sold annually and the ones that never live long enough to make it to a home. And it's not just my neighborhood, it's going on everywhere. That's really discouraging. If I started breeding free poodles and 2 other people did within 100 mile range of me did also, how many of those 40 would be coming from a deplorable source now? I say not very many! Perhaps 10 or maybe even 20 would be bought from a reputable source and the rest at least have gone out fixed. Does that not begin to reduce the homeless in the shelters? If just 10 converted over to buy from a reputable source, that's 10 people that now have a breeder to return their dog to if things go bad. And there is no chance of any unwanted litters flooding the shelter. And, how many people will be tempted to home breed for profit now in my neighborhood - zilch!

People want what they want and banging them over the head with baseball bats and puppy mill propaganda isn't getting us anywhere. How many of us only know now what we do based on experience of lining someone's pockets by making the wrong choice? Probably most of us which means we all contributed to the problem at some point, which everyone going forward will do also. People are always going to make the wrong choices. Take the WIC program, lol. You can buy your own cheese instead of potato chips, but you pick the chips instead. So, we have to give you free cheese for the health of the children. Why can't we give free pets for the health and safety of the animals?

If the Humane Society sunk their 2008 revenue of 131 million dollars!! into some kind of program for us, we'd take out more than the handful of dogs they rescued that year. If we all started backyard breeding with a passion to put an end to the mills once and for all, I think we could put a dent in the problem. I also think even though our free animals might not be in tip-top genetic health, they wouldn't ever suffer the abuses that go on and they'd go out the door in decent health because the breeders actually care. The argument of course is the genetic problems with the $120 dog. However, people are going to get it from one source or another. (Nothing is to say you might not be breeding pretty decent genetic animals either). But why do we continue to allow people to make a profit to the end of days, when we could remove the market from them? At least the people buying the $120 would be going into the adoption with full knowledge about the costs of care and consciously made that decision. Take away their bread and butter and you're left with 2 groups. The responsible breeders (that get the references because they return calls & breed healthy animals) and the not-for-profit breeders as a cooperative effort for better than what we have now.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:38PM
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This is a tough one. I understand your end goal but even $1000 dogs end up homeless in kill shelters so why would it be better if the dog only cost the careless owners $120? No matter the money spent you still end up with innocent animals being bought by people who will dump them when they are no longer fun to have. Also, don't even kid yourself that many people will buy from a reputable breeder once they meet one. People want what they want and they don't want to wait. They see a cute puppy and they want it so they buy it. If they were the type to buy a quality bred animal they wouldn't be looking at backyard breeder dogs or petstore dogs in the first place. The real answer is to make it too expensive for the byb and puppymills to do business. If there is no profit they will not breed.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 11:35PM
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Hate to say it,but what a *not so intelligent* idea

I don't see how breeding free animals would create more homeless animals.

Here is an example. A volunteer group , hypothetically, wants to take Walmart down for whatever unethical practices they do not agree with and to stop the sale of Chinese goods. So they set up a small shop nearby, maybe one 1/100th of the size of Walmart and start selling the SAME Chinese goods but cheaper.
Now think about it, do you really believe, an average consumer is going to change their mode of operation and go out of their comfort zone to shop at this place instead?

And you really think Walmart, or any other big group, is not going to step up and come up with a good strategy to dissolve you? Maybe by sucking it in and offering prices even lower? Because they can afford to lower prices, your group cant

That was indeed a rather far fetched example...

I believe it is a demand and supply situation. Until you educate your consumer - and it is a slow and evolving process - until you raise the awareness, puppy mills will go on, people will continue buying in malls on impulse...

..And even IF your hypothetical group will sell a puppy or two, how does it help all the animals sitting on death row - by the thousands, with many of them pure bred dogs and cats?

And how is your hypothetical "rescue breeding" (An oxymoron!) any better than a puppy mill, or any different from a backyard breeder?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:09AM
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There is absolutely no way someone breeding for shear profit can compete with someone offering the same animal for only the cost of spay and shots. What strategy could dissolve that? Offering an unfixed animal for $50 maybe?

And yes, people really do drive out of their way to save. We have 2 large markets in our area and people flood the other 2 discount grocery stores, a wholesale store and pick up groceries at the little Family Dollar shops. They are only saving a few dollars there. Here we are talking about a savings of $500 and up.

Why can't we take an entirely different approach to meeting the demand? Nobody can argue the demand for these animals is there and you aren't ever going to change it. Most of our efforts boil down to walking behind everyone with our pooper-scoopers. How far has raising awareness and education gotten us? Come on now, people won't even spay/neuter at the low cost clinics. Mazer says we have millions of animals being put down. How much of an increase is this from 10 to 15 years ago? Is it down from a decade ago so we can feel good about only having a million now?

