I am angry.
Let me preface this with the understanding that this is a personal blog. When I speak here, I speak as an individual, not as a representative of the organization I volunteer with and love. With that out of the way…
There is a tremendous sense of fulfillment that comes with rescue. Blessings surround us daily. I heard a saying recently – “hard is hard”. There are certainly many hard things in rescue. Some of these are just strenuous physical challenges – some are difficult emotional challenges. I try to accept what comes our way with as much grace as possible: good people who surrender their dog through no fault of their own; others who surrender their dog for a myriad of reasons that, to me, are unfathomable (he got big; he got sick; my boyfriend doesn’t like him). I try to keep my judgement in check and focus on the best interest of the dog. There are dogs we could not help because they were simply dangerous; and there are those we said ‘goodbye’ to because it was unfair to let them suffer. These are the hard realities that sometimes accompany rescue. But there are some realities where grace escapes me altogether.
All across this country, rescue organizations are faced with an impossible moral dilemma as a result of irresponsible breeders who regard dogs solely as cash crops – puppy mills. Dogs that have been bred until they have outlived their usefulness; sick and broken puppies. If we take the dogs, we are enabling their operations. If we do not, the dogs are “disposed” of – often cruelly.
I am angry.
I am angry that good people with kind hearts are put in the impossible situation of having to make such a horrible choice.
I am angry that our weak laws, over-burdened law enforcement and under-funded courts make it possible for these operators to operate with impunity.
I am angry that I cannot be even more specific for fear of jeopardizing the lives of dogs we can save.
I am angry that intelligent people continue to create a market that supports this when there is a mountain of information available to put an end to it.
I am angry that dogs give us unconditional love and trust, while we allow this situation to continue.
This has to stop. If you must purchase a puppy instead of adopting, there are such obvious, simple, best practices to follow that would put an end to puppy mills. Like anything harmful to our earth and its inhabitants, if you want to stop a bad behavior – you have to stop the demand. We have the power to do that. Almost instantly. Please use it.
Here is a link to the Humane Society’s tips to avoid inadvertently supporting puppy mills. Please share them with everyone you know. http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/tips/buying_puppy.html