“68 Dogs rescued from ‘filthy’ puppy mill in northwest Indiana” the headline reads (2017 People Magazine).
The man running this puppy mill had 68 dogs and puppies–some who had never seen daylight–and dead carcusses behind his barn with evidence of C-sections that he performed himself! These dogs literally died because they were pushed to their birthing limits. Disgusting and utterly inhumane.
What makes me more angry is the obvious fact that there are people buying these dogs up, either from him personally or from pet stores.
Nonetheless, SHOPPING FOR A DOG IS WHAT KEEPS THESE REPULSIVE HUMANS IN BUSINESS. These so-called “breeders” can make anywhere from $500-$2500 per dog, a dog that they are keeping in these deplorable conditions.
If you’re still thinking about shopping for a dog, let me give you some cold-hard facts that will hopefully convince you otherwise.
According to DoSomething.org, only 1 out of every 10 dogs born in the United States will find a permanent home. Approximately 3.9 million dogs enter shelters annually. Think about that for a second–3.9 million homeless dogs placed into shelters. This doesn’t even include the stray dogs that are roaming our streets or living in the wild.
I always hear the excuse that someone wants a ‘purebred puppy without a past’ and that it’s ‘way too hard to find those in the shelters.’ I have one piece of advice for you. Be patient. The right dog will come along. It did for me.
I want to share my story with you so you can become a believer in shelters and fosters.
I had lost my cat of 12 years around Christmastime in 2013. When spring came, I felt that void of not having a pet and decided I would begin looking for a new companion–a dog. Always having labradors in the past, I was leaning towards a smaller breed this time. I, like most people in the market for a dog, preferred a puppy. I wanted a female and I wanted it to be fluffy and all white (typical woman, I know). You can find scores of options for dogs like these on websites all over the internet. A purebred Pomeranian can run you upwards of $3000 and they’ll even ship the poor thing to you.
I would check PetFinder multiple times a day, looking anywhere close to my location for a small, all-white, fluffy puppy. I wanted a dog that would go on walks, in the car and to the coffee shop. Weeks went by and, while I was getting antsy about not having a dog yet, I still REFUSED to pay for a dog from a pet store or a breeder.
One morning while browsing online, I came across a little dog with a face to die for. She was a Pomeranian that was just posted by the Perfect Paws Pet Rescue. I applied instantly! The foster returned my email and said that I could come see her. During that 20 minute trip to go meet this dog, my mom is telling me “just because she’s cute doesn’t mean we’re going to take her home today.” We still laugh about that comment because as soon as the woman came around the corner with the dog in her arms our jaws dropped and that idea of not taking her home went out the door. This tiny pup was the most precious-looking creature with eyes that screamed it’s in need of love.
A $250 adoption fee later (which included all up-to-date shots and spaying–another expense you will have to endure with a store-bought puppy), we were on our way home with her.
The point of this story is that we don’t always get what we were looking for. Instead of a puppy, Bindi was 3.5 years old when she met us. I wanted to take my dog on a walk every day but Bindi’s too lazy for that; she’d rather lay on her back and sleep all day. I was seeking an all-white dog and I got a dog with a completely black face.
When we took her home she had hair matted all down her back and around her ears. With good grooming and lots of love, she’s a little ball of fluff now.
I wouldn’t give Bindi away for a million dollars. I realized that the “dog-checklist” we give ourselves when we are looking for a dog is ignorant. There are so many dogs waiting for us to give them a permanent home and love. Not to mention, the feeling you get when you saved a dog’s life is untouchable.
PLEASE find one of these dogs. It will change your life.