I have devoted my life to rescuing, adopting, fostering, sheltering and helping in any way I can with the unfortunate dogs and cats who have been abandoned, abused, lost, neglected and uncared for. My work has always been with humane organizations, rescue groups, animal shelters and adoption agencies.
I've been a crusader against puppy mills and the entire concept of breeding animals for profit. I feel there are too many unwanted animals in the world already. Why bring more puppies and kittens into a world where there are already hundreds of thousands of them needing good loving homes?
When choosing Kaylee, I decided to explore the idea of getting a puppy from a breeder. This was a new concept for me, as it went against my life long belief about and attitude towards breeders. I wanted to experience the process of getting a puppy fom a breeder firsthand.
I haven't changed my mind or beliefs at all as far as helping and rescuing homeless pets, but my experience with Kaylee's breeder did change my beliefs about breeders. There are also many puppy mill type breeders who do contribute to the problem and I will still adamantly take a stand against them. So let me tell you how to determine what I would consider a truly ethical breeder from one that is not. If you find the right breeder, they are part of the solution to the pet overpopulation problem.
An ethical breeder is indeed contributing greatly to reducing the abandoned, abused pet over-population problem. They do everything to preserve the ideal health, behavior and temperament standards of their breed. So many dogs are abandoned, abused and neglected because they are sold or given to owners who cannot and will not take care of them. They end up being too much work, they take too much time, they are too big an expense especially with genetically caused health issues. All the special foods on the market today for dogs with bad skin, allergies, sensitive internal organs, weak immune systems, and every other condition are designed for dogs that are mostly products of "bad" breeding. Truly ethical breeders do everything to ensure optimal health in their breeding line. Their dogs overall do not have these problems. Logically, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Many hyperactive, ill tempered, poorly behaved dogs are a product of puppy mills. Yes, they are also often a product of poor training, but these unfortunate animals begin their lives with a major genetic handicap, thus making them much more difficult to train.
Unruly, difficult to train, unhealthy animals with an unpleasant temperament are the first to be neglected, abused and abandoned. I know this first hand because I have worked in the rescue field for decades.
The only breeders I personally approve of are the ones who make sure their litters will not end up uncared for or abandoned and will not be used to generate another endless breeding cycle. The cycle of breeding and abandoning stops right here with this individual.
In the next chapter, we'll take a look at the practices and policies of this kind of breeder.