Where are these millions of animals coming from and thousands of homeless? People. You aren't going to change people to not surrender their animals. You can't point a finger at the backyard breeders and the mills, it's the people doing this. You have to take the surrender animals out the equation. That's a whole different problem.

Let me ask you, how many animals coming into the shelter are unfixed? How many 'oops' litters of unfixed animals are cluttering up the cages? Where are people getting their hands on all these unfixed animals? Every single person got their animal from a source that adopted it out unfixed.

Now take my prior example. Myself and 2 other people in my neighborhood breed our 40 puppies annually. We would successfully wipe out the gal selling for profit her 40 ill, unfixed poodles annually. Nobody looking at her $500 poodles is contemplating a $1500 well-bred dog. (Until they call me). Who's going to go buy her dog when my advertisement is running for "not-for-profit $120 poodles offered by volunteer organization"?

So now, the ONLY dogs ever coming into rescue in my area could be the 40 we sold annually. That's it. And, that's not my fault; they surrender these dogs no matter what the source they got them from. Separate problem. There are no more home breeders in my area now, there isn't any money in it. And the sick poodle breeder isn't outputting 40 annually that could further propagate accidentally or intentionally. (Remember, I now have 3 more poodle peddlers out here probably as the result of her). What's the stats on how many animals this breeder could potentially create if she was breeding for 10 years at 40 annually and sending them out unfixed? The efforts of 3 people just ended all of that. What if you added in another 1,000 vigilante poodle lovers across the country that were sick to death of watching the suffering and took a stance also? And do you think we'd really be intentionally producing mill-quality animals if we had a gene pool of 1,003 animals and a drive for consumers to purchase healthier animals?

Again though, the idea wasn't to create an organization for the sole purpose of breeding. The idea was to snag as many consumers as possible to push them into the right direction of buying the best of the best in health. And the ones that simply won't, no longer will be supporting this infinite problem.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:15PM
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Who's going to go buy her dog when my advertisement is running for "not-for-profit $120 poodles offered by volunteer organization"?

So basically, you are proposing a glorified "rescue" puppy mill to replace the "bad" puppy mills...

Good breeders are out there; even good backyard breeders are not a far fetched notion. So why exactly a need for a "rescue breeder"?
If your only target is "the bad breeder", effort and resources can be spent a lot wiser - through lobbying, enforcement, changing the policies, advertisement and publicity - and without throwing the puppies under the bus. After all, to run a rescue group of yours requires resources for medical care, for proper screening, for housing animals (cant just put them in small boarding cages, can you?), for people to care for these animals, and for breeding stock to retire once they are done "producing".

Might be a good marketing move (the "Rescue" part appended), but it still remains an oxymoron.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:51PM
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"You aren't going to change people to not surrender their animals. You can't point a finger at the backyard breeders and the mills, it's the people doing this. "

Yes that's true, that's why impulse buying and pet shop buying needs to be dealt with and the backyard breeders and mills supplying dogs through these sources are the problem. If someone is going to take the time to seek out a reputable breeder they arent buying on impulse and have given the purchase of a dog some thought beforehand. I've found reputable breeders care a great deal about where the pups are going, they ask a lot of questions, some even have formal interviews to prospective buyers, and if they feel you aren't suitable or are buying for a stupid reason, they will refuse to let you have a pup. Pet shops and backyard breeders dont care this much and will sell to irresponsible people as long as they have the money in their pocket.. People are the problem, which is why the selling of pups and dogs needs to be restricted to people who are knowledgable about the breed and care about the animals they sell, so your idea of offering more dogs for sale and more easy access to pups is not the answer. If there were less animals being bred and people had to wait for a pup to be available the impulse buyers would drop away and these are the same people who surrender animals when they realise a pup is more than a cute toy.

I agree with olyagrove, I think your efforts would be better spent trying to shut down these breeders, contacting your local govt and trying to get them involved etc

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:12AM
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You are never ever going to be able to restrict breeding to a responsible group. There is always going to be some stay-at-home mom subsidizing her welfare down the street. If you put in enough laws and restrictions, you're going to make it impossible for the responsible breeders to continue since they aren't making a profit to begin with. The ones that can afford the laws are the ones profiting.

If they outlawed pet shop animals in entirety, your still going to have the same exact problem. They are thriving right now (via internet) despite some of the reduction in pet store pups.

