I seriously read that phrase not that long ago when referencing my least liked mantra of “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!” when it comes to the serious issue about the animal overpopulation problem going on in our nation today. I will be honest, it angered me pretty heavily because I know how much time I have wrapped up into my volunteer time in animal rescue in my community and at a handful of shelters and rescue groups that I support heavily – sometimes so much that my husband doesn’t get to see me much and has complete care and exercise regimes on the dogs to take care of. I know not everyone is going to agree with me because I support both responsible breeding and rescue but to insult and belittle what I do would have pushed many people away and onto the “all rescue people are freaks” bandwagon.
The question though is – what is enough? Is enough being an Internet and social media sharing junky? Is fostering as many dogs or cats as a person can handle enough? What about actually donating well above than the 16 hours a city pays you to manage a shelter completely like one of my very, very dedicated rescue friends does? I know the blood, sweat and tears that goes into rescue because I am there alongside of those who dedicate their lives to changing the futures of those animals who are less fortunate but what gives a person the right to say “You’re not doing enough?” to someone because their path is not aligned in the same fashion as another group?
I would like to think I am making a difference in the lives and futures of the animals I am lucky enough to help through walking, photographing, transporting and training. We aren’t, at this time, able to foster another member of the household because we were foster failures with our last dog – Duo. This won’t be a permanent thing but it is, for the time being, the case in our situation. I also spend my time on social media sharing and networking available animals and even helped my parents locate their new family member at a local shelter (Yoshi’s story is here) but I also know I’m a bit of an abnormality. Why? Well, the whole supporting and owning of breeder-acquired dogs and support of responsible breeding.
Anti-breeding groups call those of us “greeders” and think breeders (they lump backyard breeders and responsible breeders into the same category) make a living off of the reproductive parts on their pets. This is very true for the less scrupulous breeders out there but those responsible breeders breed infrequently and when they do breed, the puppies have good, well-screened homes, impeccable upbringing and a lifetime of support from that responsible breeder.
I know this fact doesn’t go over well with the rescue community because of the thousands of dogs being euthanized daily but at some point it would be nice if the acceptance of those who truly care about dogs and not about adding to the shelter population would be accepted into the rescue fold because there are many out there who work both sides of the fence and I’m not the only one. It would be nice to work hand-in-hand with those same people who dedicate their lives to rescue animals and have them see who truly is the problem and who isn’t. Placing the blame on an entire group because of one sector of bad apples is about as bad as the breed profiling that everyone joins together to end.
Maybe this is just a dream but hopefully one day responsible breeders and rescuers can join together to end the mass production and abandonment of puppy mill and backyard bred dogs and end the mass euthanization of shelter animals and get them in to responsible forever homes so that those who dedicate their lives to the cause can actually go home and relax for a little instead of worrying when the next dog will hit “the list.”