adopting a rescue dog, buying a puppy, General, Responsible Breeding, Responsible Ownership, Selling puppies

“I consider him a rescue.”

Here's how it goes:

Person A shows up with a puppy. Person B says "Oh, such a cutie! Where'd you get him?"

Person A says "Well, I got him from a pet store, but they said he was getting so old that they were going to send him back to the broker!"

or 

"I got him from somebody selling puppies online, and when I got there the conditions were so bad I had to buy him!"

or

"I called a breeder about puppies in the Want Ads, and she said that she had a puppy she was going to put down because he was sick!"

or

"When I got there, I knew I shouldn't buy him, but I bonded instantly with him and I had to take him!"

 

and they always, ALWAYS end with 

"So I consider him a rescue."

 

Well, I consider my hand to be a pumpkin pie, but so far reality has not responded to my wishes.

That was NOT a rescue. That was a PURCHASE. And it is a purchase that rewarded, usually amply, the person selling the puppy.

 

My next favorite part is when person B says something like the following:

"Well, it doesn't matter where dogs come from, as long as they find love!"

or

"I am sure you couldn't have left him behind!"

or

"I am so glad that you gave him this wonderful happy ending!"

or 

"I can't believe nobody bought him before you! Good for you for buying him!"

 

Two words:

BULL

PUCKY.

 

Do you REALLY think it doesn't matter where dogs come from, as long as they get carried off into the sunrise, surrounded by butterflies and the sound of an autoharp? Seriously?

Do you think it does that person a BIT of good to have their PURCHASE given your stamp of approval?

Because here's who DOESN'T go off into the sunrise:

– All the other dogs in that pet store, which can continue in business another day because YOU just paid their rent and salaries and covered the pittance they paid for that puppy.

– The next corgi puppy or Lab puppy or Shepherd puppy who gets ordered from Hunte Corp. because YOU showed them there's a market for this breed, so we'd better get two next time.

– The other dogs in that breeder's home, who will now be bred again because wow, she just covered six months of electric bill in a single day thanks to YOUR check, so she WILL breed those dogs again.

– The mother dog in the puppy mill somewhere in the Midwest, who will be bred again because Hunt corp got a ton of orders for corgis or Labs or Shepherds or Poodles this month.

– The other dogs in your puppy's litter, who were sold to who knows what people with zero screening or any qualifications other than a credit card.

 

There is a sacred rule upon which our entire society is built: The end does not justify the means.

It is a GOOD thing that the puppy is going to have a good life. That does not justify the tens or hundreds or thousands of BAD things that had to occur to get him to that point. 

 

Your dog is a rescue if he came from a rescue. A rescue is an organization desperately trying to put itself out of business. 

Your dog is NOT a rescue if he came from a pet store. A pet store is a place trying to STAY in business.

Your dog is NOT a rescue if he came from a breeder. And that includes a good one; my puppies are not "adopted" or "rescued" or anything of the kind. I SELL puppies. The difference is that a good breeder doesn't view anything she does as a business, and if she did she'd be the worst businessperson on the planet. She sells puppies based on the accomplishments of their parents and she loses money. A bad breeder is trying to make breeding their business, selling puppies based on the value of cuteness and maximizing profits however is possible. But even when you buy from the best breeder on earth, YOU ARE NOT RESCUING.

And STOP mouthing those hideous platitudes about how it doesn't matter where a dog comes from as long as it's loved. You do no one any favors when you justify giving hundreds or thousands of dollars to a machine that grinds up dogs and spits them out dead. 

When you buy from a pet store or puppy mill or bad breeder, you create pain ten times the size of the good you've done. When you encourage that purchase, you're scratching the chin of a business that can only be called evil. 

STOP IT.

 

if you did something wrong, if you made a mistake, even if you knew it was wrong and said heck with it, I'm doing it anyway, OWN IT. Say "I did something really stupid, something I hope you don't ever do, something I hope nobody ever does."

If somebody comes to you chirruping about a puppy, say "He's gorgeous, but you can never, never do that again and here's why." Will it offend people? Absolutely. Will they think you're mean and uncharitable and go away saying "I don't regret a single thing I did! I'd do it again!" For sure.

But the thing is, they WON'T do it again. The next time they stop in front of a pet store window, they'll hear your voice and they'll feel just a little bit ashamed, and they will NOT go back in. They may attribute the wiggle in their gut as a desire for Cinnabon that's greater than their desire to see a Beagle puppy, but the result is the same. A puppy does not get purchased.

And if enough are not purchased, that pet store will go out of business. Don't think it can happen? It does all the time. When I was a kid, everybody got every pet from a pet store, and there were little mom and pop pet stores in every town. Now, I can think of only four or five within two hours of me. Those are staying in business because they have the tiny designer dogs of the moment; I haven't seen a big dog in a pet store in New England in years. IT'S WORKING.

And if enough pet stores go out of business, Hunte will go out of business. And when that happens, thousands of puppy mills will simply shutter their doors. There will be a massive increase in dog auctions for six months and then they'll blessedly go away. And THAT is the true end we want. 

Don't settle for anything else. 

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71 Comments

  • Reply Katie June 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

    A-freaking-men.

