I author humane education materials for schools.  For over 22 years, I've fostered, rehabilitated and placed rescued dogs of many breeds. Dalmatians are one of my specialty breeds but I also rescue, train and foster many others as well. Because of this, I WANT to speak out today on the issue of breeding  for fun and  profit. Some of you will be upset by this written piece and that is good, maybe you'll help us do something about the problem. 

For, each person who throws their arms in the air, or rolls their eyes in disgust for something I’ve said in this piece, you are the likely intended target.  For verification on anything I say on this page, ask ANY person associated with an animal welfare group or facility – ANYWHERE.                                                             

 If you take personal offense to it then you need to examine your activities very carefully as you are likely my target or reason for writing this. If you wish to respond negatively to this, you will find you won't get much support from myself or those who are knowledgeable. I am speaking OUT today, not only for myself, but also for all rescuers across the nation, the very limited numbers of the ‘respectable’  breeders around the country and all of the responsible pet guardians. Therefore, I will not say, "In my humble opinion", as this opinion is shared by the respected breeders and pet guardians, as well as the ASPCA,  Humane Society of the United States and all of the Shelters and other Humane/Animal Welfare organizations in this country.


**Anyone who advertises in a local newspaper, junk flyers like Craigslist etc.  Reputable breeders only advertise in specialty publications

**Will only have one of the parents in the home for you to see** Will always have a shady contract. Make sure you read it thoroughly and ask many questions.

**People who just have occasional litters and can only show the mom in their home

** Respectable breeders never advertise in local papers or weekly flyers. They reserve their ads for the specialty magazines and publications because they have quality puppies and want quality homes for them.

**Respectable breeders will have walls adorned with trophies and certificates which represent the numerous championships they’ve acquired over the years.

** Respectable breeders will not allow you to take the puppy on your first visit. They will first require an in home visit to see your residence.  There will also be a clause in the contract that you cannot breed your dog without permission and approval of the other dog you plan to breed with prior to any effort.  Their contract will also allow you to return the puppy for a full year for a full refund if not satisfied and will cover medical expenses for that same year.

**Respectable breeders always require references from at least two people AND a veterinarian on how you have cared for your pets in the past.  It is then the discretion of the breeder as to whether you will get one of their puppies or not.     

Up to 8 million healthy animals are killed in U.S. pounds and shelters every year. The majority of killing could easily be prevented by spaying OR neutering. Euthanasia is the single largest cause of death for dogs in the U.S. Each year 27 million DOGS are born. 8 or more million we classify as "surplus" ARE killed. That's about ¾  million per month. These numbers do not include the millions of dead dogs whose bodies we scrape off the streets,  the growing number that are put to sleep at vets’ offices or the hundreds of thousands THAT ARE abandoned. 

       LET'S NOT FORGET THE severely neglected or abused ones who never make it to our shelters to be counted and OR EUTHANIZED. The ten million figure represents those we "MUST" kill because they are unwanted!!! Most of these animals are young and healthy; in fact, it is estimated that a majority are less than one year of age. The problem is simple: we have too many dogs...Too many for the too few homes available TO THEM. The solution we have opted for is to kill the extras. This solution has been considered acceptable by default, as though there were no other way to control the crisis. And we spend over $11 billion every year destroying "man's best friend."

A common sense look that you cannot deny or argue with:  If you were part of a company who made ‘pets’ and every year for the past 20 years, you had been overstocked to the point of having to dispose of the overstocked inventory, what would you suggest they do this year to improve?  So, if you KNOW we are killing this vast number of innocent, loving animals each year, why in the world would you think that having a litter of puppies or kittens is OK?

       Why is this happening in the United States today? The number one biggest contributor to the problem is the "backyard breeder" not the puppy mills. This is a name that has become unpopular and no one wants to admit they are a "backyard breeder".  (Anyone having a litter in their home with just the family pet as one of the breeding parents, and advertise in the local papers) Many people do not even realize they are part of the problem. This is what I need to address in this post. The only way to stop the needless killing of dogs is to stop the needless breeding of them.

Every breed of dog recognized by the AKC has a written standard, a blueprint of what the dog should look like and act like. These standards were written so that all would know what a quality example of the breed is and strive to produce dogs that meet or exceed the standard in health, temperament and appearance. To be sure you are breeding dogs that meet these standards, your dogs must be judged by people who have a lifetime of experience among the breed. If your personal dog has not yet been in front of a judge, then you do NOT have an AKC standard dog, you have one that is pet quality and that is fine.  AKC papers DO NOT signify a dog with Breeding quality standards!!!!!

