"There is no such thing as a puppymill there is just substandard care"
What do you think about that? I've been chewing on that for the last few hours. A Nova Scotia dog breeder wrote that in an email to me today. She herself is not a puppy miller, far from it. She actually is a responsible breeder, highly respected by her peers, a long time member of the CKC, screens her potential homes for her puppies, does health checks, breeds to her breed's standards, shows her dogs, does confirmation, is active in her breeds kennel club.
But she also said that she is a breeder. She loves her dogs but they are not her pets, they are breeding/show stock and she places pets in loving homes. She understands that they are CANINES - not small people in fur coats.
In a further conversation - which is great, because at the end of this - all I'm trying to do is learn what is best for animals - so I'm glad that we continued talking - she said that she doesn't like the term puppy mills because she's seen high volume breeders who do give a good level of care to their breeding stock, and she's seen breeders who only have one or 2 animals and breed them over and over and don't give them any care whatsoever and don't provide them with vet care, shelter, food or water - so she thinks the term puppy mill is a word that is misused.
So I've been chewing over this the last few hours. Our conversation had started because she had posted to a yahoo email list that we both belonged to and she'd said the bit about her being a breeder and that her dogs weren't pets - they were breeding/show stock - and I really felt behooved to respond to her personally about that because to me - the duty of care that her dogs received based on that wouldn't be adequate.
And I have to say - I still think that. Especially when she talks about the fact that she thinks that large scale breeders give an "adequate level of care to their breeding stock". I really don't think that would be possible. I think that companion animals in order to live a fulfilled life need to be around their humans - they need to be in our bedrooms and our kitchens and to follow us into the bathrooms when we take a shower or have a pee. And large volume breeder's breeding stock never get that chance. They probably also never get to go for a nice long walk in the woods on a regular basis.
One thing that also struck me - this breeder said they hadn't bred any dog in three years - how long can you go without breeding a dog before you can't call yourself a breeder anymore? That's just an aside.
I have talked before about what I had thought my perfect future world would be like when people only got their dogs through responsible breeders and pet stores didn't sell dogs anymore - I've been going on monotonously about it for years.
I just wish that a couple responsible breeders would listen to a couple of us in the rescue community for once and realize that we are in fact not the enemy - and that our perfect world would happen a lot sooner if we could all just "get along".
On another note - I got the message today that a fabulous new blog has started up!! It's called "Digby's Famous Puppy M(K)illers" - and it's an awesome blog! The owner has put a STUNNING amount of work into it in a short amount of time, and there's an amazing amount of information there to poke through. There is lots of good stuff there to read. It is really great - the more information out there for people to find - the better.