I have been breeding for a pretty long time. Not as long as some, but still, 27 years is almost a third of my lifetime. Initially, I worried about breeding healthy, sound dogs of good temperament (I will always worry about that). I utilize health testing, performance and conformation showing to evaluate breeding stock and place dogs that don’t measure up.
Then came the advent of animal overpopulation. As someone who worked in animal control I was aware of the heartbreak of having to perform euthanasia on a perfectly healthy, normal dog because there wasn’t a home available. While the animal rights people effectively capitalized on this, with their “Adopt don’t shop” meme and pictures of sad-eyed rescues, I struggled to ensure that puppies I produced didn’t end up creating a problem for someone else or contributing to the problem of excess pets.
Now it appears that the AR people have been so effective with their message that dogs and puppies are being imported from outside the US, and even from as far away as Taiwan to fill the demand for “rescues”. Retail rescue is now purchasing (and occasionally stealing) dogs for resale, convincing well meaning “adopters” of the nobility of “saving” these “rescues”. In addition, spay/neuter requirements that are in some cases state-wide make if difficult for small, reputable breeders to continue.
Which brings us to the current issues. As we struggle to continue to do what we love, in spite of the battering from the AR movement, our own aging demographic and our shrinking gene pool we are challenged to share our story and encourage our readers to look into the future. Want to add an Australian terrier to your household? Or a Boston terrier or Collie like the one that was your childhood companion? Then it is imperative that you support the right of breeders to continue to breed healthy, high quality pets.