It starts with you, with me, with us all….
When faced with a huge problem on a scale that is almost unthinkable, people often think that whatever they do won’t make a jot of difference – so they do nothing. And the problem doesn’t disappear. It festers and grows and becomes an even greater problem. As it expands and spreads more people become aware of the problem which can mean either that more people think it’s now such an unmanageable problem that their efforts won’t change anything; or, and this is what this blog post is hoping will happen, amongst the greater number of people now aware of the problem, there are enough who think that big changes come from small beginnings and even the smallest ripple can turn into a tidal wave of change.
The problem that is spreading its noxious misery far and wide and bothering me is of course puppy farming and bad dog breeding. It is a growing catastrophe for thousands of dogs and the scale is so alarming that I do understand when compassionate, caring people want to turn away and not believe that they can make any difference. But in the words of the writer and activist, Susan Sontag,
Every single one of us who cares about dogs, can, and should do even the smallest thing to bring an end to the mass scale of suffering that puppy farming and commercial scale breeding represents. An easy place we can translate concern and compassion into action is to look directly at the sale of the puppies. Although some people don’t believe that puppies are still sold in pet shops, they still are and it is entirely legal for this to happen. Shocking isn’t it. Pet shops that care about animal welfare will not have puppies for sale. Whatever a shop selling puppies says to the contrary, they do not care about the welfare of puppies, If they did, they wouldn’t be selling them. For those puppies in the shops have come out of large scale breeding environments, they are not bred in loving, caring, home environments as no breeder who cared about their puppies would want to see them sold in a shop. Not a single decent breeder in my opinion.
Puppy buyers who buy from pet shops, or online without visiting the breeders home to see that the puppies are being bred in a caring, home environment are supporting the cruel puppy farming industry. Maybe they don’t know they are doing so, but we can all play a part in changing people’s minds, making them aware of these facts. We can all turn our compassion into action by helping people to see they must only buy puppies from breeders who breed from a deep and genuine love of their breed, not for the money they can make from the puppies. Breeders who spend time and money making sure that their puppies are from properly health screened parents. Breeders who take an intelligent and dedicated approach to their breed, not a commercial driven one.
Or, better still, we can be encouraging the adoption of dogs from shelters and breed rescues. Adoption may not be suitable for every single person who wants a dog in their life, but it is certainly an option that every single person can take time to consider. Many people don’t know that breed rescues exist. They do and are well worth contacting before buying a puppy. Many dogs in rescue are there due to changed circumstances of their previous owners, not because they are changed and damaged dogs. They are afflicted by homelessness nothing more. Encourage people to consider this deeply before unknowingly supporting the puppy farming business.
Not only can we guide people away from buying puppies from shops and online, we can all avoid buying pet supplies from any business or shop that sells puppies. We can avoid using any website that sells animals. Together, we can all take small actions to stop the cycle of abuse and cruelty that is puppy farming. Together our compassion cannot wither, it must be translated into action.