A pet is to be loved, cherished, trained, cared for, spoiled and bragged about, but it is NEVER to be bred. No matter how cute or sweet the dog may be, if it is not up to the standard, you have no business breeding it. Even if you have a purebred dog this does not give you the right to breed it. Most purebred dogs are not breeding quality. If you breed your pet quality dog, you are a "backyard breeder", whether you breed the dog in your backyard, garage, living room or an expensive hotel room, the term is still backyard breeder. If your pet quality dog has AKC papers, that's nice but it doesn't change anything. You still don't have the right to breed it. If your pet quality dog cost you $500 be glad you had the money to afford it. You still have no right to breed it.

       Do you think you can RECOUP your $500 INVESTMENT if you breed your pet dog? OR DO YOU THINK YOUR pet dog is a color or size that isn't in the standard but you just know everyone will want buy a pup if you breed her? Shame on you! Now you are a "backyard breeder" with the purpose of breeding pups for fun and profit. That is despicable!!!

If the price for a tail dock or an ear crop seems high to you, what are you going to do when your beloved pet needs an emergency C-section? Will you even be there to know if she is in trouble? Would you recognize trouble before its too late AND BE MONETARILY ABLE TO SEEK VETERINARY HELP?

If you still want to breed your pet but need to ask, "Who's suppose to cut off the tails and ears"? Ask yourself, "What the Hell am I thinking?" Do you think genetic testing is something they used in the OJ trial but has nothing to do with your dog-breeding career you are a "backyard breeder".

"Backyard breeders" sell pups that aren't up to the standard of the breed. They do this for many reasons. None are good enough reasons to contribute to the killing of dogs. Period.

       "Backyard breeders" will swear all of their pups went to a good home. They believe this, but it's not NECESSARILY true. Some may have been lucky enough to go to a good home at the time of adoption, but more than half of them will end up dead, in a shelter alone, on a cold table with a needle sticking out of their leg. Why?  Because the Backyard Breeder didn’t follow through or even know enough about adoptions to ask the right questions up front. Some of those good homes will get tired of the dog and they will just give it away to anyone who is willing to take it. Some of your beloved dog's children will end up living alone in a backyard, barking all night, cold and neglected until the guardian gets complaints and then that pups will be dead. Some will be starved and beaten. Some will be bred until they die from THE MANY BIRTHS.

Some will end up in rescue and I will have to find space for it in my home. I will GIVE IT LOVE TO SHOW  that not all humans are bad. I will train it, and feed it the proper food so it can heal, MENTALLY AS WELL AS PHYSICALLY. I will take the fleas off and I will get rid of the worms. I will give it the shots it should have had but no one remember to DO it. I will do these things because the "backyard breeder" didn't. I will spay or neuter that pup before I find it a new home so that I will never have to rescue one of it's pups. THAT WAY I CAN BE ASSURED it will never end up in the hands of another "backyard breeder" looking to make profit from puppies.

       "Backyard breeders" are not responsible pet guardians. They  claim that they love the dogs but it's not true because they don't really want to be bothered with doing all that it takes to breed ethically. They love feeling important when they say, "I breed mini schnauzers". But breeding pet dogs isn't something to be proud of. IT'S a shame on our society. It's the reason for the killing that goes on in shelters. Why do you want to be part of that?

Do you want to be respected? Spay or neuter you pet dog. There's really no other way. The kind of homes you want for your pet pups don't want to buy from you. They are looking for responsible, respected breeders who are doing something for the breed as a whole. Most of those WHO WILL BUY your pups are the kind of people I wouldn't give a dog I didn't like to. They are the ones who will turn your puppy into a shelter when the novelty wears off. That's a PROVEN fact. Want to stop the problem of killing 1 Million dogs a month all over America? Spay or neuter your pet dog now and tell everyone you know to do the same. Leave the breeding to the people who are doing something to better the breed. 

       DO you want to have a litter of puppies to show your children the miracle of life? Then to be fair and honest, volunteer yourself and your children to work at the county dog pound for no less than thirty days to show them the miracle of death.