Chick Chatter is recognizing Adopt a Shelter Dog Month by dedicating our show this week to shelter animals in general and dogs in particular. Euthanasia rates across the country have decreased, thanks to spay neuter initiatives, but America is still not a “no-kill” nation. We still have a long way to go before we can toss out the “blue juice” once and for all. This month, the No More Homeless Pets Conference is about to be underway in Las Vegas (http://www.nomorehomelesspetsconference.com/) This conference is now it its 25th year and though I have yet to attend one of them, my goal for next year is to attend this very special conference.
Lately, there has been some animosity between some of the local activists in Palm Beach County. There are some who believe that if you purchase your dog from a breeder, you are going straight to hell when you die. There are others who think it’s ok to get your dog from a breeder, and that, in fact, it’s the best place to do so. Almost every person of average intelligence understands that getting a dog from a pet store is the worse thing you can do for yourself and for dogs everywhere. They come from puppy mills, regardless of what the store owners tell you. And yes, you will go straight to hell if you purchase a puppy at a pet store. I know quite a few people who would love to help you get started on that journey!
But I digress. October is Adopt-a-Shelter -Dog Month but truly, every month should be a month dedicated to adopting a companion animal from the shelter. Unfortunately, many believe that the dogs and cats who find their way to the shelter are there because of some flaw in the animals’ personality. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, it is some flaw in the character of the person who had the animal, and not the animal himself, that is the real reason there are unwanted animals in the shelter. These animals are there because someone never took the time to teach them manners, train them to “go” outside, to be courteous roomates and to behave properly. Someone who had the animal during his or her “formative years” didn’t go the extra mile to insure that the animal knew right from wrong. Or perhaps they didn’t take the time and trouble to practice preventative medicine, didn’t spay or neuter, didn’t vaccinate, or didn’t feed the right food for a tender tummy, resulting in a plethora of problems ranging from ear infections to irratable bowel syndrome. It’s never the dog or cat’s fault for ending up in the shelter, after all, these domestic animals have done all they can to fit into our lifestyle. Anyone who adopts from a shelter or rescue organization is a true hero for saving a life. About the only problem I have with someone going to a breeder instead of a shelter is that it represents a missed opportunity to save a life. But I recognize that there are times when one would want to visit a breeder. Say, for example, you have always wanted a German Shepherd Dog. It’s been your lifelong dream. You checked all of the shelters but found none. You tried Petfinder.org and you called German Shepherd Dog rescue but the right dog for you is just not available. And you want a puppy to raise yourself. I can see how tempting it would be to go to a breeder. And as long as you do your “due diligence” and insure that the breeder is reputable, not a backyard breeder or a puppy mill, and that the breeder is responsible for his or her litter, well, maybe, just maybe you will avoid that trip to the Devils’ playground.
Call in tonight with your own opinions, we know you have one! Everyone does, it’s a controversial subject about which people are quite passionate on both sides of the issue. But as long as we keep the lines of communication open, as with the No More Homeless Pets Conference, we advance that ball just a little further.