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All About Animals: Backyard Breeders

Just who are backyard breeders, you ask? Well, it could be your neighbor, relative, co-worker, or even a close friend. They lurk everywhere. Anyone who feels compelled to breed their family dog (or dogs) is a backyard breeder. Whether they are breeding strictly for monetary gain or out of sheer ignorance, the outcome is the same – over-population.

Now that you have me started on the subject, I’ll give you my take on backyard breeders: They all need their tushes walloped.

The typical backyard breeder rarely does prenatal care. Their shady contracts, lack of medical records, and inability to provide references are all red flags. Many will have several litters to choose from and live in less than humane living conditions. The backyard breeder doesn’t seem to care that they are risking the health and well being of their family pet. Giving birth is stressful to female dogs. The unspayed female is more likely to develop breast cancer or other diseases of the reproductive system. They also run the risk of birth complications.

Backyard breeders claim that the dogs that they breed over and over are part of their family. So, does this mean that they would encourage their human family members to breed for profit? Isn’t that, in fact, called prostitution? Maybe someone could explain the difference to me. I find this behavior repulsive.

Even if you know a backyard breeder who takes excellent care of their dog, bottom line, they are still causing over-population. There are over 53 million dogs in the United States. Two-thirds of these are the products of backyard breeders. It’s obvious that they don’t care that they are causing over-population of dogs in our communities.

Now with Christmas rapidly approaching, ads will start popping up everywhere – in the classifieds, on CraigsList, and hand-written cards on bulletin boards. These same breeders will claim that their purebred or designer pups are high quality and oh – so – cute; that in fact, these pups are in great demand and going fast. Reserve yours now!

Thousands of these pups are sold yearly and come with a hefty price tag. Please don’t be fooled by the use of the words “re-homing fee”. This makes it sound s if they are being adopted. Who are they trying to kid? Selling pups by any other word is still selling pups. These people don’t care what happens to their pups after the sale, as long as they have a check in hand. If you want a purebred or crossbred pup, believe me, the shelters and rescues are full of them. Just for the record, 25 percent of all dogs in shelters are purebreds.

Please do not fall prey to these uncaring breeders. Money is their only motive. 6-8 million dogs enter shelters yearly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you buy a pup from a backyard breeder, you are encouraging them to breed and breed again, therefore causing shelters to continually be over-crowded. This at times forces shelters to euthanize young, healthy dogs to make room for the products of backyard breeders. Pups that enter shelters often are the last of the litter that didn’t sell.

Is this the way we should be treating man’s best friend? Shame, shame on the backyard breeders.

Please, this season, do not buy; adopt from local shelters or rescues.