    I actually had someone tell me that the person they talked to about the puppy on the phone didn’t tell them it was a puppy mill, so when they got there and found puppies in tiny cages and filth, well, they’d driven all that way, they couldn’t just leave without a puppy.

    It makes me all stabby.

    Thank you, lady, for ignoring all the screaming signs that you recognized but would not walk away from. You just rewarded that man for his poor breeding practices, you just gave him more reason to keep doing what his doing, and *you* are the reason we still have puppy mills.
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..When the thunder rolls. =-.

  • Reply Tammy Kozoris June 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    My aunt JUST bought a puppy from a Petland. JUST. It makes me stabby as well… I did a facebook link back to your post.
    .-= Tammy Kozoris´s last blog ..Working towards my goals =-.

  • Reply Jenny June 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    We were turned down by the only cat rescue in our area because we have never owned a pet, so we didn’t meet their requirement to show ownership for a year + of a pet.

    Yes, that person’s decision, which has absolutely nothing to do with our family, our home, our income, or anything of the sort literally cut us off from ever having a pet. Unless we move some day, that is.

    I will not buy a pet from the neighbor or a pet store, but when you’re required to already HAVE a pet in order to…have a pet…why do you think people go to stores like that?

    • Reply rufflyspeaking June 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      Every rescue has different requirements, and in my experience showing ownership history is pretty unusual. If you’ll forgive me, I have a VERY hard time believing that there’s only ONE cat rescue in your area. I live in the area of the country with the very lowest homeless animal population in the US, and there are probably ten cat rescues within an hour of me. Did you check petfinder for your area?

    • Reply Roberta June 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Jenny, alas, your experience with ‘rescue” is not unusual. In fact, if so many dogs are in need of rescue, why do shelters in the U.S. import at least 300,000 (that’s THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND) dogs every year from third-world countries who raise those dogs in horrendous conditions specifically for the American “rescue” market. My experience with rescue consisted of offering to adopt at the rescue group’s standard fee a kitten who made friends right away with my dog and with me. Seemed like the “beginning of a beautiful relationship”. But the rescue group refused to let me have the kitten, because my DOG wasn’t spayed! If you want a cat or a dog and you see what you want in a pet shop, buy it. Lots of nice puppies and kittens come from reputable pet shops who will give you some kind of guarantees. In any case, since you are always required to pay a so-called “adoption fee” for a rescue, it’s just as much a purchase as a pet shop puppy or kitten.

      • Reply Cathy June 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        Roberta, the rescue would not give you a dog because your dog was not spayed. That only makes sense The world does not need more unwanted litters! And I’m guessing you did not read the article because what you wrote just perpetuates the reasoning of pet stores vs rescues. Dogs are dying everyday in shelters but you seem to think that we don’t have enough in the US and they’re being imported. That’s crazy! Read ” Little Boy Blue” by Kim Kavin and perhaps you will see shelters/ rescues in a different light

        • Reply pitbullmojo July 10, 2013 at 9:43 am

          I think she said the rescue would not give her a cat because her dog wasn’t spayed…but yeah, that’s not a reason to encourage buying from a pet store (who purchased from a broker or commercial kennel)

        • Reply Cheryl July 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm

          Cathy,
          Roberta was wanting to purchase a KITTY, not a dog.

          • Lauren February 19, 2014 at 4:54 am

            Cheryl (and by default Roberta),

            The reason that the rescue denied her is because her dog was not spayed. If you are not breeding your dog, there is absolutely NO reason (other than a medical one) for you to not have it spayed.

            “But my dog couldn’t be bred, I really watch her.”

            Okay, so have you considered the fact that she is at an increased risk for mammary tumors? How about a pyometra (which is 100% preventable with a spay)?

            “Well I really couldn’t afford the spay…”

            If you can’t afford a spay, you can’t afford a dog. Period. End of story. I work at an emergency veterinarian and before that I worked at a general practice. I get it. Spays aren’t cheap. But you know what? That pyometra surgery is triple the cost of a spay and could cost your dog her life.

            “I still don’t understand what that has to do with me rescuing a cat.”

            Because if you don’t take proper care of your dog, they know you aren’t going to take proper care of a cat. Yes, spaying and neutering your animals is included in proper care – there is no reason for your pet dog to not be spayed. Cats are already statistically forgotten when it comes to regular veterinarian visits. If I had a dime for every time I heard “Well we got her shots when she was a kitten, but she’s an indoor cat so no she’s not up to date on her vaccines.”, I’d be a millionaire. Most people take their cats to the vet only when they are sick which is the equivalent of saying “Well I’m not going to do any routine maintenance on my car but then when it breaks down I’m going to be SHOCKED.”

            That rescue did not find you to be a responsible pet owner. If you had a good reason for your dog to not be spayed (i.e. the vet thought that the anesthesia would be too dangerous for her because she has a blood disorder, etc.) then I am sure the rescue probably would have been alright with that. But negligence (whether it is due to ignorance or not) is not going to be tolerated by them.

          • Joanna Kimball February 19, 2014 at 7:14 am

            Lauren – you’ve missed the last several years of research. Spaying actually puts the dog at higher risk of many disorders that are substantially more likely to kill her than mammary tumors. The “responsible” attitude is no longer to spay/neuter everything. Spaying and neutering is no longer “proper care” for all owners.

