Dean and I recently added to our family again. Say hello to Dolly:
We adopted Dolly from a wonderful animal rescue organization that I volunteer for called Zoe’s Animal Rescue. Dolly was rescued from the horrific and illegal meat trade in Thailand. Over there and in parts of Korea and China, dogs are usually stolen from their families or off the street as strays, tortured and slaughtered for their meat. I won’t go into specific details as it’s too horrific to write or think about, but these poor dogs rarely ever see a happy ending. Thankfully, Dolly was rescued by a wonderful organization called Soi Dog and was brought to Canada and put up for adoption through Zoe’s. I knew as soon as I saw her and read her story that I had to meet her. She is seriously one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet and if you are not petting her, she will hold her paw out for you to hold.
This is the third dog that we have adopted and nothing could bring us greater joy than knowing we are giving dogs like Dolly, a second chance at life.
So why adopt instead of going through a breeder or sites like kijiji?
Let me start off by saying there is nothing wrong with wanting a specific breed of dog. We can’t have breeds like labs, shepherds or huskies due to Dean being allergic to them (specifically, the dander). We will always have at least one Boston Terrier because we love the breed. Plus, there are certain behavioural issues that we are just not equipped to deal with (ie. aggression towards other dogs or humans or extreme separation anxiety) which can honestly be tough to find a dog who doesn’t have behavioural issues if you are looking at going through a rescue.
People love puppies (or at least the idea of a puppy) and most people look at getting a puppy instead of an older dog.
The problem lies in the fact that most people do not do their homework when it comes to breeders. Most people will not take the time to research and find a CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) or AKC (America Kennel Club) breeder. Where do most people turn? Sites like kijiji or Craigslist. They want a puppy and are not willing to pay the thousands (yes, purebred dogs from championship bloodlines will cost you in the thousands) or if they are, they are unaware of who they are giving their money to. People are usually unaware they are getting their dog from an unlicensed backyard breeder.
Well, what’s so bad about that?
Backyard breeders breed the living hell out of their dogs in order to make money. They do not care about the wellbeing or health of the animal. These dogs are forced to live in crates without ever going outside. They are never house trained. They never get their vaccinations to prevent them from getting diseases such as bordetella (aka. kennel cough) and can die from the bacterial strain. By getting your animal from a backyard breeder, you may be getting a dog that is extremely sick and there have been many cases of that and where the dog (which is usually a puppy) has to be put down. Backyard breeders have been known to dock certain breeds tails and those dogs usually end up with infections or risk paralysis from spinal nerve damage because these assholes don’t know what they are doing. Once a dog no longer produces puppies for them, those dogs are disposable. My sweet girl, Freckles, was a dog that her original owners thought she was disposable. They actually took her (a two year old Boston Terrier) to the vet to be put down because she was no use to them anymore after she was no longer able to have puppies. When she was young she developed an eye injury, and because she is a fairly rare ginger coloured boston terrier, they opted to have surgery to keep her alive, but then forced her to have litter after litter to recoup the costs of the surgery. In the end, the owners surrendered her for all of $50 to an animal rescue volunteer in order to cover the remaining costs.
By going through sites like kijiji and Craigslist, this is who you are supporting (as registered breeders NEVER advertise on these kind of sites).
How do I know I’m going through a registered breeder?
There are a number of things that registered breeders will do and not do. The first is that they will have you fill out an application form. They want to make sure their dogs are going to a proper home. They will take the time to ask you questions and they are willing to answer any questions that you will have. They will allow you to see the parents in person if you ask (this is a huge red flag if they don’t). They will have certificates of being CKC or ACK registered and will have all the certificates for their dogs. They will never allow you to take a puppy home earlier than 8-12 weeks (again, huge red flag if it’s earlier than that). They will ween, crate train and house train the puppy for you. They will make you sign an agreement where you will NOT be allowed to breed that dog and will also have in the agreement that you will spay or neuter that dog. They will not meet you in a random parking lot somewhere, grab the cash, throw the dog at you and run (if they do, they are are backyard breeder and do NOT give them money).
So why do I adopt?
I adopt because I know that by doing so, I’m saving a life. I’m saving a life of a dog that was going to put down because she no longer served a purpose. I’m saving a life of a dog that saw unspeakable torture of other others that were to be slaughtered for their meat and would be met with the same tragic fate. I’m saving a life a sweet little guy who could have spent his life living in a shelter with cold walls and little comfort or worse, ended up on a online site only to be abused or abandoned.
These faces are why I adopt
I realize that not everyone can adopt, and that’s 100% ok. The point of this post is not to sound holier than thou or to shame people who choose to go through breeders. I simply want to show an option while understanding that adding to your family is a big decision and one that you should take your time in making. We certainly did, have and will continue to do whenever we add to our family again in a few years (with a dog people, not a baby). You will be amazed at how giving an animal a second chance at life will changes theirs and yours for the better.