You’ve perhaps already heard of puppy mills, large-scale breeding operations which only exist for one reason: cashing in on purebred young dogs, often at their very expense. In many of these facilities, animals are malnourished, live in unclean small cages, and receive no medical care (1). When these horrible conditions became exposed by the media, a trend emerged in favor of “responsible breeding”. Sounds like an ethical option, right? Not so much.
To please conspicuous consumers looking for a purebred dog, without tainting their reputation, smaller-scale family breeders have been registering with organizations like the American Kennel Club, in order to show they are “doing their part”. The problem is that certified breeders often subject their animals to inhumane conditions, just like puppy mills do (2). This leaves us to wonder why people keep buying from breeders, rather than adopting from their local shelter.
As if the shady ethics linked to dog and cat breeding were not enough, there is currently a pet overpopulation problem. More than a quarter million pets are admitted to shelters in Canada yearly, and it is estimated that out of these animals, one gets euthanized every five minutes (3). Often, the euthanized pets are perfectly healthy, but low adoption rates lead them to a dark fate.
As an ethical pet owner, you’ll perhaps hear your friends or family chat about the “reputable breeder” they wish to buy their ideal dog, cat or bird from. It is your duty to inform them! Remind them that a purchase from a breeder equals one neglected pet in a shelter. If they’re stuck on a purebred, maybe take them to visit a shelter and take a look at the variety of purebred pets just waiting for a loving home! This way, you could help save a life.
Have you spoken up against the pet breeding problem? If not, feel free to share this article with your friends on social media.