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Letters to the Editor

Purebreds OK

December 26, 2007

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To the editor:

Yes, there are many unwanted pets in shelters. Yes, our society "throws away" dogs and cats by the thousands, but to not breed any dogs is going to extremes. What we need is an informed public that spays or neuters their pets and doesn't reward irresponsible breeders or pet shops that sell dogs. Some people actually are mixing breeds and selling their "designer breeds" to the gullible. Others mass produce puppies as a cash crop with little or no regard for health, temperament or quality.

Most breeds of dogs have been developed over centuries by various cultures - to lose these beautiful and varied reminders of man's history would be a shame. Example: The barkless Basenji is almost gone from Africa's tribal areas but thrives in the United States, Europe and Australia because of dedicated breeders.

Also, without certain breeds, many valuable canine programs would be decimated: assistance dogs for the physically challenged, search and rescue dogs, and dogs involved in security and police work.

Please consider adopting your next pet from a shelter or if you have decided on a certain breed, consider going through a breed rescue group. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Jane Tusten,

Lawrence

Comments

MyOpinionCounts 6 years, 3 months ago

The Lawrence Humane Society does an amazing job with limited funds. We adopted 2 cats from them several years ago that are now full-fledged members of our family. I will always go to the Humane Society when I have room for more 4-legged friends.

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Ceallach 6 years, 3 months ago

Great letter Jane! All of my pets were either adopted at the shelter or from a rescue group. Every one is/was a great companion and adds so much to my family's lives.

Acquiring an animal is making a care commitment to a living being, not buying a stuffed animal. Too many people like the looks of a particular breed but know nothing about the temperament or energy level of the individual dog/cat. Then when they are "disappointed" with their purchase they no longer want the animal.

The humane society does a better background check than many breeders and certainly more than pet stores. They also test the animal and give you information about the personality and traits of that dog/cat/etc. At least their check gives some assurance that the person understands their responsibilities to the animal.

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Write2Know 6 years, 3 months ago

"adopting your next pet from a shelter ... Be part of the solution ..."

Adopting a pet does not solve the problem. As soon as you adopt one, another one will take its place at the shelter. I'm not against adopting. I think it is great for the pets that get adopted. I just wish people would get serious about stopping pet overpopulation. Real solutions involve shutting down puppy mills, licensing breeders, and requiring spaying and neutering by law.

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KLATTU 6 years, 3 months ago

"Most breeds of dogs have been developed over centuries by various cultures..."

There are a few exceptions, but in general this is untrue. Almost all commonly known "pure breeds" were invented in the 1800's when European nobility was obsessed with eugenics.

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redmoonrising 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Tusten's comments. In fact I used to breed and sell puppies, to individuals only and at reasonable prices. Those I couldn't sell, I found good homes for. The sad part is that breeders have become greedy and the cost of buying a pure bred dog or cat now has become outrageous, even more so for these so-called designer pets. Yes, there are expenses to breeding but really, is it worth several hundred dollars to buy a puppy or kitten. If you can't afford a pure bred, please, take her advice and adopt from a shelter, have all your pets spayed and neutered and always be a responsible pet owner.

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Oddball 6 years, 3 months ago

Last I knew, the founder of Kansas Search and Rescue got his dogs from animal shelters.

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