We are still left with the problem of the people. If someone wants a pup, and a responsible breeder won't sell them one, they are still going to get one from somewhere. If someone is buying on impulse or not knowledgeable about ownership or breed specifics, they still get a pup from somewhere. Yes? Why not begin to change the dynamic of where they are getting these pups? Right now, we have a situation, someone wants a pup and someone else wants their money. You can't stop that fact that people want a pup. Say what you will about what type of owner they end up being, but your not going to stop them wanting and getting. That's a separate problem you can't possibly regulate. You have to walk behind these people with your pooper-scoopers indefinitely.

Now if that same adopter comes to someone not interested in their money, it's going to be an entirely different experience. Now they have to put a little thought into what they are getting themselves into. Maybe they never knew a poople has a high rate of blindness... And if they still don't care, at least the poodle isn't going to have a broken jaw or had been housed in filth or never handled before. You're working with people that have no other motivation that love their animals.

olyagrove - I never once said rescue. It's just what it is, no profit volunteers. The puppies are ALREADY under the bus and more are being thrown there everyday while we are spending millions upon millions of resources with inadequate law making and lobbying and education. Education. Now there is your oxymoron. Your preaching to people that don't care and sitting back while they escalate the problem.

Costs? How much do volunteers spend now out of their own pockets in volunteer efforts? You buy medicine, you feed the animals. If I had a quality pet poodle here to breed, a couple of litters wouldn't set me back. Every reputable breeder needed to learn to breed. If we had a network going to help educate us, it could be done. We had someone on the board that got coached with a stray dog and her litter. She did a bang-up job.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:37AM
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You want to bet a couple litters won't set you back. Maybe in a perfect world no but multiple things can go wrong. Vet checks pre and post delivery, shots and that is routine. What about a c-section. Not cheap plus still born puppies or puppies with health problems at birth. The list goes on.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Your preaching to people that don't care and sitting back while they escalate the problem.

Alright, so a better route is to give the same ignorant person a cheap puppy. Makes sense.

A lot of rescue groups operate on donations. Sure, you can give your idea a try, but people are not as likely to donate towars unfortunate strays than they are towards producing more puppies.

Again, I am failing to understand the difference between the "no profit breeding" (OK, not rescue breeding, my bad on the terminology) and a backyard breeder? We seem to have plenty of those, so why re-invent the wheel?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:53AM
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The difference is the motivation in the breeding. Take Sue's example about her Persian above. How many of those Persian's were sold in that type of condition by that particular breeder? They were being sold over and over and over, it's a perpetuating situation. That breeder is intentionally breeding poor quality animals and probably has produced 5,000 suffering Persians.

Our breeding quality has to be better than that. Think about if we had a large enough resource pool. There are many people that buy decent quality animals. Do you think if I didn't have a litter of great pups, I wouldn't give you one to get you going if you were helping the cause? The quality could only get better and better. As far as annual testing and such, how many reputable breeders still send out litters that are far from perfect? They continue to screen and take the dogs out of the program when they don't screen healthy. They've still created litters prior to this. I know someone that bought from a reputable breeder and they are spending $7000 on knee surgeries because the knees keep slipping out of place. We can't eliminate the genetic suffering these animals are faced with. The damage to the breeds were done long, long ago. We can work to diminish some of the suffering by stopping the Persian breeder from producing those 5,000 horribly suffering kittens, though.

Sue and her boyfriend went into that store, young and naive and got taken advantage of. Doesn't that tick you off that the Persian breeder did this to her (and 5,000 more because everyone's just sitting back waiting for people to learn)? She probably suffered way more than the cat with her heartache over him. I don't think she should have learned all about the animal world that way. It's wrong. If she came to me I'd say, yup, you can have this kitty if you want it. However, know that this is the same kitty you're going to find everywhere (pet shop, internet, backyard breeder, etc. etc). Here's a listing of the problems Persians have and a cost list from the vet on repairs. Be prepared because once kitty goes home with you, you'll be so in love with it that you'll spend the money on the repairs. And here's a list of care a cat will need so you can better understand your daily responsibilities. Why don't you take a couple of days to think it over and I'll hold kitty for you. Give Pretty Persian's a call tonight, she's a reputable breeder and is anticipating your call and wants to be able to provide you even more information about the breed. You're going to get much better results this way. You're still going to have people take home my Persian because you can't change them all. At least they are fixed (alleviating a HUGE problem you still have on your hands) and came from a non-abusive situation.