          • Cathy February 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

            Sorry Joanna , I have to agree with Lauren. What disorders are more likely to happen by NOT getting a dog or cat spayed or neutered? I dont read medical journals but I am interested in learning about new issues in animal care and behavior I haven’t seen anything that says not to get them altered. And since Lauren works in a vet office, I’m sure she has seen this more than you or I

          • Lynn May 13, 2014 at 10:26 pm

            Cathy,
            Maybe you should read the medical journals but for starters increased risk of hemangiosarcoma and ACL ruptures from pediatric desexing. The VAST majority of mammary tumors are not malignant and are easily removed.

          • Cathy June 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm

            While I appreciate your vast knowledge from reading medical journals, I ‘d like to direct you to a simple website Webmd. Ask about spaying and neutering a dog and then tell me why it’s wrong. After working in a shelter for years ( and then volunteering, for years) I have seen MORE benefits to spaying and neutering than hazards. Also, once again, though I don’t read medical journals, I know what an ACL is and don’t understand how a dog could get an ACL rupture during a surgery

      • Reply Cara June 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Rescuing is not, I repeat NOT the same as purchasing. Even if you pay a fee, the money goes to help care for and rescue more animals! However if you buy from a pet store, that encourages more breeding and horrific mistreatment of animals.
        I’m sorry, but did you even read the article??

        • Reply merry molly July 3, 2013 at 1:27 am

          You are right… buying from a backyard breeder is NOT rescue…you need to look it up!!

      • Reply Tina December 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm

        “”” since you are always required to pay a so-called “adoption fee” for a rescue, it’s just as much a purchase as a pet shop puppy or kitten.”””” And this is were I laugh at people who spout the platitude – Adopt don’t Shop. In order to adopt, you are still PAYING for the animal. So you are still SHOPPING – weather you give the money to a store, rescue, breeder or spca. You have still bought the animal.
        And I would rather get my puppy from a store that someone has recommended, since they have health guarantees – something you don’t get from a lot of breeders or rescues.

        • Reply Nay January 10, 2014 at 1:57 am

          That comment is idiotic. There is a HUGE difference between paying an adoption fee and purchasing a dog from a pet store. The adoption fee covers vetting, housing, feeding, spaying/ neutering and other medical expenses. The fee paid at a pet store covers…… Nothing. And anyone knows when buying a dog from a breeder, you always want to see the mom. Not just to get an idea of what your dog may end up like but also to see under what conditions she has been kept. That cannot be done at a pet store And finally, buying from a pet store just keeps pulling in the cash for puppy mills. So if you want to keep allowing dogs to be kept in substandard conditions, living in wire cages with no medical attention, having litter after litter , then buy from a pet store

      • Reply Katelyn June 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        I agree with Roberta; responsible, professional breeders are bringing more dogs into this world as well where someone could have adopted one from a shelter. The only way to end “homeless” animals is to stop domesticating them. If the breeder or shelter keeps their dogs happy and healthy, I will buy from them.

  • Reply Kathy J June 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    AND when your RELATIONS who know what you did to get your dog, to whom you explained the proper way to research breeds and find a breeder go ahead and get a puppy from a pet store because it was just easier that way – ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH! Makes you really crazy when one of the things you told them was how much cheaper and how much better a puppy from a REAL breeder would be : ( Case in point – back before the flood – I did walk into a puppy selling pet store just to get an idea about how much money I would have to save up for a puppy. Surprise! they happened to have a collie puppy in the store. As I recall it was priced pretty close to $1000. Now this is $1000 in 1985 dollars – when it was real money! I ended up finding a breeder in the back of Dog Fancy or some such magazine and sending them a letter – I had zero idea about how to find a good breeder and this was all pre-internet so there you are. This “sainted or crazy” woman wrote back – we had a few phone conversations, I was up front and said that I only had $325, but I could come out to her house and pick the puppy up in person. Well that ended up being Tony my first collie, the breeder was happy to talk to me forever – told me great stories about her dogs, I got to see several of her dogs and my puppy’s dad. (Never name your dog Cookie was one of the very important lessons I learned that day!)

    Now let’s see – pet store dog $1000, here is your receipt ma’am and out the door or $325 for an admittedly pet quality dog, that had every good start in life, who had total collie temperament, and had a person I could call or write anytime for advice. HMMMMMMM

    OH, and Reeses the dog my relatives bought, nice enough dog once my sister firmly told the family that you don’t have to let dogs steal food and nip at people, couldn’t ask a breeder about this kind of thing now could we? And of course there was a divorce, Mom didn’t want the dog and Dad couldn’t have the dog where he moved – gee, no breeder to come in and help out? Good thing Grandma was willing to take the dog and that part worked out well but that doesn’t really count now does it?

    I got a second dog from this same breeder – my Novice A dog, he cost me more but by now I understood that this woman had done me a big favor. My Dad always had a cow when he found out how much I spent on puppies. You can tell the times were different because everyone wondered why I didn’t make a bunch of money on stud fees – well my boys can have testicles and NOT have puppies. I read a book once and found out how puppies are made!

