Physician, Heal Thyself

by Susi on December 7, 2012

in Animal Rights, blogging, Breed Clubs, Breeders, rescue, Rescue Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Uncategorized

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Not long ago, I had a conversation with a couple of women at a pet blogging convention where the majority of attendees tilted in favor of shelter and rescue dogs. Many had come with their own reclaimed dogs, and of them I thought, “Good for you!”  In my estimation, the majority of shelter and rescue workers do God’s work, and the people who take in these dogs are angels. But I’ve also learned that with the exception of people affiliated with breed clubs, most in the shelter and rescue world are woefully misinformed, if not ignorant about the world of the purebred dog owner and breeder.

I’d been cornered into this conversation after the pair overheard me describe my blog as one written from the perspective of the dog fancier. In hindsight, I shouldn’t refer to what we had as a “conversation” since I was being “talked to,” not “talked with.” While I’m reasonably sure that my fellow writers were hoping to inspire a “come to Jesus” moment in me, it felt more like a dressing down:

  • How could I fail to see the misery of show dogs when they were schlepped from one dog show to the next?
  • Why were breeders so out of touch with the health issues they were propagating in their dogs?
  • How could I condone breeding when so many shelter dogs needed homes?

And on it went.

Having heard this before, I listened politely with half an ear as I observed the dogs the women had with them; One, a toy breed mix wearing a glitter T-shirt and sitting in a pet stroller, I recognized as a dog I’d been seeing all day at different events. Despite having been pushed around on wheels, the dog was yawning repeatedly and darting his eyes back and forth as he looked around. I recognized both as classic calming signals of a stressed dog. The other dog I hadn’t seen before, but I would spot him later posing with his owner for a photograph, both of them wearing feathered masks and silly hats, and later still at loud party full of people towering over the dog as he stood next to his mistress.

For the rest of the weekend, I watched more carefully, these dogs of the good-hearted. They and their owners attended seminars, stood around in crowded hallways, lined up in food queues and met a lot of new people. One night, some of the dogs were dressed in costumes and taken to a Halloween party where a master of ceremony yelled into a microphone and a smoke machine spewed spooky mist around the ankles of the owners and the faces of their dogs. I knew that some of these dogs had started their day at 7 AM with “doga,” yoga done with a dog.

In thirty years of showing dogs, I doubt I’d ever seen a collection of more tired, stressed or anxious dogs in one place than I did during that weekend. Forced to deal with the public for hours on end, these dogs had no escape, no crate in which to get “down” time, no way to shut out the world.  What their owners saw and thought nothing of was their dog licking its nose, shifting its body, sniffing, yawning, freezing, walking slowly, sitting down or turning its head, actions inappropriate for the context in which they occurred. To a more informed eye, they were textbook displays. These dogs were saying, “I’m tired, I’m fearful, I’m anxious.”

As long as you speak “dog,” calming signals transcend language. From the Montreal Dog Blog

It wasn’t that the owners of these dogs were bad people. It’s that they didn’t know the signs of stress in their pets, or the calming gestures the dogs were using to deal with their environment. I can forgive that. What I do resent is being taken to the woodshed for inaccurate characterizations of my sport by people more guilty of those infractions than I ever was.

I have little doubt these owners would have been horrified to learn that their pets were miserable, and even less doubt that they wouldn’t have listened to me, a dog fancier (and enemy) explain why. I would have told them that unlike show dogs which are gently exposed from a very young age to a myriad of sounds and experiences, the background of a rescue dog, or even a dog purchased as “just a pet” doesn’t prepare it to be thrust into the environment of a blogging convention all at once. I would have added that show dogs always travel with a crate which not only protects them in a moving car, but gives them personal space where they can shut out the world. I would have closed by suggesting that while they may feel great about having their dog by their side 24/7, there are times when it isn’t necessarily good for the dog.

With the holidays upon us, I’ve made a wish list directed to the women who took me aside at that convention. Ladies, I’m pretty sure I know what you want from me, but here’s what I want from you.

  • If you’re going to write about dogs, know your subject.  Calming signals, canine social hierarchy, symptoms of a slipping patella, leash etiquette  –  these are not the purview of just show fanciers, behaviorists and veterinarians. These are issues about your dog, your readers’ dogs, or any dog, regardless of whether we write about shelter & rescue or the latest in dog food. It was painful to see your dogs unhappy at the convention. It’s painful to any of us in the dog fancy when we see a dog with obvious joint issues walking down the street next to its oblivious owner.  The information is out there, educate yourself.

