Friday, April 8, 2011

A small (I swear) rant about pet adoption...with a cameo by Clothilde!

So one of my biggest pet peeves, aside from homeless people and sneakers on men, is store- or breeder-bought dogs. People, if you want a dog there are plenty of perfectly good ones out there for dirt-cheap and on Death Row, waiting to be adopted before being given The Shot and tossed into a dumpster.

When I was a kid my parents bought us children a dog from a breeder in Los Angeles. We'd never had a dog in the family before and it was promised to us in exchange for behaving ourselves for the weeks that followed my parents buckling us into our red Isuzu Trooper (this was the mid '90s) in Boston and driving cross-country through the southern United States. Three kids in an SUV through the desert. You do the math. A dog was excellent blackmail.

After what felt like years on the road (and my first driving lesson, on an isolated strip of highway somewhere in the middle of Texas) my parents made good on their promise and we were bought a dog once we hit the West Coast. In my defense I was a child, I didn't know anything about breeders or shelters. I just knew I wanted a dog. Now that I'm older and I know better, these days it kills me -- kills me -- when I still see sane, responsible adults buying animals as if they were commodities.  

Enter Clothilde. 

Burt and Clothilde (who you may know as J's brother and brother's girlfriend) were in the market for a dog recently. Something small, that they could keep in a pen while they're both at work every day. When assessing their choices it did not help that they they'd fallen in love with my sister's maltipoo (who I am coincidentally currently babysitting). My sister bought said maltipoo from a local breeder against my insistence that it was a bad decision, and now everyone -- including Clothilde -- loves the goddamn dog. Which definitely takes steam out of my cause.

So Clothilde texted me the other night, asking where my sister got her maltipoo. I replied that I didn't know, but then went on a Bob Barker-style mini-text-rant about how adoption is a better choice than buying, blah blah blah. WELP,  what do I get a few days later? A picture she texts me of their new breeder-bought maltipoo, Chai (named because Clothilde is obsessed with drinking Chai. Sigh.). I would post a picture of Chai here but unfortunately I can't snag one off Facebook so here's a lookalike I found on the web:

I know, miniature polar bear, very cute, etc. etc. etc. (PS: It better be cute, they spent $650 on the thing.) But every time a dog like this is bought a dog somewhere else dies! <said between exasperated breaths> I get that most people are specific about what breed or color or gender they want, but this isn't like shopping for a sweater. It's a living, breathing thing. I'm sure any dog within certain parameters will suffice.


  1. I totally hear you! I have only had one dog in my life (my current cuter than cute Beej) but have never thought about buying from a breeder. Rescues are the way to go!

  2. I agree. And I'm ashamed to say that Dodger is not a rescue dog. My ex boyfriend bought him and I just meekly went along with it. He was super cute, I loved the breed and wanted a puppy - but it still hurts me to this day that I just went along with this decision.

    I grew up with only rescue dogs and they are just as great as my dog that I paid an obscene amount of money for. As much as I love Dodger and as much as I love French bulldogs, my next dog will absolutely come from a shelter.

  3. Amen sista! My parents bought a family dog (mostly for my sister) when she was bed ridden with R.A. The docs at Mayo said a dog would keep her active. Good news, it did. Bad news, they went to a breeder in Northern WI and spent $1200 on a Springer Spaniel.

    Several years later, my sister, now a Cali resident, left home and ended up rescuing two pomeranians. The woman that couldn't "handle" them said they were too hyper for her (well that's the breed). They aren't bad dogs at all. And, they aren't any less cute, lovable, or well-behaved than a $1500 breeder's dog.

    If I ever get a pooch; I'm adopting!

  4. I have a friend who spent $2K on a precious breed and she STILL doesn't know how to train it to behave properly. If I get a pet it's coming straight from SPCA.

  5. Oh, I'm with you. I don't even like animals, but like kids, we should take care of the unwanted first.

  6. Agreed! And even if you want a purebred dog, it's possible to find a great dog from a rescue. Thats where our purebred german shorthair came from. I get lots of comments on her and make sure to tell folks where she came from. :)

  7. I totally agree about getting a puppy from a rescue shelter rather than a breeder. But gosh darnit, that pup is adorable!

  8. I totally am for adoption, I was in the market for a dog however I live in a town house with next to no yard and work long hours so a big dog was a definite No for me.
    After months of looking in shelters and only finding big dogs ( think German Sheppard's, huskies) I went to a breeder for a yorkie.
    I think a breeder is a better choice than a pet store where they charge you double what a breeder would and the dogs have so many problems because they are from puppy mills.

  9. Kristen and others--there are several French Bulldog rescue sites. We got our Frenchie from one, the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue. There is also a national Frenchie rescue with dogs all over the country.

  10. I applaud you for your efforts. It is very admirable. To continue on what eemusings said, there are many abused children out there. We don't lecture people when they get pregnant because we know children are sent to foster homes. Just because someone pays for a dog doesn't make them a heartless wench. As you may surmise, my dog was purchased as a gift from a breeder. Don't judge. :)
    That being said, I detest puppy mills, pet shops and irresponsible breeders. I would never give them a dime because I wish they would all die in poverty.