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Backyard Breeding. Desexing. Animals in Petstores.

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#1 Saffire


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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:39 PM

These are topics that I am very passionate about. So here they are. Its long and something I have posted in the past but I feel it perhaps needs its own thread. But maybe if it saves just ONE puppy out there, then its worth your reading and worth my writing. So here goes.

Puppies are cute. And...

We love our pets so much we think it would be in some way nice to share that love with others by mating them to produce a litter(s) of more lovable animals.

I guess what we don't realise is that there are already thousands of dogs out there who are looking for homes. Its a simple question of demand and supply.

Consider this scenario: You are looking to purchase a dog for your family, your choices are:
  • Cute puppy next door/down the street who has been bred from an animal-loving family. They love their dogs and thought it would be lovely to have puppies...
  • Cute puppy at the pet store - why, you want a puppy NOW and if you visit enough pet stores, there will probably be one you can pick up straight away!
  • Visit the pound where there may not be a suitable dog TODAY, and if there is they are not as cute and fluffy and small as the puppies mentioned above.
  • Go to a reputable breeder who has spent lots of money doing health checks (hips, eyes, family genes, temperament), you may have to wait months for the next litter (which could be quite a while as this breeder doesn't breed their dogs all year round - only selectively) and is most likely going to charge more than the puppy from down the road...
Unfortunately the chances are you (as a pet-loving person yourself who is potentially unaware of the issues surrounding backyard breeding and petstores) are more likely to opt for one of the first two options.

We know this is true because that is what the majority of the Australian population do.

We know this because when you choose a puppy from a pet store/ backyard breeder you effectively chose NOT to get a puppy from the pound. This is why there are thousands of dogs euthanised every year in pounds all over the country. And this is why there are petshops all over the country who are enjoying a thriving business.

Who are these people who send their dogs to the pounds? These are not the people who love their animals so much that they choose to breed them.

These are the people who buy the puppies from the pet stores and backyard breeders. Maybe it was an impulse purchase? Maybe the puppy eventuates to have health problems (which could have been avoided by screening pups and parents properly)? Maybe the puppy ended up too big/hairy/noisy/etc? The catch is that if you don't know how the pup is going to turn out like, you can't educate its potential new owner on what to expect of the breed. It is just not good enough to say "Well a poodle doesn't drop hair, and a English Sheepdog is very cute, so therefore these puppies are going to be very cute and allergy-friendly". Clearly this is ridiculous. You can't just pick and choose whichever positive attributes of the mixed lineage that you want to for your own purposes.

Finally, how much do you trust the 'loving homes' that you have sold your pups to? Unfortunately there is a roaring trade out there of puppy mills who buy puppies under false pretenses, pretending to be just such a 'loving home'. There is a recent famous story of one such incident whereby an experienced breeder sold their pedigree puppy to one such horrible person. They in turn used the puppy as a money-making machine where it was treated abominably and forced to churn further puppies under what can only be considering disgusting health circumstances for that pup in question. This person managed to convince an experienced breeder that they were one such 'loving home'.

I truly know that almost everyone in here truly loves their pets. I know most of us (just as I once didn't realise) are not aware of the issues surrounding breeding and choosing not to desex your animals. I hope that perhaps there is just one person out there who is either deciding whether to breed their animals or thinking of buying a pet from a backyard breeder or petshop will stop and think twice after reading this.

For more information please visit:

The view to desex animals, and ban the sale of animals in petshops is supported by all or most animal rescue organisations including the RSPCA.

Please know that I write this because I am only thinking of the animals.

#2 Saffire


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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:58 PM

If you wish to help:

You can send the following sample letter to your local minister (details on the saynotoanimals website)

Dear Minister:
RE: Petition calling for you to agree with the organisation 'SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PET SHOPS Inc.' and immediately ban the sale of animals (especially dogs and cats) from pet shops.

