credited by Ashley C.
60.2 million U.S. households own a dog. But how many of them were adopted from a shelter?
According to the 2019 Woof Stats, an estimated 6.5 million animals are taken into an animal shelter every year. About half of these animals never find a permanent home, as they are either euthanized or unendingly remain in the shelter.
Many people are under the perception that animals are treated poorly during their stays at the temporary homes.
“It’s really cold in the shelters. I know from experience” said Noor B.
However, Norah Sandoval, the social service worker at the Volunteers in Defense of Animals shelter in Ontario said, “The first thing we do when we get (the dogs to the shelter) is vaccinate them. We also do a quick exam. The day the dog comes in, we keep a close eye on them. Then we wait ten days to get them microchipped. After two weeks, we put them up for adoption.”
Although many people believe that shelters are rough places for animals, they are actually treated well. Hard-working staff members do their best to make dogs feel at home.
However, over 2 million puppies are bred and bought from breeders each year, some for prices as high as $14,000.
For example, the labradoodle, a mix of a labrador and a poodle, was first bred by Wally Conron.
“I bred the labradoodle as (a guide dog) for a blind lady whose husband was allergic to dog hair,” said Mr. Conron. “Why people are breeding them today, I haven’t got a clue.”
People primarily breed dogs because the public desires them, and also because specific dogs perform special tasks, which is commonly known as purpose-breeding. Many feel that it is easier to ‘make’ their own dog rather than buy one.
“We play with them, feed them, and let them run. They are in dog houses or in the house. I don’t let them roam free all the time,” said Becky Moore, owner of Rancho Goldens Breeders.
Most breeders breed dogs in their own homes, which makes it challenging for dogs to be given proper medical care. Facilities are not always properly sanitized either.
“If they (breed dogs) forcefully, then it would not be okay,” said Noor B.
Some breeders treat dogs cruelly and breed them with indifference.
“If there’s not good compatibility, it’s wrong,” said Ariana Z.
Breeders must make sure that they don’t breed injured, diseased, or disabled dogs, which could cause puppies to be born with birth defects.
Shelters offer what breeders may not. They provide for dogs’ medical needs, give them food and warmth, and offer a homey, compassionate environment until they are adopted.
“(The workers) treated the dogs very nice at the shelter. They put them on leashes, lead them outside, and pet them. They were very gentle and kind,” said student Julissa J.
This story was originally published on The Day Creek Howl on October 28, 2019.