If you are a shelter/rescue advocate, is the “angry blue sock” in the following video an accurate portrayal of you? (warning: pretty rough language ahead including f-bomb)

Did you feel the blue sock puppet was a bit harsh? Well guess what? The picture below isn’t an accurate portrayal of what responsible dog breeders are about, either. Let’s recognize each to be caricatures of the worst of us. If this “cash dog” is how you’ve been regarding breeders, please stop.

  • Do a gut check. If you still secretly see breeders and purebred dog fanciers as the enemy, well then, “know thy enemy.”  Deep down inside, if you resent purebred dog breeders because you believe they pollute the world with more puppies but you’ve never actually spent time with a responsible one, isn’t it time you do? Don’t you owe it to yourself and your readers to be fair, if not accurate?  There are many of us out here who’ll help you find responsible breeders – reach out to us!
  • Opinions are like eyebrows: Everyone has at least one. Try to make yours educated. Your opinion, that is, not your eyebrow. Those of us in the fancy have heard ad nauseum all the ways in which we’re vile. What would really be refreshing is for you to remember that we’re playing for the same team – the dogs.You abhor irresponsible breeders? We do, too. You rescue dogs? Guess what?  We do, too.
  • Let me give it to you straight. I’m unimpressed by your passion and your belief that you “care more” about dogs than I do because you adopted a shelter dog while I own one that was purpose bred with a goal in mind. Feelings are easy. What gets my attention is effort. I want to see your face at a seminar not on how to monetize your Twitter tweets, but about hip dyplasia or Appeasement Signals.  Go to a dog show with a respected dog fancier and learn more about the world you’ve been quick to condemn. Pay attention to dog laws and what the animal rights people are up to because after they’re done with the purebreds, they’re coming after your mixed breeds. Don’t doubt me on this.
  • And finally, before you take aside the next dog fancier to do an intervention, ask yourself if you’re not a little guilty of using your own dog as a prop and a reason to write a blog and go to conventions. Step back, take a good hard look, and ask yourself if the shelter and rescue world isn’t starting to resemble –  just a little  – an industry.

Isn’t this how you imagined the dog show world but never really found out?


{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

sally December 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

Excellent and to the point, as usual.

I’ve had my share of mutts, and each has been a special and, um, unique pet. But thank goodness for purpose-bred dogs. They’re the reason we can keep our sheep and goats free from predation.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 11:04 am

Thanks, Sally, not only for reading the blog (where do I send the check?grin) but for commenting! I’m convinced the strength of a blog is in the comments section!


Julie December 7, 2012 at 11:36 am

For the most part, I have been lucky. I work with a lot of rescues and shelters, and they know I show dogs/occasionally have a litter. Most are pretty aware of the difference of a puppy mill and a good breeder. I believe in the work that they all do and I truly think most know that people like myself are not out there contributing to the problems. Not that they 100% agree with me, but, I am not condemned. I do agree with all your points and there are those few, that truly cannot understand WHY that a dog from a rescue wouldn’t work just as well. They are as “good” but, not always as suited.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

Thank YOU, Julie, for not only the work you do with shelters, but for being an ambassador for all of us in the fancy. More of us need to help shelter and rescue people put a face with the terms, “show person,” “breeder,” and “fancier” so they can learn that we’re not ogres and that there is “method to our madness” in wanting to own purebred dogs. I appreciate your comments!


Linda December 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for this way of explaining the difference – as good but not as suited. I’m going to use that


Amanda December 7, 2012 at 11:51 am

Thank you so much for this blog. I recently added your blog to my blog’s roll because you’ve got some *wonderful* information and ideas. This one is at the top of my list for sure.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 11:59 am

Wow, high praise indeed, Amanda, and very much appreciated! I especially admire the work you’re doing with the bullies and hadn’t known about the “I am the majority” project until I visited your site. I think there’s a DogKnobit blog in this! Thanks for the kind words and the inspiration!


Jinnie December 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thoughtful as always. Thank you for always being on the Dog side of the issue. I have a purposely bred litter due in just over a week and I know I have to be ready to standup for myself and other breeders.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

And thank YOU for keeping on “keeping on” by not being intimidated and forging ahead with your breeding plans. Good luck to your girl, I envy you the soon to be here puppy breath!


