Letters to the Editor

Best breeders

December 17, 2007


To the editor:

A California pet store linked to Kansas puppy mills? No surprise! Too often people with more money than good sense buy a puppy (on impulse) from a pet store.

The general manager of the California store said that we only get our puppies from the best breeders. Well, the "best" breeders never sell to dealers or pet stores. They carefully try to match their puppies with the right homes, asking many questions of prospective buyers.

The "best" breeders do genetic testing to produce healthy puppies. They only breed those dogs with stable temperaments and try to improve the quality of their breed. The "best" breeders insist that non-breeding quality (pets) be spayed or neutered to reduce the chance of accidental litters. The shelters are overflowing with these "accidents."

If you want to have a healthy, happy puppy, do your homework. Contact the national breed club online or check with the local kennel club for referrals. Whether you rescue a shelter dog or buy your next friend, remember this is a long-term commitment lasting 12 or more years.

Jane Tusten,



hornhunter 10 years, 5 months ago

Are AKC dogs not genetically improved muts? 'They carefully try to match their puppies with the right homes, asking many questions of prospective buyers.', this also sounds like something the humane society does when adopting dogs from the sheltor.

kansas778 10 years, 5 months ago

Get a cat instead so your neighbors won't be bothered by your annoying dog.

Confrontation 10 years, 5 months ago

I agree, kansas778. I have idiot dog owners who live on both sides of my home.

Julie Jacob 10 years, 5 months ago

Hear Hear Jane, great LTE!

Puppy mills are simply that, a fast production line. The breeding dogs are not cared for, often left in small cages with little human interaction.




As a rescuer, I have dealt with several of the breeding males and females. Some can be rehabilitated to live with people and some are so fearful that they cower in the corner and urinate or defecate all over themselves in fear. Dirty, unsocialized, bred back to back without a break, females in long tailed breeds having their tail removed to "facilitate breeding", sometimes malnourished to the point you wonder how the female could even carry a litter, never knowing a day with adequate warmth or protection from the elements, I could go on and on.

And the puppies are removed from mom way too soon. After all, there has to be adequate transport time to get that furry bundle from Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri all the way to California. Properly bred and socialized puppies are with mom until 8 weeks of age, MINIMUM! Some breeders who are extra careful wait until 12-14 weeks to give that puppy the best pack socialization they can.

That cute little puppy, kitty, guinea pig, rabbit etc at the pet store is most likely from a MILL. Both of the pet stores in Lawrence have staff that are not adequately trained in small animal care, I just thank god that they don't sell cats and dogs too. Go ask that pet store person about a guinea pigs reproductive cycle, that 4 month old female in with males, no she is just fast, honest. Yeah right, you'll have new little ones to take care of in before your new family member has been home for even 30 days.

Have you ever heard of pure breed rescue? If you think the humane society checks references and asks questions you should try and get thru a rescue application. We want to ensure that the dog(s) have good homes for the rest of their lives.

I offered on the original article and I am again. I am a rescuer of purebred Keeshonden. However, if there is some other animal or breed that you would like to welcome into your family, please contact me. I will locate an animal that needs a new home, or a REPUTABLE breeder for you. Simply email me at jjspigland@sunflower.com (sunflower.com) and put "RESCUE REFERRAL REQUEST" in the subject line.

10 years, 5 months ago

excellent letter jane!

jane is the president of the lawrence jayhawk kennel club and has been involved with dogs and the AKC for decades.

terrapin2 10 years, 5 months ago

There's big money to be made in dog breeding which is why so many "bad" breeders are out there. What is the fascination with pure bred dogs anyway? Mutts make better pets anyway and a lot of the so called "pure breeds" are not what they say anyway. We don't need any more breeders of any kind when so many healthy animals are put down on a daily basis. The ridiculous demand for pure bred animals is what creates the problem breeders.

Julie Jacob 10 years, 5 months ago

"terrapin2 (Anonymous) says: Mutts make better pets anyway"

I respectfully disagree Terrapin. Any dog can have the temperament to make a good pet or a bad pet depending on the socialization and personality traits it inherits from its parents. Good breeders do take the time to evaluate each dam and sire's personality and health before a pairing is made, it's not simply "Oh, lets breed Joey and Kharma to see what cute puppies they make." or "Oh, I'd feel bad if I didn't let my (female) dog have just one litter."

I do wholeheartedly agree that there are too many animals put down on a daily basis.

Many people that have a "fascination" with pure bred dogs end up in the fanciers show circuit. This is not something that can be done with a mixed breed.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 5 months ago

thanks for writing this letter Jane. this is an important topic.

dogs generally just want to love and be loved, to have a pack of their own, to learn something, and get daily physical exercise. dogs give us so much and require so little.

oh and by the way, you with annoying dogs, probably not the dogs' fault but fault of owners who leave them alone for too many hours a day. keep them in the yard ignored when they want to socialize.

terrapin2 10 years, 5 months ago

I was not talking about just temperament. Pure breeds typically have many more health problems that are specific to their breed ( i.e. boxers and mast cell tumors, goldens and bone cancer etc...). No amount of good socialization (nurture) will get rid of these issues. I understand that show dogs need to be pure breed, in tact dogs, but I find it selfish that so many animals need to die while "fanciers" parade their dogs around a ring for a ribbon. How about rescue a few dogs and train them. We could have a "special olympics" for dogs and let the mixed breed, testicleless compete.

gr 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, at least Jane had one "redeeming" quality you don't need a puke bag for: "or buy your next friend,"

Mother to young child: Yes sweetie, that man is buying a friend. Please don't stare.

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