Friday, December 08, 2017

The Dog Breeders and Rescues Who Never Ask


From what I can tell, most "dog breeders" and rescues are little more than "grab the cash" folks who, once money has changed hands, never again contact the homes where they claim to have so carefully placed a dog. 

If you are dog breeder or rescuer who is not even a little bit curious as to whether your pup is living outside in a broken down dog house or is sleeping on the bed, is going on vacations with the owner or is in a kennel with 15 other screaming dogs 100 percent of the time, you can take your bow.

Remember that pup you bred and cooed about 5 years ago? What was the name of the person you sold it to?  How is that dog doing now?  Do you even have the contact information to find out?

There are the pious few who will say they will take back a dog any time it needs to be re-homed, but if it's not an enforceable part of your contract, and you have lost contact with the person you sold the dog to, it's just words.

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, abandonment, 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.



Responsibility.

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?  The actual time, hard work, and due diligence to place 8 puppies in loving, stable and knowledgeable homes with the resources to actually care for a dog come what may?

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

1 comment:

Jenna Coleman said...

Well, I have routine contact with every person I ever sold a dog to, and post birthday posts with updates and pictures of every dog. I record health and temperament info, and use it for future choices. It's not even that difficult to be honest.