  • Reply Brianna June 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

    The attitude or perception I don’t fully understand regarding rescues is that they are “rejects”. We got our corgi mix from a local rescue organization. She is the most wonderful dog for us. Eternally happy, loves to exercise as much as lounge on the couch. She came to us fully housetrained, able to sit on command, and with no destructive behaviors. She’s awesome with kids and adults, and most dogs. Basically she just fit into our lives seamlessly.

    Our entire family and lots of friends all say we got “lucky”, because all they ever hear is about people having lots of behavioral issues, or other problems with their rescues. They don’t understand that buying a puppy from a pet store or bad breeder doesn’t give you any better chance at getting a dog with a great tempermant, or better socialization than a rescue dog.

    • Reply Kaththee October 26, 2013 at 12:39 am

      We had the exact same experience with our shelter dog. She is a Bichon and she doesn’t have a single issue. Cesar Milan says that people say that but when he mets them the dog is always a hot mess well this dog is perfect. She is housebroken to a fault, never yappy, submissive, sweet, happy go lucky and lives for the daily walk. She came into this house and fit right in with all of us.

  • Reply Liz June 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I have two aunts who claim to have “rescues”–one who bought hers at the pet store when he was 6 months old for sale b/c he had issues and no one wanted him, and another who has two rotten fox terriers she “rescued” from their “mean” breeder… Ugh.

    “The difference is that a good breeder doesn’t view anything she does as a business, and if she did she’d be the worst businessperson on the planet. She sells puppies based on the accomplishments of their parents and she loses money. A bad breeder is trying to make breeding their business, selling puppies based on the value of cuteness and maximizing profits however is possible.”

    THANK YOU. I try to tell people this, that there ARE good breeders, and they are the ones that are not in it for the money, but for the true love of the breed and the dogs. My point is usually brought up in the context of MSN but thats another slippery slope I am not here to drag anyone down.

    I am a die-hard rescuer, and don’t see myself ever purchasing a dog (as badly as I am lusting after a PyrShep right now), but I think the actual “rescue” community and the responsible breeders need to work together, not against each other. The general public needs to be educated about how to find dogs, and the rescue community needs better Sales & PR tactics to place the right dogs in the right homes instead of just turning them away and souring them on the experience (ala the cat person above).

    Every time a rescue org turns down a prospective adopter they are pushing them that much closer to purchasing animals. I am not saying every potential should get the animal they want, but rescue orgs need to work with people to educate them and refer them on to other outlets if they dont have the right match.

    Sorry for the veer off-topic, but this post was refreshing to read and brought out my need to rant on overlapping issues…
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..Diego Drama, Forest Fun, Pierre Pining… =-.

  • Reply Misti June 15, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I wish you guys could see the standards for pets here in Korea. It is so incredibly shocking and heartbreaking. A million times worse than anything you will ever see in the states. They breed these tiny breed puppies and sell them in pet stores before they have teeth. 6 out of 10 puppies die within a week of purchase. Every single market you go to has at least one dog vendor with dozens of shit covered crying dogs and puppies shoved into chicken cages. Chicken trucks (the ones with 6 levels and small cages on either side) are seen routinely on the roads, stuffed with puppies. Dog fighting is alive and well, not to mention the dog meat industry. And to make things even worse, the military families here buy pets like some people buy milk. Who have little to no intentions of actually taking their dog with them when they PCS. They get the puppy, then when they find out how expensive it is to get that Husky or Jindo home, they dump it at a vet’s office.

    Every big wal mart type store has pets, every vet sells puppies, even the realtors we go to to rent apartments and pay rent have cages of puppies. One stop shopping! Get a home and a new dog all at once, right? I don’t even know how many people have told me about the sorry pathetic puppies they’ve bought here. OMG, and don’t even get me started on the SHELTERS. Jiminy Christmas, you have never seen anything like it. But there are true angels here, who work so hard to pull them out of the hellholes they’re living in, and some of them even get to fly to the States to live. It’s so sad, and it’s given me a lot of perspective on the situation in the US, that’s for sure.

  • Reply Courtney Keys June 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    THANK YOU. I wonder if this stems from a certain blog post on a certain other “corgi” blog? I got banned from that blog’s Facebook page because I tried to get my (your, these) points across despite everyone else saying “aww, what a great rescue story!” Oh, my blood was boiling. Not because of being banned, but because people defended this girl, and there was no message on the blog post that “hey by the way, Petland is bad!” I accused the blog author of essentially being an advertisement for cute, cheap puppies from Petland, which I think made her mad, but HELLO! And the girl herself said she “felt OK” with her purchase and Petland “seemed OK” and also, they got the name of the breeder cuz it’s on his AKC papers and if they want another puppy, they can just go right to the breeder now. What a SWELL IDEA!

    Spreading your post far and wide. Love your blog.

  • Reply Do you like puppy stores? - Page 4 July 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    […] I would have been supporting puppymills by buying her. She wouldn't have been a rescue at all. I Consider Him A Rescue __________________ No good dog is a bad color. Banner by AllieMackie! If German Shepherds are […]

  • Reply Jamie July 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    May I repost this?! It is wonderful and so many people need to read this.

    • Reply rufflyspeaking July 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      Absolutely. Crossposting always allowed as long as my name and the website address (rufflyspeaking.net) stay intact :).

