It’s Time to Break Up With Breeders

Valentine’s Day naturally makes February synonymous with all things related to love, and there may be no greater unconditional love in this world than what we give and receive from beloved animal companions. When it comes to adding the perfect companion to your family, your soulmate may already waiting for you in your local animal shelter.

I adopted my best friend from a shelter in 2019. She’s a mixed breed, found as a stray in a Los Angeles suburb. She’s healthy and well-adjusted, unlike many victims of the breeding and inbreeding done by greedy breeders to create unnatural—and often dangerous and deadly—traits. She has the perfect temperament and personality for our family. People often talk about their soulmate dog, and I know Scout is mine. This goofy dog brings so much joy to our home, and we couldn’t imagine life without her.

When you visit a shelter, expect to see dogs and cats of every age, size, breed, and personality. You could meet your own Scout and have your life changed forever. If so, you’d also be adopting a homeless animal instead of lining the pockets of a breeder.

Companion animal overpopulation is a serious issue. On any given day in the U.S., an estimated 70 million homeless dogs and cats are struggling to survive. Animal shelters often face the tragic dilemma of having to euthanize dogs or cats to make room for others in desperate need of care. Worse, most shelters with “no-kill” policies turn dogs and cats away and may even suggest that people leave them on the street! Breeders add to the crisis.

Many “purebred” animals come from horrible conditions in puppy mills, where abuse and neglect run rampant. Female dogs are overbred, and health concerns go untreated. There is no such thing as a “responsible” breeder, because for every puppy or kitten produced by a breeder, an animal in a shelter loses his or her chance of finding a home.

Breeders are notoriously abusive to the animals in their “care.” PETA’s investigations have encouraged criminal probes into puppy mills where animals have been found living in horrifying conditions. Puppies who survive the unsanitary conditions at puppy mills and endure the grueling transport to pet stores have rarely experienced the kind of loving human contact that’s necessary for them to become suitable companions. Breeders, brokers, and pet stores attain maximum profits by not spending money for proper food, housing, or veterinary care.

Plus, few, if any, breeders require that puppies or kittens be spayed or neutered, so the animals they sell can soon have litters of their own, creating even more animals to fill homes that could have gone to animals who are literally dying for them. There are many other reasons to adopt rather than shop: horrific puppy mills that keep animals in inadequate conditions, the many painful and uncomfortable health issues that purebreds suffer from, and the damaging view that animals exist only for human profit and enjoyment, when they’re actually individuals who deserve so much more. Adoption is the only compassionate option.

This February, break up with breeders and find your best friend at your local animal shelter. Check to find a shelter near you!