Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seven Pups for Seven People

Watch this video.  It's long, but it's worth it.

This kind of autopsy on what really happens to litters of puppies is too rarely done.

From what I can tell, most "dog breeders" are little more than "hump and dump" dog dealers.

Yes, there are people who will REALLY take back a dog any time it needs to be re-homed, but NO, those people are NOT the norm in the world of dog sales, and there is a LOT of difference between saying it and actually doing it.

The simple truth is that about 20 percent of all dogs born in the U.S. every year are abandoned to their death, and an equal or higher number end up being bounced from their first "forever" owner to their second or third owner, without any continuity of care or training.

One of the few writers to ever give an unblinking look at what really happened to a litter that they themselves bred, was J.R. Ackerley, the author of My Dog Tulip

Ackerley starts off breeding his dog with all good intent, but in the end the litter that is produced is whelped by a temperamentally poor bitch (Tulip) to a stud dog of no consequence. 

The eight pups that result quickly overwhelm Ackerley and his apartment to the point that, despite all apparent intention of doing the right thing at the front end, on the back end he ends up abandoning the pups to anyone with a fiver who will walk one out the door.

What happens next is predictable:  disease, disappearance, abandonement and death. 

And this was J.R. Ackerley!  He was not a mean person, a knuckle-dragger, an illiterate, or a person without some means. 

This was simply one more person who did not understand the full responsibility that comes when you bring a living thing into this world.  When faced with shouldering that responsibility he failed.  Yes, he lost a little of his dignity but those pups lost their life.


It's the R-word no one really wants to talk about too much in the world of dogs.  

Instead, people want to talk about property rights and ribbons.  But responsibility to the dog?  Responsibility to the puppies being whelped? 

When was the last time anyone said too much about that?


HurricaneDeck said...

This is one of the reasons I microchip every puppy that leaves my house and no, puppy buyers do NOT get the microchip information. I bred it, I am responsible for it. End of story.

As much as I loathe referring people to anything on the HSUS's website, they do have a fabulous "checklist" for people wanting a purebred dog:

geonni banner said...

Thanks for posting this. It was interesting to see the movement of the pups through different hands. I would love to see a follow-up a year later. Perhaps they will do it.

Actually, it seems to me these dogs fared rather better that many pit bulls. (Staffies - whatever - on the street they're pit bulls.) None dead. None brutalized. I think it would be a bit different story her in Richmond, CA. I'd guess at least half of them would end up dead by 6 months.

Why don't they get 'em fixed? Sheesh...

JaderBug said...

My favorite comment from the whole story, from the breeder:

"To start off with, I think when I first mated her, I was thinking, yeah okay I can make some money out of it. And then reality kicks in and you know, you don’t make any money. It’s just one big f*cking headache. Sorry. That’s it, you know. I didn’t make a penny."

Sad. The pup that got returned... could've seen that one coming from light years away.

seeker said...

I am proud to say I know two Jack Russell breeders who have taken back their pups. One lady took 2 5 year old dogs that she'd bred. The owner was now widowed and his new fiance didn't want the dogs. In my opinion he should have kept the dogs and run. However, she rehomed both adult dogs and they are living happily with their new owners.
Admittedly this is very rare, but JRT breeders are supposed to sign a commitment to do just this.
This should be a requirement for every breeder. Of course, then there's the AKC.

Debi and the TX JRTs
both rescues of course proving nothing is perfect.

Viatecio said...

Geonni - Two factors play into why they weren't sterilized (I abhor the word "fixed," as intact dogs are not broken "things" that need "fixing")...

Sterilization rates are typically lower in UK and European countries. This is NOT always indicative of owner irresponsibility, contrary to the conclusions to which Americans are prone to jump. It does introduce other issues, though, the likes of which I don't want to get into right now.

Sterilization rates of pit bulls tend to be much lower, if not the lowest, than any other breed out there.

Just some food for thought.

branwyne said...

Excellent analysis of your typical pit bull "breeder", and who their buyers are. The situation in the U.S. is identical. I can look on CL and Kijiji and see that all pit bull sales are coming out of low income, high crime areas in my state.

Also interesting that the two women featured were wanting to sell dogs as "protection", which would require a dog to be HA. It's a myth that any breed standard exists for these dogs, or that the vast majority of breeders would hesitate to breed a dog with temperament problems. These are the "breeders" the anti-BSL movement is protecting.

There are several dog breeds whose breeders and owners have managed to keep out of the hands of idiots, bybers, and puppy millers. Try getting your hands on a Large Munsterlander or Meremma because you think they are a "cool-looking" dog you "read about on the internet." Pit bull type dogs should be rare...they do not belong in the average pet home, they are not the right breed for most people. Breed clubs and rescues should be discouraging the average joe from acquiring these dogs, instead they are marketing and promoting them.

The Doubtful Guest said...

Pit bull type dogs should be rare...they do not belong in the average pet home, they are not the right breed for most people. Breed clubs and rescues should be discouraging the average joe from acquiring these dogs, instead they are marketing and promoting them.

Thank you for this truth, so often unspoken because of the apologists.

I despise breed bans, but I agree. Breeds bred solely for the purpose of killing other dogs should be rare, and that part of their nature should be tempered through selective breeding so that they can be pets. I don't care how "great" all the ones the apologists know are. I know a lot of sweet, loving pits, and I've met just as many that are eager to do what they are bred for.