What happens to the puppy mill dog that needs a C-section? Breeding doesn't always go right but at least the breeder animals are in caring hands.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 2:18PM
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So basically you are talking about creating a responsible breeder group - and those do exist - who will absorb all the costs involved.

So, your are still supplying the same ignorant customer, but now paying out of your own pocket, so they go to you instead of going to the puppy mill. I like the idea of your spaying and neutering before selling.

Problem is, you can only stretch the budget so much - and unfortunately, even if you produce 50-100 cheap but healthy pups, you barely scratched the surface of the problem.
Worst outcome, the puppy mill next door will tighten its belt - at the dogs' expense - in an attempt to beat your prices....

I guess I see where you are coming from. I do not agree with your idea as being feasible, but I see what you are getting at.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 2:29PM
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I do understand the desire to work on a rational (to us anyway) market-driven way to rid the world of poorly bred dogs. But if you consider the cost of even getting dogs that are worth breeding in the first place, the cost of their care, and the cost of raising the puppies until they could be sold, it would be impossible to do what you want.

Now if you're just breeding the same old crappy dogs but selling them for less already spayed and neutered, you're doing nothing to help the breed(s) improve, doing nothing to alleviate the suffering of animals bred with painful and life-threatening genetic disorders, and doing nothing really to stop puppy mills.

Unfortunately, people take pride in how much money they pay for their pure-bred dog or their designer mutt. You'd be surprised how proud people are that they bought a Pure Bred Shih-poo or whatever the trendy mutt of the day is and how willing they are to tell me just how much it cost them. People are unfortunately still pretty stupid and they think that if the animal costs more, it must be more healthy and a better example of the breed. Because you get what you pay for- right? So offering non-profit dogs for less only serves to cheapen their value and people will still buy puppy mill dogs because they cost more and must be better. So even there, the market-based approach to eliminating puppy mills fails.

People buy from pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders not because the dogs are cheaper, but because they are always available. Which is why puppy mills breed every female every heat cycle and have way too many dogs to be able to take reasonable care for them. It's not a supply issue, it's a demand issue. And puppy mills fill the demand for pure-breed and designer mutts. People are willing to pay the price when they can get the dog right away.

I do admire the thinking out of the box though.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:31PM
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I think it comes down to simple mathematics. There is no lack of cheap purebred dogs to begin with. That is the flaw in your premise, Kittens.

Purebred dogs exist in shelters EVERY DAY -- by the buttload.

40% of all dogs in shelters are purebred dogs. As a former shelter manager, I saw purebred laps put to sleep on a daily basis (because labs are abundant in Tennessee of course). But its the same for every state in the nation -- and the breed changes for every state. It's not a matter of "there isn't a cheap way to get a purebred dog where I live".

It's a matter of "people breed for profit and people breed because of ignorance".

It's a fact -- 40% of all dogs in shelters are purebred dogs. That is a very hard concept for most people to wrap their heads around.

There is no lack of purebred cheap dogs to be had. There is an over ABUNDANCE OF DOGS period. The question is why?

Because many think its a quick way to make a buck. They advertise them in their local newspaper. Or simply think they will be able to get rid of all the puppies to friends and neighbors. They don't screen the new owner well enough (it was a cousin), and suddenly the toy poodle bites the 3 yr old (HUGE SUPRISE -- duh).

And thus another toy poodle winds up in a shelter because it bit a 3 yr old. It happens multiple times per day every day of the week.

The Solution is not to breed more cheaper -- the solution is to educate people about breed traits and whether they actually need a dog in the first place. They should also be educated about spay/neuter and what that means to the animal they are adopting into their home as a family member.

(confession: i did NOT read this entire thread -- I stopped about 14 posts down).

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:11AM
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I think this is a very bad idea. Unless you spend a lot of money for quality stock, genetic testing, etc. you won't be able to produce puppies of any better quality than the typical backyard breeder or mill. I don't see how this helps the situation at all.

You said there are no home breeders in your area and I find that very hard to believe. My local paper has a long list of ads every day and many of the puppies are pretty cheap. I don't think you'll be able to undercut them, so basically you'll just be one of them other than requiring your dogs to be spayed. Will you keep the puppies for six months in order to see that part of the arrangement through? If not, how will you enforce the policy? If you can't, they will have purchased a dog they can then breed and gotten it for a very low price.

Here's a link I harvested from another thread. Sorry if it's already been linked in this thread, but I read the other posts quickly and didn't see it. It gives a good rundown on all the possible expenses and problems you could encounter while breeding dogs.

Here is a link that might be useful: So you want to be a breeder

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 8:51AM
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