Good old facebook! Local to us we have a selling site, and an attached forum, Today I found this question posed by one of the admins

“Should animals (especially dogs) be advertised on these facebook sites? I have a real bug over seeing these – especially the ones offering these animals for sale or for stud. Banging out pups from home for easy bucks has to be wrong surely?”

My Reply

“Didnt you know I may just stick my oar in on this one!. Ive always known about the Rescue Centres, and My first dog was a rescue, spinger collie x..how mad can you get.

Admittedly my next two were from a breeder, but that was after first touring all the local rescue centres, and not finding anything suitable around young children. We took on two pups from the same litter.

Our third dog came via ARC site. Having cut down my working hours, we decided to add to the family. It was whilst looking I became aware of just how big the problem with “dogs needing new homes” has become. In this climate there will be genuine, legitimate reasons why dogs have to be given up for rehoming, and I will not knock people who put their dogs best interest at heart. BUT it is well known that people who use dogs for the wrong reasons, eg “bait dogs” irresponsible breeders, re-sellers use the free sites and papers to find their animals.

I don’t like seeing dogs advertised on here, but If there weren’t a demand, There would be no profit in breeding. I am not a massive fan of the Kennel club, as sometimes dogs bred for showing are having harmful traits bred in. They however at present pushing for an accreditation scheme for breeders, to determine the basic welfare of breedings are met.

I am a fan of dogs, both as companions and seeing them working. Where I start to get annoyed is when I see them there as the latest fashion accessory. Or people have bought them without doing their homework, that sweet bundle of pup, dependent on breed, if not catered for correctly, will turn into a weapon of mass destruction. If you do an internet search on BYB or backyard beeders you will find pages of information on the inherent faults that can be found.

Again I have nothing against “responsible” breeding, or the “next doors dog got her” single litter. What does concern me is where I see the poor ex breeding bitches and stud dogs turfed out when they have outlived their usefulness. Again online at the moment you can find the moral debates raging, If there weren’t rescues prepared to take these in, It would be harder for illegitimate breeders to dispose of them. I dont think it would…they just wouldnt stand a chance of a second life.

There is also the scenario I have heard time and again, where owners have had dogs off unscrupulous breeders, because they didn’t want to leave the dog behind. Again I will not criticize these, because I’m sure if I was faced with that choice I would be the same. To anyone considering a dog, i would ask you to consider the following at the very least.

1. Do your homework, speak with friends who own dogs, ask to look after them, let them have the run off your garden and see if you can put up with clearing up after them.

2. They can end up costing you more than kids. Its not just the food,bedding,toys, its the insurance, the time walking them, training them etc.

3. Consider just how much they will change your lifestyle. I’m lucky..I have a caravan and also good neighbours. They either come away with us or stay with next door and their dogs.

4. Dependent on breed your dog could be with you for anything upto 20+years. At that stage they can become incontinent and have their little accidents.

If you are unsure, why not try volunteering at one of our local rescues. They are often looking for people to help with walking, feeding, cleaning up, events etc. I know some rescues have been critisced for their strict adoption policies, but this in order to try and restrict rehomers coming back into care again.

If you are going to go along the puppy route, please please please, make sure you see both parents and the conditions they are kept in. I would expect most responsible breeders to homecheck you as well. There is debate as to minimum age pups should leave their mother, but at the very least 8 weeks appears to be the minimum.

My personal thoughts are, that if someone is prepared to make money from breeding a dog, they should be prepared to invest in the rest of that dogs life, ie provide a proper home and care for it until it passes.”

The question of The part dogs play in our lives, and our attitude towards them, is Something I end up thinking about on a daily basis. It can also lead to other questions arising.

To date my personal opinion is, if you have any kind of relationship with a dog, you must return what that dog gives you. For example, and I may get it in the neck here, recently I with others attended an evening at Hall Green greyhound stadium. This was the second time in my 40+ years live span. The majority of dogs been walked onto the course, seemed by demeanour, to be enjoying it. I have seen the press, pictures, and heard the stories about the awful conditions about which these dogs are kept in. Also the appalling way some are treated after their racing days are over. Again I think anyone running a dog, should be prepared to look after it until the end of their natural days.

I know that opinion goes against some of the people involved in rescues thoughts, we do have local groups to us, and their is a young lady who posts frequently on behalf of BGP (birmingham greyhound protection) who obviously works her socks off on their behalf. Rehoming both retired, end of racing days, and didnt quite make the grade dogs. Her posts more than anything else have made me question my opinion in relation to the racing. She is  against the racing fullstop, and I admire her for her conviction.

Well I think the gent who posted the original question has really got my mind working on a wet Sunday afternoon. If we don’t have these thoughts though, and If we don’t make others stop and question things, how do we know if are doing it right.

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