Anna December 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Hmm…stupid computer glitching, sorry if you get a bunch of unfinished comments.

Anyway, what I was TRYING to say is “hear, hear”! As both a rescuer & a breeder, I find it odd that breeders almost never look down on anyone for buying rescue dogs yet so many rescuers look down their noses at people who buy dogs from breeders. And yes, in both cases, you are BUYING the dog. If money changes hands, the transaction qualifies as a purchase. The word “adoption” is a euphemism designed to suggest that buying a dog from rescue is somehow automatically more ethical than buying from a breeder. In both cases, you are paying for the privilege of giving the dog in question a home. Also, in both cases, if the rescue organization or breeder are ethical, you also had to fill out an application & be approved before you could buy the dog.

There are plenty of unethical breeders. But there are plenty of unethical rescues as well, & the pet industry is WELL AWARE of the potential money in the marketing & sale of “rescues”.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I appreciate your well informed comment, Anna, coming as it does from someone straddling both worlds. Thanks for “backing me up” on this!


ILRDB December 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

-Standing ovation!-


Susi December 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

If I thought one blog – this one, even, would solve the problem once and for all, ILRDB, I’d be tempted to take a bow – but sadly, there’s still so much to be done. I do appreciate the praise, though, I really do.


Nora December 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Thank you for this excellent post.

I was at a “Mingle With Our Mutts” day this past weekend with Italian Greyhound Rescue (I have two Italian Greyhounds, one from a breeder and one from rescue, and I foster for IG Rescue. I also have 3 Shetland Sheepdogs, all from a single breeder, but have had rescue Shelties in the past. Everyone does Agility and Flyball). One of the IGs there with the rescue coordinator has been attacked by a big dog, and is very cautious around them.

The rescue next to us had a Pit Bull who seemed like a very nice dog, but kept staring at the IG, who was sending every signal in the book to say “back the hell off and stop looking at me.” The handler of the pit bull was laughing about this–and I was thinking, yeah, if this was my dominant male Sheltie I would be breaking that eye contact FAST…


Susi December 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm

And thank you for sharing your experience with me! It underscores the importance for anyone with a dog to LEARN about them. Research is revealing more and more all the time about how much more sophisticated dogs are – if only we’d pay attention to them!


Diana December 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm

You know, I shouldn’t read your blog after drinking a glass of wine……………..I may F U C K I N G swear. You are spot on. I am so glad I live in the country…..I have this life like in Chicago’s “Dialogue” where I see the good stuff, but I know that NASTY stuff is out there and you bring it on to remind me every day to be present and proud of being a responsible purebred dog breeder. And to never be shy to proclaim who I am. Which I’m not. Again, another great post.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Thanks, Diana – I have the wine AFTER I write. If I had it before, I’d be too a) kind; b) forgiving; c) inklyned two spel wrung.


Lynda Beam (Canine Candids by Lynda) December 7, 2012 at 7:43 pm

it is tiresome to have to defend our choices all the time isn’t it?

I remember when nearly all “rescues” were breed rescues and guess what …. most of those were created by responsible breeders! Even though their puppies were very seldom “rescued” because they actually screened their buyers!

It used to be also that rescues would sometimes go to auctions to buy up dogs that were of little value to puppy mills, but now they see rescues as a cash cow, and the price of unwanted animals has skyrockets to where rescues are sometimes paying $1,000 or more … sad but true

I refuse to believe when there are shelters that are actually importing dogs from other states and even other countries to “rescue” that we have that much of an overpopulation problem as some organizations would have us think. The statistics from some (not all) animal agencies are often skewed simply to tug at heartstrings and get donations.

This is why I always encourage people to donate LOCALLY.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

It gets REALLY tiresome, Lynda, but I think “we” are making some inroads ever so slowly. The message to donate locally is getting across more and more, and people are starting to wise up to PETA and, to a lesser degree, HSUS. And I totally agree about rescue now being seen as a cash cow. The anguish belongs to the breed clubs who have to decide whether to sacrifice innocent dogs on the auction block to dry up the market, or save them and become the market for these poor creatures. It’s awful.


