BE AN ANGEL AND ADOPT A HOMELESS PET.
In most cases, when you adopt a dog, you are saving a life. Most dogs in the pounds are there through no fault of their own. The enormous love and appreciation they will show you in return is absolutely marvellous and hugely rewarding and good for the soul.
There are THOUSANDS of stunning mutts (AND pedigree dogs) big and small in the pounds and shelters. Please check the websites and Facebook pages of the pounds and the various wonderful rescues and SPCAs all over the country and you’ll be almost sure to find the dog you want.
If it’s a cute little puppy you want, you still need look no further than the rescues or pounds. There are absolutely lots of litters of adorable puppies in need of adoption. You also have the option to help the rescues by fostering litters of pups/kittens or fostering adult dogs/cats for whatever amount of time suits you.
If it’s a particular pedigree dog you want, there are also lots of pedigree dogs in the pounds through no fault of their own. These days, 40% of pound dogs are purebred. That’s not including the ‘designer mutts’ which is a mixture of two purebreds ie. Malshi (Maltese and Shih tzu cross) and Maltichon (Maltese and Bishon cross) etc. This is the latest craze with the PUPPY FARMS* and they’re charging astronomical prices for poodle crosses like labradoodle, puggle, cockerpoo, spoodle, schnoodle etc…. KENNEL CLUBS* Worldwide do not approve and do not register these dogs as purebreds. Lots of people buy these pedigree and ‘designer mutt’ pups without realising the amount of care and attention they need and within 5 or 6 months these poor vulnerable babies too are surrendered to the pound by their owners. If in a pound and not vaccinated, they will be in great danger of picking up diseases such as the parvovirus which is a slow and agonising death. (Any unvaccinated dog… purebred or mutt, is very vulnerable to disease in a pound environment.)
There are lots of great advantages to having a mongrel. Because inbreeding doesn’t often occur in mutts, they’re generally very healthy and hardy and usually have a strong immune system which will probably save you lots in veterinary fees. Also you’re guaranteed to have a totally unique dog. Please be aware that it’s still more advisable to vaccinate ALL dogs to keep them safe.
You might like to save a quiet senior dog who won’t be too energetic and who’s only crime was to grow old. Sadly the older dogs are the ones that are most in danger of getting left behind. These dogs often make very suitable loyal and loving companions for older people.
In Ireland, pound dogs have 5 days to be claimed by a member of the public or saved by a rescue. Some pounds refuse to work with a rescue. When the dogs time is up, they are put to sleep. In the year 2011, 5,296 dogs were destroyed in Irish pounds. That’s an average of 14 or 15 dogs per day. This figure is now just a fraction of what it used to be ten years ago thanks to greater efforts by lots of sympathetic pound managers to re home them, and some are accepting help from the rescues and SPCAs which is making a huge difference. Now with more awareness being created among the general public, we hope this number will continue to be reduced more and more and we look forward to establishing more good relationships and friendships between the pound managers and the rescues.
When you BUY a dog, depending on what breed you want, it can cost you a lot of money. Sometimes, this initial fee doesn’t even include the first vaccine or wormer. When you ADOPT from a rescue for a minimum fee, you know your pup or dog is healthy, vaccinated and in most cases micro chipped and neutered. Also, most importantly, you will have the peace of mind that if anything ever goes wrong, or your circumstances change, the rescue will take your dog back and re home it for you. The rescues do full character assessments of the dogs to make sure that they and their potential new owners are entirely suited. They also do a home check to make sure the new home is good enough.
Please spread the word that it’s cool to have a rescued animal. It’s not good to to have a particular dog as a status symbol, and don’t support people who use animals for financial gain unless you’re 100% sure that their animals are properly cared for. Please be compassionate and save a life instead………… and ‘ADOPT DON’T BUY’.
*Footnote: (puppy farms, reputable breeders and Kennel Clubs)
For anyone who wants to purchase a pedigree dog, (and for whatever reason doesn’t want a rescue dog): in order to avoid the possibility of unknowingly supporting a puppy farmer, they should really contact the Kennel Club for the name of a reputable breeder. There are a great many devoted and conscientious breeders out there that do not breed dogs that are ‘inbred’ that carry out ALL health tests for the breed and care very greatly about the puppies they occasionally produce. Or check out the Kennel Club’s ‘find a rescue’ section on it’s website.
Please do not buy from a magazine or dealer or PET SHOP or ANY other source. Be aware that somebody selling a box of cute purebred puppies with a large price tag on them at a fair is more than likely a backyard breeder. Kennel Club research has shown that as many as one in three could have bought a puppy from a rogue breeder, or puppy farmer. Regardless of where you get your pup, if it’s not kennel club registered, the chances of your pup being bred by an irresponsible breeder rises dramatically. It’s up to you, the potential puppy buyer, to educate yourself and to avoid being part of the puppy mill/ backyard breeder problem. Do not put your money into the pockets of irresponsible breeders under any circumstances.
The only reason to breed anything is to better and improve the breed in form, function and health. A good breeder is lucky to break even with breeding and may even lose money. Anyone operating not up to standard is referred to as a ‘back yard breeder’ or a ‘puppy farmer’. People don’t realise that Ireland is the puppy farm capital of Europe and shockingly it is estimated that there are around 250 puppy farms in Ireland…. some with up to 800 breeding bitches who are forced to live their whole lives in cramped and filthy diseased conditions. Check out pictures on the internet of how badly these dogs are treated. Apart from the puppies that are sold in Ireland, around 45,000 puppies are exported to the UK annually. In America, it’s estimated that there are around 15,000 puppy mills who are supplying almost 100% of the PET STORES.
On the other hand, please bear in mind that the Kennel Club is very concerned that there are not enough regulations for dog breeders. Whilst there are many good breeders …. too many are poor breeders who are damaging dog welfare (and the reputation of good breeders) by breeding dogs for money and appearance over welfare. Check out ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’ (a BBC 1 investigative documentary which looks into the health and welfare issues facing pedigree dogs bred in the UK): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZMegQH1SPg&feature=related and ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opvvhTWqS6U&feature=relmfu for what is described as “one of the greatest animal welfare scandals of our time”
The Kennel Club has made two films, one looking at the lack of regulation over breeders and how puppy farmers breed dogs in terrible conditions to make money at the expense of welfare:
IF IN DOUBT, ADOPT A HOMELESS PET