  • Reply Cris June 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I made the mistake of purchasing a puppy from a pet store a few years ago before I understood the ramifications of my actions and have learned so much about the ‘industry’ since then. If course I loved my dog, but I didn’t love the means once I was educated. I now spread the word about this whenever I can whether it’s insulting or not, and your article is a great tool.

    Now I would only actually rescue or purchase from a reputable breeder after doing careful breed research. That’s how I came to be owned by Olive, my amazing little whippet. I know now how to be a responsible dog owner right from the beginning, not only after I get a puppy (or any animal!) home.

  • Reply Pat F. June 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I sometimes meet people at the local dog parks and dog-friendly areas with dogs they bought from pet shops. Usually, the dogs seem to be friendly and healthy. I try to advise the owners to make different choices the next time they get a dog, i.e. rescue or a responsible breeders, and explain to them that even if they lucked out with the dog they have, they have no idea of the conditions in which it was born and raised, or the state of its parents. I tell them that buying a puppy from a pet shop is subsidizing irresponsible breeding.

    I have no idea whether my advice will prevent any future pet shop purchases – I can only hope.

    Personally, I make it a point, should I see a pet shop, to stay the heck away from it, not to go in, not to buy anything there. I feel terribly sorry for the poor little puppies and kittens who have been warehoused and poorly bred, etc.; but we’re not going to stop the pet stores from selling puppies and kittens by buying them.

    • Reply rufflyspeaking June 9, 2011 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks for all you do! And yes, we (and hopefully everyone we can possibly buttonhole and tell them about it) won’t buy even a single supply from a store that sells puppies or kittens. It’s my fervent hope that eventually they realize that selling animals is hurting their business and not helping it.

      • Reply KellyK July 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen a store that sells puppies or kittens. (That is a good thing and makes me very happy!) Chains like Petco frequently partner up with rescues, so there are frequently adoptable dogs and cats there.

        Unfortunately, I still see signs all over the place advertising puppies for sale.

        • Reply sarah July 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

          I actually refused to go to petco and petsmart because the small animals there also come from mills in heartbreaking conditions. I know so many people who think hamsters are “mean”. But in reality most pf them bought their hamsters from a pet store where they are over stressed and under socialized as babies. Hamsters can be very friendly animals when well bred and properly cared for in early life. Rats, gerbils and other small animals deserve to be treated with respect too.

          • KellyK October 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

            Wow…thank you for that info. I didn’t really even think about all the little animals, but you’re right, they deserve good care and socialization as much as dogs and cats do.

          • Reader August 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

            …and some animal shelters have small pets too! http://www.petfinder.com/index.html has a bunch more categories than just Dog and Cat. =^.^=

  • Reply Our New Puppy - Need Some Help with a Name - Page 5 - Australian Purebred & Crossbreed Dog Forum August 18, 2011 at 9:10 am

    […] “I consider him a rescue.” | | Ruffly SpeakingRuffly Speaking PS this sums up why I made my first post in this thread. __________________ Puppies for SaleLink approved by moderator […]

  • Reply Sue Alexander December 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    My response to clients who tell me that they got a dog from a pet store, a broker or some other shady option is that “the bad news is that your dog came from a bad source and the good news is that he has you.” I do not however think that being from a rescue means that the dog is coming from a better source; often times rescues are not what they could be. Locally, we don’t have enough dogs to fill the many rescues we have so we are importing them from out of county, province and country. The transference of dogs from litters to final homes is currently in a state of disaster. Great article. Thanks.

  • Reply i-consider-him-a-rescue - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums June 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    […] Ruffly Speaking: Dog photography and general dog nuttiness of all kinds. Kind of like Nutella. – Go,… Something many of us say here… This is well written. __________________ ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ […]

  • Reply j lyn June 27, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    What just breaks my heart are the people who obtain an animal by what ever means and don’t take the time to think about the commitment they have undertaken.Animals are rarely convenient to have,they grow, they make messes and if you are dealing with reptiles, they often eat live meals. Properly maintained animals live for years up to 50 depending on the animal. When you get an animal that is a life long commitment.

  • Reply jeri June 28, 2012 at 12:14 am

    There are breeders that breed to better the breed. Yes, they do sell puppies. The breeder that I work for has people buying their third and fourth puppy (AFTER the others have passed!) from her. She breeds when she wants a puppy to keep but, all of the puppies have future homes BEFORE she breeds. REAL breeders do NOT advertise in the papers because, they have buyers on a waiting list. Some of us want a representative of the breed we LOVE and are interested to show etc. I have two rescue cats. I do not show cats nor, do I do obedience or earthdog with my cats. The cats are my pets. My dog sleeps on my bed also. I love my dog but, we do activities together. Just because I didn’t “rescue” my dog does not mean that I do not care for animals in need. Don’t paint everyone with the same black brush!!!!!!!

    • Reply rufflyspeaking June 28, 2012 at 1:34 am

      Hi, Jeri – don’t worry, I am not! I am a breeder myself and very carefully screen new buyers, and I am honest with myself that I AM putting new lives out there and think very carefully about what that means. I hope you wander around the rest of the site and see that I’m actually quite pro-breeder (just pro-GOOD breeder!)