Randie December 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Bravo! Just an observation about the recently attended “Meet The Breeds” at the Javitz Center in NYC. I went two years in a row–once as part of our breed booth and last year as a visitor. THOUSANDS of people–hundreds of dogs and cats and not all of them “show dogs” They were healthy sound dogs who dealt (better than I did to be honest) with the endless stream of well meaning curious people who had to have a photo and had to engage. I do not recall seeing one stressed dog or cat –and i do believe it was due to the owners there KNOWING what dog would tolerate this situation.


Susi December 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

EXACTLY, Randie, and thanks for sharing that experience with me. I’ve participated in many Meet the Breeds events and we’re careful not only to pick the most solid dogs who are up to the experience, but to rotate them in and out to avoid any kind of stress because at the end of the day, it is, and should be about the dogs.


jan dykema December 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

BRILLIANT I am stealing this one!!! that video is priceless. I am begging if you comment on any blog and John Doppler Schiff or Terry Ward ( AKA Little Black Dogs) or Amada Katz show up.. just post that vid.. nuff said.. LOVE IT
You know I made some extra spicy “chex mix” yesterday.. off now to share with my dogs!!!


Susi December 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Jan, you win the prize for having made me laugh a spicy tamale nut out my nose. It’s okay, I let the dog eat it (kidding). You have my word I’ll share the video if I cross paths with any of the aforementioned. I appreciate the feedback, thanks for reading the blog!


Andrea December 8, 2012 at 10:08 am

Certain breeds of cattle and foul are bred for specific palettes, and toddlers are toted from pageant to pageant. PETA jumps – and some parent groups complain. Bottom line, it’s your business if you prefer Kobe beef or something cheap with pink slime, a WalMart chicken or the elegant Turducken. While I detest kiddie pageants, it’s not my business and Smashburger is just fine.

My daughter has always rescued dogs – mostly Huskies and Malamutes – she recently rescued a German Shepherd from a rescue group. That being said, we love watching the Eukanuba and other other dog shows. The grace, beauty and showmanship of these dogs and owners is something to behold. Personally, seeing dogs in costumes and carriages is not something I like – again, not my business.

I begged my second husband for a dog for years, no way he kept saying – living in a condo wouldn’t work. I kept checking the shelters anyway. I didn’t want a German Shepherd, he didn’t want a Beagle. Well, he finally gave in, we made several trips to various shelters – back twice to see a dog at the Humane Society. He had been a stray, adopted once and brought back after a week. We are an older couple and they did try to talk us out of taking him. But those soft brown eyes had us hooked. Off we went on quite an adventure and adjustment period. Fortunately, we live on the edge of a canyon and in a city where there are numerous hiking trails.

Oh, by the way – we named him Max and he’s a German Shepherd/Beagle blend. One other point – 2 words jumped out at me in your article – God and Jesus . . . Merry Christmas.


Susi December 8, 2012 at 11:50 am

I appreciate your comments, Andrea, and your “big tent” approach to dog ownership. There IS room for all of us, purebred and rescue people alike, and many fanciers (myself included) have at least one rescue in the family. This needn’t be an either/or issue (and I’m tickled that Max turned out to be a dog who was something-for-everyone, what a wonderful compromise, clever dog!).

And Andrea? Merry Christmas!!


Magda Chiarella December 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

Thank you for this very lucid insight. Vilifying dog fancy is not helping any dog. The arguments against pure dog breeding quoted by you are a reflection of lack of understanding that you so clearly addressed. And I cannot agree more with your observations that one of the most important things any responsible dog owner can do is to learn the rudimentary basics of dog behavior. That alone goes much further in helping dogs than vowing to get your next pet from a shelter.


Susi December 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for reading the blob, Magda, and in taking the time to comment. It’s gratifying to hear one’s peer say, “I agree!” and gives me assurance that I’m not alone in thinking as I do. I appreciate it!