Because the Australian pet shop market for live animals represents big money, backstreet breeders and puppy farmers are indiscriminately producing enormous quantities of puppies and kittens and selling them to pet shops.

Pet shops encourage the impulse purchase of animals by ill-informed people who later discard their pet when they realise that pet ownership is not as easy or cheap as they thought. These are the animals that end up in the pounds and many thousands are euthanased each year.

Even though statistics are difficult to obtain and are poorly kept, we estimate that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are euthanased each year in Australia by animal welfare agencies. There are simply too many bred and not enough homes. This is an absolute disgrace and no humane Australian could possibly want this situation to continue.

People can buy their animal companion from pounds, animal shelters or rescue centres and save a life! Or visit a reputable, registered breeder. They will receive better information on the future care of their pet and be vetted for suitability as an owner.

I look forward to hearing from you about how you will close the pet shop market for puppies and kittens that keeps cruel puppy farmers and backstreet breeders in business churning out more and more animals. Pet shops should only be for the sale of pet food and accessories.

Please don't reply with a standard, duplicated letter that talks about the conditions under which animals are kept in pet shops and other issues which, whilst important, are not relevant to those raised here.

Yours sincerely,

Your address

P.S. Please visit www.saynotoanimalsinpetshops.com for more information

I only buy my supplies from pet supplies stores that do not sell animals. If everyone in Australia were to do this, there would be no more pet stores that sell animals and the puppy mills would have to cease trading.

Animals are not sold in shops in the UK.

#3 toska


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:31 AM

Thank you Chloe for this informative thread. I too support you in this cause.
Too many people are not aware of the consequences of back yard breeding and puppy mills.

This is just one of many links you can find on Youtube about puppy mills.

#4 CBL


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:44 AM

A brilliant post Saffire, well done.

So much more awareness needs to be raised on this issue - even if it gets through to just one, then a difference has been made.

Good friends of mine have labs - the first few were bought through byb and pet shops - one of them is obviously not pure, one other had huge health problems and had to be PTS. Now these pets are gorgeous, and very well loved, they couldn't have gone to a better home. But my friend had planned on breeding the pet shop bought bitch to one of the boys, thankfully we had got pretty close by that point and she heard me talk about bybs etc. She decided against it and desexed the bitch.
When they lost their oldest boy, she then decided on a rescue lab to add to the pack! I was so happy! It hasn't always been an easy road - adding a fourth dog to a group never would be, but they have got through it and love him just like the rest.
Since then they have also adopted 2 rescue kittens and my friend tells me she will never buy from a pet shop again - neither pets or products smile.gif

#5 L's Angel

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:54 AM

Thanks for highlighting this issue - The more people who are made aware of where their puppies actually come from the more chance we have of stopping the cruelty.

Animals have no voice, so we must speak out for them.
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#6 jet


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:00 AM

You know I saved your post from when you orignally wrote it and go over it time and time again because it was so well written.

Thanks for putting out there again!!! I'm contemplating circulating it around work and in my neighbourhood.

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#7 Christian Troy

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:16 AM

Great post Chloe. I hope it educates people.

Probably best for people in NSW to write to their state member because Clover Moore was planning to introduce legislation banning the sale of animals in pet stores and I think you are more likely to get a response from your state member who is more likely aware of the issue than your federal member.

#8 bats


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:32 AM

Thank you so much for writing the post.

I voulnteer with the CPS and am always shocked at just how heartless people can be. Last week a man brought in a Mum cat and a litter of three kittens. She was his cat, but now he was keeping on one of the male kittens and giving her up.

He didnt think that you needed to desex male cats. Seriosuly, you think that girl cats make kittens by themselves!

For anyone considering a cat as a pet, I urge you to look into adopting an adult cat. They have developed personalites and often are just so wonderful and all they need is some love and care.