  • Reply Grace June 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I almost cannot type, as my experience with a rescue organization, has left my spirit weary, sad, and my body ill. Agree with Sue’s comment, not all rescues are what they could be. A rescue may state its commitment to positive training methods, yet send some dogs to boot camp. Young dogs with orthopedic illnesses. Discussing how to best *market* this young dog. Seriously? Yes. Seriously. In my opinion — there is no marketing necessary. Great dog. Many superb qualities. Honesty works. Disclose everything — the great, the difficult, and everything in between. Someone is a match for this particular dog. No need to “market”. Walking the borderline, (crossing the borderline) between selling dogs vs. making a dog available for adoption. The title of the organization has the word rescue in it. Yes, they are pulling dogs from shelters who would otherwise die, due to passage of time and need for space. Yes, the physical dog is rescued from death at the animal shelter. However, only to suffer a spirit death, or many spirit deaths, as its trust is repeatedly built, only to be broken? Dogs are resilient, is what I’m told. Sure they are. But, not all to the same degree. And abuse, is never okay. Even when it goes by the name: “training”. or, “an intensification program of training”. …on a young, reactive dog, who is reactive, likely in large part, due to pain, from veterinarian diagnosed, via orthopedic exam and x-rays, with painful orthopedic illnesses. Does this happen to every dog in this rescue? No. Is a line being walked or perhaps crossed on occasion? Perhaps unconsciously entering the murky space of is the rescue being a rescue or a pet store? Certainly, there is no storefront, except perhaps on adoption days.

  • Reply Deb R. June 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I never have and don’t imagine that I ever would buy from a pet store or from a bad breeder but my question always is – if no one buys those dogs and the breeder/pet store goes out of business, what happens to those dogs? Please don’t yell at me, I am asking because I truly don’t know. Do they get put down with the justification that the sacrifice of a few is worth it to save hundreds or thousands? Or would those animals most likely go to a Rescue or Humane Society type place?

    • Reply rufflyspeaking June 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      The prices are dropped and dropped until SOMEBODY buys them. Eventually it’s seen as too good a bargain.

      • Reply April Barker July 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        That is not always true. Sometimes they do go back to the puppy mills to be bred. Other times, they are euthanized. I have heard reports that one local pet store here fired an employee for refusing to “euthanize” an animal by putting it in the freezer, alive.

        • Reply Tina December 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

          What proof do you have that this happens? If you are going to make a serious claim like this, you should have definative proof.

          • Nay January 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

            Have you been living under a rock? You obviously have a computer. Why don’t you look on You Tube for puppy mills? Or puppy mill dog auctions, where they sell the females for change because they are too old to continue breeding? And if they don’t sell, they take them back and kill them. Or how about watching the documentary” The Madonna of the Mills”? Or maybe foster or volunteer for a rescue, where you will see the mental and physical damage caused by these “breeders”? How about a nice trip through you’re local shelter? They can be found there too. Do a little research before you accuse someone else of making things up.

  • Reply Brianna June 29, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Bad breeders and BYB’s don’t always have dogs in cages as well. Sometimes they look legit and the pups are running around and not dirty or caged. But people don’t want to take five minutes to find out about these breeders. They would rather just buy and never think about it again! I fell into that trap a few years ago and would never do it again.
    What I thought was a reputable breeder turned out to be a BYB in disguise. The pups were in the house, very clean and looked lovely. The parents were there as well. But what I didn’t know is that this woman has 4 females and 1 male and breeds the females constantly! I didn’t take the time to learn about this lady and I am now ashamed that I helped her in her “business”. Had I asked around I would have found out exactly what she was and avoided her. But I will never let ignorance get in my way again, let me tell you!
    Next time I am looking for a dog it is rescue or shelter only for me!

  • Reply Julie July 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Wow, really? Pretty harsh, in my opinion. I DID buy a dog in a pet store BECAUSE she was 4 months old and been there 2 months of her short life already. I did NOT walk into the pet store to buy a dog, but I was NOT going to leave there without her because NO dog should EVER have to spend half of their life in a little wire cage, REGARDLESS of whether they are in a pet store or elsewhere.

    So WHAT is YOUR answer? To leave a dog in that environment just because YOU think that’s what should be done? Do you think that by posting an irresponsible blog like this that everyone will quit buying dogs in a pet store? NO! Do you really think all those mom and pop pet stores went out of business because customers weren’t buying dogs from them? They went out of business because the big box stores moved in, which is the same reason why many other mom and pop businesses went under. I’m not saying it’s right, just stating a fact.

    I did not need a dog, was not planning on getting a dog anytime soon, but because I am a human being with a heart, I could not leave her there. She has all kinds of health issues that I didn’t know about when I got her, but I STILL would have taken her out of those conditions if I WOULD have known about them. YES, I do consider her a rescue and that is MY opinion, which I am entitled to. And your opinion is your opinion. I NEVER thought I would buy a dog from a pet store, and never have in the past, but it is NOT irresponsible to buy from a pet store in EVERY situation!

    YES, dogs end up in shelter, are mistreated and abused, and killed, and not all of them came from pet stores! But I ASSURE you that the dogs that stay too long in pet stores are sent back to the breeders/puppy mills and are most likely killed! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE??????????? Do you think that puppy mills will quit breeding because they get a few puppies back a year that didn’t get sold in the pet store? NO! If I wouldn’t have “saved” my dog, she might have gone back to the breeder and who knows what would have happened to her? And I would not have gone down to the shelter to get a dog because that was NOT the reason why I got a dog to begin with!

