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The Adopt don't Shop Debate.

I've heard people say that breeders need to stop breeding, their are enough homeless dogs that need adoption. I wonder about those people. Were they adopted by their parents? After all, there are millions of homeless children and adults in the world, but did your parents choose to have a biological child, and do you have siblings? The vast majority of people choose to bear children of their own flesh and blood, ones who they can trace back to their grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth? Does society judge people who procreate or those who adopt (usually when they cannot get pregnant themselves).

Let's make it clear that all avenues that lead to the procurement of a dog should come under the purview of adoption. The only exceptions I see for this is if a dog is being bought and sold for research experiments or to commercial breeding kennels where the dogs will never live in a home. And let's not forget that in some parts of the world dogs are farmed for meat.

There's a sense that rescuing a dog from certain death or from an abusive breeding situation is a noble calling. Indeed, it's a good thing to do but not at the distain of ethical purebred dog breeders. Rescues and shelters exist because someone disposed of a pet or a puppy mill or other abusive breeding situation was shut down. These dogs are unregistered, have no genetic health testing, may have serious temperament issues either due to poor genetics or the environment in which they were kept. They often require rehabilitation and some of their problems may be lifelong issues. Some are euthanized because their situation is too dire and hopeless.

Adopting from a shelter or rescue is a choice but it also not free. You get what you pay for and every dog that is adopted from a rescue makes room for another to take it's place. And it will; from the same sources. Adopting from rescue does not fix overpopulation of unethically bred dogs or stop more puppy mills from poppy up that produce designer unregistered dogs for an unwitting market that is opposed to purebreds. In fact, ethical breeders of purebreds are often accused of fueling overpopulation of dogs, when their dogs never end up in shelters or rescues because their contracts are embedded with a rehoming clause that requires the owner to return the dog to them if for any reason they cannot care for him any longer.

The mystery dog from the shelter comes at a cost, otherwise the shelter wouldn't be able to remain open. You are supporting the shelter when you adopt a dog from them. Some unscrupulous rescues have even been exposed as being fronts for profit sales of puppy mill operations. So buyer, or adopter, beware. You didn't see the parents of dog, meet the breeder or see any health testing. There is no health guarantee, breeder support, or predictable traits.

So no shame! Just know what you're getting.

Getting your dog from an ethical breeder means you know your dogs background, get to meet the dam and sometimes the sire. There is a lineage behind your dog and the breeder has invested in training, extensive genetic and health testing, and studied the breed for many years or decades. An ethical breeder has made a commitment to his dogs well-being and future generations so that your puppy will be a predictable type that matches the registered breed standard. You are entitled to a pedigree and registration papers that prove your dog's history. Most breeders offer a health guarantee and lifetime support. They want to know how their puppies are doing in their new homes. The adoption fee may be significantly more for a purebred dog from a reputable breeder but for good reason. Breeding is a lifestyle for the ethical breeder.

I reiterate, whether your dog comes from a rescue or a breeder, it is being adopted and their is always a fee with that.

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