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.

7 Comments on “Getting the whole scoop on Dog Breeders vs. the ASPCA, PETA, and the AHS

  1. Apparently HSUS is of the same ilk.

    Some of my current favorites animal organizations for donations:
    Lollypop Farm – – I have a therapy dog and we visit local sites with the Golisano program.
    Guiding Eyes for the Blind – – I am raising my second guide dog puppy for this organization. They have enrichment areas for the puppies (before they go to raisers) and for the dogs while they are in training.
    The ARK – – it’s not local, but my sister volunteers at this shelter in Illinois.

    Best regards,

  2. My husband and I have always had rescue dogs. When we retired I decided that I wanted a purebred dog so that I could train and show. I didn’t even know for sure what breed I wanted. After much consideration and thought we decided on a Australian Shepherd. Now we have two Aussies with docked tails. We are friends with both breeders and love working with these dogs in obedience and agility.
    If people would realize that picking the right breeder is more important than picking the puppy, bad breeders wouldn’t make it in our world. Our daughter is a vet and has always given good advise when asked. I support my local shelter, but at this point in my life I enjoy my purebred Aussies.

  3. well…I will TRY to keep this short as I have a lot of opionions on the matter.
    #1 A righteous man takes care of the needs of his animals… therefore it isn’t a matter of should you buy from shelter or breeder or how many rules they have or even how many animals they have….really what it boils down to is how is that shelter, or breeder taking care of their animals. If they have a lot how many staff do they have on? Does each dog have one on one time? Does the breeder or adoption staff know each dogs temperament and abilities? Have all their physical AND mental needs been met?
    #2 Freedom!!!!! THat is what our countries are all about! How dare someone say to me I can’t breed or buy the dog of my choice as long as they are being taken care of properly in all regards (including hips and eyes, temperament, etc checked if I am a breeder and mentally stimulating and teaching my animal to be a good citizen if I am an owner) As for docking…WOWZERS…we have dogs come in that NEED their tails docked as they rip them open continually…never mind DObermans don’t even look intimidating with floppy ears and that is one of their MAIN purposes as a watch dog! Never mind burglars grabing their ears and tails and ear infections! Again FREEDOM!
    #3 PETA : don’t even get me started…they let dog show dogs out at a show I was at to run away and get hit by cars (cuz you know that is ethical treatment of animals)they have stated that every pitbull should die (because you know that is ethical)..never mind we should all be vegetarians (again freedom)…funny how it says in the BIble that in the last days there will be a lieing spirit telling people not to eat meat and suddenly in the last years everyone is on the vegetarian band wagon.

    I used to work at a shelter, I have several rescues from shelters, and 2 from breeders. At shelters some people have the best interests of the animals in mind and some people are completly selfish and terrible! Same with breeders…usually when I am looking for a purebred dog it takes me on average 2 YEARS of research to find a breeder that meets all of my requirements.

    To end let me suggest not to donate to major organizations (I can give you tones of reasons why as I know too much about the rescues in my area)…find the little guy that gives all they have…the ones that lay down their lives for the animals they care for. You will know them by the extent to which they go….on the phone and email for hours arranging for drivers to get a dog that is going to the gas chamber, driving them up to Canada, housing them till they find a foster, spending their last dime on vet bills, they don’t have a fancy car, their house is small and might even be fairly dirty, full of hair because all the animals are inside cuddling with them, getting rehabilitated so that they can find their foever homes. They are very opinionated and might get really mad at you when certain subjects pop up like back yard breeders, the board and administration at the shelter, and animal services. THey cry when they get a new message about an abused or injured dog….they are easy to find as everyone in the dog world seems to know them as they all have been contacted to see if they want a another dog!

  4. I really enjoy your site and all the information you share. I love the photo of the agility equipment on the White House lawn. There is a bill #AB7218 which is before the Asssembly Agriculture Committee, says that anyone who docks a puppy’s tail or has someone else perform the procedure, is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a $500.00 fine! Not even veterinarians would be allowed to dock a dog’s tail, except to save its life or for a health emergency. This is animal rights gone really wrong! Here is the link to the text of the bill:

    • Thanks Catherine, I am glad you enjoy AgilityFusion. And for this link! Wow, a proposed law against docking…This is ALL very interesting. Keep the comments coming everyone. I thoroughly enjoy hearing and learning from you.

  5. PETA and AHS are animal rights organizations. They are not affiliated with any shelters. The ASPCA is a actual animal shelter that trains and adopts out a variety of different animals.

    As for good shelters to donate too you could try:
    Rolling Dog Ranch located in Ovando, MT. –

    The New Hampshire SPCA located in Stratham, NH. –

    Old Dog Haven in Arlington, Washington. –

    All these shelters do amazing work and I highly recommend any one of them!

  6. I have always struggled with shelters. Some are great, while others are really annoying to deal with. If they push getting dogs and cats adopted so much, why apply hundreds of rules that almost make it impossible to adopt? We have declawed cats, so we could be “disqualified” from adopting one, depending upon the orgnization. I’ve read many stories of people, perfectly qualified for a dog, who were turned down due to one pet overdue on shots. Even by a few days! And then, they do not allow the potential owners even three days to get the vaccines. It’s sad. If they want us to adopt, they shouldn’t make it so impossible. When it’s easier to buy from a breeder, why try and rescue from a shelter with unreasonable rules? It truly frustrates me. Our dogs are half and half. 3 rescues, 3 from a breeder. Any other opinions?