    I am an animal lover to my core and have had animals ALL my life. Not once, nor will I EVER, consider what I did by getting my dog from the pet store irresponsible. YOUR “hideous platitudes” ARE irresponsible, though, and that is MY opinion. Who made you God?

    And lastly, sometimes the end DOES justify the mean.

    • Reply KellyK July 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I totally understand wanting to save one dog, who’s going to get killed if you don’t take them home. That’s a good impulse, and I don’t blame you for it at all.

      But I think you do have to accept that when you buy a puppy mill dog, you’re helping people profit from abusing and killing dogs. That really is the bottom line. No, your individual purchase or lack of one isn’t going to change the market all by itself, but denying that it has an effect is like an individual raindrop saying it’s not responsible for the storm.

      Also, while you have a point that big box stores are the main reason a lot of little mom & pop pet stores have gone under, those big box stores could carry puppy mill cats and dogs, and they don’t. I doubt it’s because of the awesome ethics of PetCo or PetSmart. (As someone else posted above, their small pets come from puppy-mill-like conditions.) I think it’s much more likely that the negative publicity that would result outweighs the sales they’d get. The more people who view buying a puppy mill dog as “rescuing” and as a perfectly valid moral decision, the more likely it is that at least some chains will decide they’d like to get back in on that market, and the more demand there will be for puppy mills to keep churning out dogs.

    • Reply JenniferT June 20, 2013 at 1:55 am

      I’m sorry, Julie, but when your decision is the reason for hundreds and thousands of dogs suffering in inhumane conditions, it becomes other people’s business. Those of us who have to go into these miserable holes when they are discovered and bring out the dogs that are filthy, matted, starved, blinded, unsocialized, and severely ill DO have the right to expose your PURCHASE as the cause of misery it is. Those of us who have to put a needle into the vein of the dog too far gone to save without causing it too much more misery DO have the right to teach you what your buying that puppy encouraged. I’m sorry it hurts you too much to admit you’re wrong. But that won’t ever make what you did right.

      • Reply Cathy July 2, 2013 at 9:45 pm

        Well said Jennifer. And unfortunately, so true

      • Reply Patty December 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm

        Very well said!

    • Reply Laura June 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      No, the end does NOT justify the means. Your end PERPETUATES the means.

      If people stop buying pet stores puppies, it WILL put the puppy mills out of business.

      There are plenty of dogs who have spent their ENTIRE LIVES in cages at your local SHELTER. Go feel sorry for those dogs and do something to help! Stop subsidizing the puppy mill industry!

      Your argument is just incredibly myopic. Think about the bigger picture. Imagine all the dogs who live in horrid squalor that went into making your dog. You just funded that puppy mill and helped to keep it going. As the author so eloquently stated, admit your mistake, don’t make it again, education others and make a difference!

  • Reply Sally Hull July 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    EXCELLENT article. Thank you so much. I know the scathing looks and angry responses when I say “You just lined the pockets of some of the worst animal abusers there are.” It makes me physically sick when I hear “I rescued him from a pet store.” BULL CRAP.

  • Reply Mizarie July 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I DID rescue a dog from the breeder. HOWEVER they were going to kill her because she was “untrainable”. I got her for free though and actively make sure people know what the breeder is and how they treat the dogs.

  • Reply Tuesday July 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    When I was a kid, people would sometimes hang outside of grocery stores with a cardboard box of puppies and a sign that read “FREE.”

    There are few pet stores where I live. We mostly have pet supply stores that have spaces for animals from the local Humane Society and SPCA. It kills me to see the puppies that are actually for sale, (a) because they come from mills, and (b) the freaking “designer breed” trend that’s making the whole thing flourish.

  • Reply Manuela McGee January 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I agree with everything that has been said, but one thing is not correct: people DO go back and buy another from the same place. Having worked for a veterinary hospital, located near-by a store selling puppies from a puppy mill… and having treated countless pups for parasite overload and genetic disorders, some owners went so far as being outspoken about the place.. until they went in for some reason (AGAIN) and “rescued” another pup. Fact is.. the dogs suffering to have that pup sit there are not there to look at. They don’t look up at the person, causing an emotional response. That puppy IS. Until it is outlawed to sell pups in pet-stores, this will continue. Because it is human nature to care more about what’s in front of you, than what you can’t see.

  • Reply Westwind Dobermans - Page 2 - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums January 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    […] your pup, all you've really done is reward a bad breeder for being a bad breeder. “I consider him a rescue.”Ruffly Speaking | Ruffly Speaking Please, stick around and learn all you can about Dobes. Also, don't count on his ears staying up. […]

  • Reply Canis Maximus - Humane Investigator Report (Part 1 of 2) - Page 6 - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums April 9, 2013 at 10:30 pm

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  • Reply Maddy L June 11, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I am trying to figure out how to get in touch with you, Ms. Kimball! I am desperately in need of some advice/guidance/any assistance you can offer. I don’t know if you can see the email address I have entered on this little comment form, but if you can’t, please feel free to reply to this message with your contact info. I have been researching for weeks on end on dogs/puppies and I came across your blog and after reading several of your posts I feel like I have found not only a kindred spirit but someone whom I can trust to give honest and accurate advice. Thanks!