Diana December 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

“God and Jesus”….Love that.


chienblanc4csi December 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

Another insightful post, Susi, thank you. The sock puppets just knocked me flat, wherever did you find that little gem! The producers certainly know THEIR subject, don’t they. Your experience at the convention brought up a memory of the day my freestyle club did a demo for a short-lived production event called “The Great American Mutt Show” in Chicago a few years back. Although we had one actual “mutt” in our group, the other dogs were purebred – a mini poodle, a Dalmation, a border collie, a sheltie. My PBGV was assumed to be a mutt, so I was treated to some interesting – and somewhat conspiratorial – comments from people who seemed to be disappointed that the show would allow purebreds to perform. The most amazing thing was the small cadre of [very young] women handing out bandanas to every dog that was spayed or neutered. The leader of this little army approached me and asked if Cindy Lou was spayed. I could have said yes, of course, presuming that they weren’t asking for proof, but I wanted to be honest, and . . . well, yes, I admit it, I couldn’t wait for the response to my admission that my girl was intact. The eyes on those sock puppets – the wild and crazy, unbalanced, freaky, completely dilated, embodiment-of-insanity eyes – just HAD to have been designed by a creative who had recently admitted to having an intact animal, spot on perfect description of what I saw that day. “No bandana for YOUR dog, you horrible irresponsible low life cretin, you!”

It often seems to me that the semblance of credibility that comes from seeing your random thoughts expressed in actual type fonts on a screen, right next to remarks from a learned expert in whatever field is being discussed, feeds the monster, and creates an echo chamber. Instead of listening to each other, we are only waiting for the other person to stop talking. There is no room for any verifiable arguments, no true sharing of views, just repeat, repeat, repeat your own until the other person just goes away. And then, just as with that horrible blue sock puppet, the last word isn’t really the last word, the last word is that the idiot claims the last word, and didn’t really care about your opinion in the first place. Finally, the truth.

About 7 years ago I was in the unfortunate position of working with an outplacement firm, being told that it was highly unlikely that I would be able to get another job in the field that I had worked in for 30 years, won awards in, learned from the inside out, the bottom up. Even after taking fifteen years out of my resume, there was no getting past the second interview, when my decrepitude became obvious. In spite of the fact that I look at least ten years younger than my calendar years, I was going to be ‘too old’ for the same work that I had been doing well just a week earlier. The outplacement counselor I was working with suggested a career change. She looked at my volunteer work as a dog trainer, shelter and rescue volunteer, canine search and rescue handler, founder and president of a dog related public charity, and suggested that I go for the position of a humane society director! HAH! is what I remember saying – holding up my two index fingers in the shape of a vampire-repelling cross. Instead, I started up another business with my colleague of 30+ years – in my field. Some days, though, I regret not taking up that counselor’s challenge. She thought it was just another ‘job option’, but in today’s twisted and inside-out animal culture, maybe I could do something positive. Who knows for sure.

Thank you for another thought-provoking post, Susi.


Rosebud December 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Awesome, as always. Being as I own purebreds, mixes, show dogs, performance dogs, and rescues, and I have rescued purebreds, purpose bred mixes, purpose bred purebreds, and far too many rescued mixes…ALL have a place, all are worthy and all are precious. We DO have a responsibility to care for the less fortunate, and my rescues teach me many lessons in overcoming challenges and learning to love and trust while overcoming those challenges. The sad fact is, that many of the rescues have bodies that simply won’t allow them to do what they were bred to do, on more than a limited basis. A Rottie with chronic OCD in a shoulder may have the drive to work, but physically cannot do so. It’s hard to have to limit a dog who clearly wants jobs to do, that wants to be active…and can’t be. Many of these dogs find happiness and security, but will never be what their birthright should have bestowed upon them. That is a sin. And the only one that CAN insure that birthright, is a responsible breeder. That is the other responsibility we have…to INSURE that every puppy or kitten or whatever that is born, is born with it’s full birthright…to be healthy, physically and mentally, to be sound of mind and body, to be placed in homes that will provide food, shelter, interaction and safety and purpose and a LIFETIME of love and commitment. And a breeder that performs that function should be held in the very highest esteem, and there are PLENTY of breeders like that out there. Instead of recognizing the IMPORTANCE of these breeders, they are thrown under the bus because far too many are uneducated about what responsible, ethical breeding is.

