Getting the whole scoop on Dog Breeders vs. the ASPCA, PETA, and the AHS
I don’t know about you, but when I hear some stories in the news, I have to just throw up my hands and say ‘let God be true and every man a liar’, because it can sure get confusing. Such is the recent news story of the controversy over where Vice President Biden bought his German Shepherd puppy. Instead of a shelter, he purchased it from a breeder, Linda Brown of Pennsylvania. Apparently PETA and ASPCA are enraged, and at least PETA has run articles in Biden’s home state saying such things as, ‘when you buy from a breeder, you kill a dog at a shelter’. This is a pretty harsh statement. As if there is only one right way to obtain a puppy?
From what I’ve heard on one side of the story, I feel sorry for Linda, who has supposedly received defaming, harassment, and even death threats. She says she’ll never sell to a high-profile person ever again. No matter what, this kind of aggressive bullying is not right. But on the other hand, there is an investigation going on to her practices. She is said to own 100 breeding dogs and has sold 275 puppies in 2006. I don’t know what the exact definition of a ‘puppy-mill’ is, but she has quite the business going. I personally don’t like seeing puppies in pet stores and am SO glad that many pet shops are getting away from this practice keeping children and ignorant parents from making such an important decision too easy. Personally, I appreciate the whole experience of carefully researching a pure-bred dog, a reputable breeder, establishing a relationship with them, and then forking some hefty money out for a puppy that you have put a lot of thought and care into finding. This doesn’t mean that getting a shelter dog isn’t an extremely noble and enriching experience. But is there only one right way to own a dog?
What is the real agenda of such organizations as PETA and ASPCA? Can greed and a desire to ‘be on top’ with one’s agenda be taken too far? I believe so. It’s happened all through history. Recently at Affordable Agility we had a rude awakening to the controversy behind the AHS (American Humane Society) which we were ignorant of. We announced in one of our emails that we were going to donate some proceeds from a monthly sale to them. Honestly we thought they were associated with our local humane society, which I’ve always appreciated for various reasons. But we found out (from many people who emailed us), that they are two different things. I can see now that we have a lot to learn. We ended up changing our donation to to be our local humane society instead, and now I am trying to understand with knowledge all sides of the story here, and what the real deal is with organizations such as the AHS.
I welcome your comments. I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject, but would love to hear what you think on the subject. We are also looking for good dog-related organizations to donate to, so if you have any thoughts on this, please share this too.