  • Reply JenniferT June 20, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I think I just fell in love with an article. I’m not one to love inanimate objects, but this article? Yep. Perfectly said, and I have made my enemies by doing just what you described. I tell people who bought dogs that their dog is NOT a ‘rescue’. There is nothing wrong with buying a dog and doing it the right way, from a responsible breeder. And ‘rescuing’ a dog isn’t a ticket to otherworldly rewards. How to make people understand this is the hard part. This just made it a bit easier.

  • Reply Tete June 21, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    AMEN! We do bottle fed kittens for our shelter and are fostering 2 older cats for them right now. Just got 5 babies in last night.
    We have a 14 year old poodle that was rescued from a terrible breeder. We have had him 8 years now and he is the most wonderful dog, but what he went through to get here was awful.
    He was caged the first 8 years of his life and cleaned with a hose. He is so afraid of the hose still.
    Some of our rescues are going to Petsmart for adoptions. They let the shelter take so many a month and they are getting adopted there. Petsmart lets the shelters handle the adoptions, so anyone would know that they are not from breeders, but ones that have been saved from sure death.

  • Reply Advice on my Puppy's BYB - Page 2 June 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

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  • Reply Stacey Bjorn June 28, 2013 at 4:00 am

    So you say to just leave the dog behind the glass knowing he wil be destroyed and not to support that awful system. Well I disagree. i took that dog home. I did not create him, but I will give him a good home that he deserves. The issue is with the Mills and the stores. It is so easy to say not to support them- well then lets try to find a way to stop them. Then we will see breeds decline and dissapear. PLEase!!!… they are all in it for the money- whether they are mills or breeders… it’s all about the money.

    • Reply Cathy July 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Stacy, you are right about one thing, it is all about the money. So why would you be so willing to support a pet store that buys puppy mill dogs? Have you no conception of how dogs are treated in puppy mills? Cages stacked on top of one another so that the feces falls thru the wire bottoms to the cages below. Dogs forced to stand on wire floors 24 hrs a day. No exercise, no affection and many times no medical attention. And you think that’s okay? I understand how you feel seeing that poor dog in the pet store that had been there 2 months, but that’s not a very long time. There are dogs in some no kill shelters who have been there for YEARS. And of course the dog you got had health issues, once again know big surprise, most puppy mill dogs do. So summing this all up, it’s nice that you took the dog from the pet store, but in doing so you only succeeded in keeping more dogs in bad conditions and by not adopting from a shelter or rescue, allowed more dogs to be euthanized.

  • Reply Ashleigh July 30, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Thank you for your brutal honesty, shared.

  • Reply longtimerescuer September 19, 2013 at 3:20 am

    If you keep an animal, you did not rescue him/her. You acquired a pet, regardless of source. The base problem is simply ego. People like to think of themselves as the saviors of their pet, but the truth is that rescue involves. taking in an animal at risk, then placing that animal in a forever home – other than your own.

    • Reply Kaththee October 26, 2013 at 2:24 am

      If you rescued something then you rescued it from whatever, even if you keep it or even if you kill it and eat it later. You can’t change the English language to fit your particular world view. If the dog/kid/grandmother was drowning and you rescued it from drowning then you rescued it. If the kitten was standing in traffic and you picked it up and read her tag and then took her home- you rescued it. Rescue operations have not cornered the market on the word “rescue” especially not when used as a verb as a noun I know they are trying. You might want to think through such arguments before you make them. Ask yourself what words mean first rather than defining them as you go.

  • Reply Kaththee October 26, 2013 at 2:14 am

    If in your love for animals, you show contempt for people, then you are so very wrong that they will think twice before they walk into that pet store. You might know dogs but you don’t know people. That is wishful thinking born of pride, gone wrong. To teach people, you have to have what I like to call a “helpful attitude” and reach out with love and compassion. So many people would argue that what you do isn’t ethical. Could they change your mind at all by jumping on their higher horse and being “mean” to you and “offending” you as you suggested to others? By the way, I don’t call my dog a “rescue” because I just don’t think of her that way. Sure she has a shady past as a breeder at a puppy mill and then did 5 months at the SPCA, but she lives in the moment. I have a grand- kitten my daughter literally rescued from walking into a busy street downtown (after my daughter got off work doing real wild life preservation by the way), but I am sure she wouldn’t fit your definition of a “rescue” either since we now know, “rescues” come from rescue operations. That is fine because we don’t call her that. We call her Buffy. I bought my recently departed maltese (who was my purchased pampered pet but would jump into random people arms swearing she needed “rescuing” right then and there) from someone who you would derisively call a “back yard breeder” and thus gets dumped in with the operations that torture animals and left my other dog with only one ear leather, less than 1/2 her teeth and one eye. I don’t apologize for my dog’s lack of perfection or pink nose or whopping 6.5 lbs. She was a lot better than 4 pounders, I have seen from champion breeders whom I know you would approve. I wouldn’t have traded her for a litter of your prize winners. Not just because I loved her either. She was a better dog! She won the Kaththee best in show 10 years running. Dog breeds exist for human amusement or work purposes, and for all your grandstanding it is difficult to see how you make the world a better place for animals or people, compared to those you scorn.

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