I read stories on a daily basis from all over the country, about numerous rescues that are hoarding, or keeping animals in poor, neglectful conditions, or individual rescuers who do unspeakable things to the animals they are “supposedly” rescuing…but that doesn’t mean I believe with all my heart and all my soul that anyone in rescue should be attacked as the enemy. I have pulled dogs from shelters that were worse that any death camp. That were evidence IN cruelty cases, where they suffered FAR WORSE in the shelter, than they EVER did at the hands of their owners. I’ve pulled them from shelters just days, if not hours, from death (and I don’t mean the kill needle…they were almost dead from NEGLECT!) So, should I extrapolate from that ALL shelters operate this way, and should be shut down?! No, I work with too many really GOOD shelters. I’m too intelligent to think that just because some are bad, that ALL are bad. And we certainly wouldn’t solve the problem or poor sheltering by eliminating all shelters. And eliminating all breeders, doesn’t solve the problem at hand either. As a matter of fact, it creates some new ones. Unless your goal, is no pets, period. In the fight for doing what is right for the animals, responsible breeding is the ONLY solution. Also understanding that genetics is NOT an exact science. We cannot produce a perfectly healthy puppy though adulthood, any easier than parents can produce perfectly healthy children for life. Health testing, temperament testing, good nutrition, regular health care, training and conditioning, should all be the very BASIC minimum requirements for breeding stock. Titles are nice, but insuring that animals reproducing themselves are healthy and sound, mind and body, should be REQUIRED for any animal being considered for breeding. And since there are literally thousands of those kind of breeders out there, if you have never met one, really visited with one…I suggest you find one. And if you can’t, you just aren’t trying.


Susi December 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm

A marvelous comment, Rosebud, and I count myself fortunate that you shared it on my blog. You offer insights and a point of view from someone in the trenches. I applaud your reasoned thinking, that you “walk the walk,” and can find balance in seeing the best of both worlds. Thank you for reading the blog and weighing in on it.


Jami February 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

I loved this article! I liked how you pointed out how most rescue people dont have the right facts. I agree as well that they should visit responsible dog breeders rather then group us all together. I aslo loved the sock video 🙂 Jami


Susi February 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

I appreciate that, Jami. The whole shelter and rescue world is puzzling me more and more, and I’m alarmed at what I sense as a trend – an increasingly belligerent attitude toward dog fanciers and breeders. As I see it, it’s not an either/or proposition and many people own both rescued dogs and well bred dogs. Go figure.


dc May 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I work in a shelter. I was recently asked this by a dedicated volunteer: ” I don’t meant to judge but I noticed one of your dogs is not neutered. What’s up with that?” I told her as a sight hound his risk of bone cancer is worth waiting for maturity to neuter if then, since the health risks from not neutering are less deadly and less common. She’s never had anyone tell her at any time that there is any downside to elective surgeries except declawing, ear cropping, tail docking and debarking. Those are all bad. Critical thinking is what we are missing. How do people swallow so much untested? Thank you, again, for an excellent point of view with back up.


Lee May 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Excellent blog . As a breeder for over 40 years I have seen the evolution of rescue . The majority of breed rescue was done by the breeders,. The rescue groups ,as a majority did not hate the breeders . Most worked with us. I used to board personal pets of the Mercy Crusade founders, trained dogs (Labradors) for one of the original founders of Actors and Others for Animals, and my father was guest host for Francis X Lohmann’s Pet Set radio program ,which was geared to all dogs and cats. Although Francis was a rescue person he used to promote purebreds with Dog Days on the Mall were breeders participated with their breed. One such event had Frank Sabella with a new breed not yet recognized the Bichon Frise. . The tide began to change when the City of Los Angeles created the breeder permit. in the late 80s . The “rescue” people became more radical . and more organized. Even some of the breeder friendly became less friendly . Now the active “rescues” far out number the active breeders in Southern CA . On Ebay classified there are 4000+ rescue ads. One day I checked to see how many were non rescue org. Not one I counted 83 rescue groups mostly non profit C3 , Public Animal Shelters and ones that called themselves rescues but had not gotten tax exemption . Under breeder owner about 1000 ads which included, breeders, re homing pets, and illegal puppy importers .


Susi May 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Appreciate the compliment, Lee, and your comment is most excellent, as well! The evolution of rescue is fascinating, but it’s your numbers that are sobering. As a parent, I’ve been a proponent of “logical consequences,” but I shudder to think where the logical outcome of this current trajectory put us. Thank for writing!


Alice Harrington November 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

You did again Susi! Right on the mark. Thanks!!


Susi November 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Awwww, thanks, Alice!!!


shepeake November 16, 2013 at 5:15 am

So well said….no further words needed except to share this piece of writing:-)


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