My beautiful refuge furbaby was 6 months old when we got her, and although she wasnt as "little & cute" as an 8 week old baby, she is the love of our lives.
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#9 mrsm00kz



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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:01 AM

Chloe thank you for posting this and making a topic of it's own. It is something i've been thinking of doing for awhile.

As i have stated before, i bought my very much loved puppy from a BYB. At that stage, i wasn't educated about BYB, puppy mills, pet shops etc. I was told not to buy from a petshop because i'd get "ripped off". Well i now realise that that isn't the only reason why. It is because they inadverntly support puppy mills, where else would they get all their puppies from? Registered breeders wouldn't dream of selling them to pet shops (well the majority of them anyway).

Since then, i have become more aware of what goes on behind the scenes and it absolutely breaks my heart. I also avoid buying products from a pet store that sells pets and have spread the word amongst my circle of family and friends. It's all about educating people and making them aware.

As Chloe says, even if one puppy is saved it is all worth it.
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#10 ~Camilla~


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:23 AM

Thank you for your post Chloe, this is a story close to my heart as well. My SIL is a breeder and shower of dogs and I know she is extremely selective when chosing to sell one of her pups to a family. A fair few go to showing homes as well.

I hope this educates a few more people.
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#11 Partypooper



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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:33 AM

This information is fantastic! Thank you.

My poor baby should be a poster girl for backyard breeding/pet stores. She was bought from a well known pet store chain.

She was diagnosed last year with a very serious neurological disease that would have been found in her parents, if proper testing was done to ensure they did not carry the gene. She now will have a shortened life and will progressively get worse to the point where she will be in constant pain and paralysed from head to toe - not that we would let it get that far, we will do all we can to slow it down and give her the happiest life we can. Onece it starts causing her a lot of pain that we can't control we will have to make the awful choice.

There is no cure for this disease and no medication to help prevent, slow it down or even releave the symptoms.

Not that I would ever trade her for any other dog, but I wish this had have been stopped before conception. Her parents need to be sterilized and her sisters and brothers need to be tested. I have tried to get in contact with the other owners, but the pet store do not want any part in it and have refused to contact the owners or allow me to contact them.

#12 Domestic Dreamer

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:02 AM

Can we get this pinned?

#13 sierra


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:17 AM

I work in a 'pet' shop but we dont sell puppies or kittens. We dont support puppy farming or backyard breeders , all our inquiries of a pet are given the RSPCA number which we do support and donate to quite regulary or the number of a breeder
It just amazes me ( and irritates me) how many people come in which their dogs which are 'purebred' this or that but are bought from other pet stores for unbelievable amounts of money with NO papers. Arr...no... your dog is NO a pure bred and you have been ripped!!
If you are looking for a dog or cat please please please go to a breeder or save an animal from the RSPCA.
The other thing that annoyes me is these 'designer' breeds with 'designer' names...please its just a part bred dog.

Never giving up hope.

#14 Boolissy


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:00 PM

Great post Saffire, I just wish there wasn't a need for it sad.gif

A friend of mine bred her dogs (a popular breed) and asked me if I would like to give a home to one of the puppies. I said I would think about it. After finding out that they were not registered breeders (which I thought they were) and lots of research on DOL I said I would not be taking one. Her husband was quite pushy with me and couldn't understand why I said no. I explained to my friend that I didn't believe in BYB. Obviously this fell on deaf ears as they then bred their dogs again sad.gif .

We ended up adopting a beautiful pomeranian x who was about to be pts at the Lost Dogs Home in Melbourne. Now you would think that finally my friend and her husband had got enough money out of their dog (I think she ended up having 7 puppies sad.gif ). Well no... I was then contacted again by my friend who's husband told her to ask me if my dog was desexed as he wanted to breed her with their male dog ohmy.gif . I was absolutely speechless and barely managed to get it out that there was no way on Earth that was ever going to happen (my little girl is desexed anyway). The stupidity of it all amazed me mad.gif .

I have also tried to explain BYB to my sister who now just seems to think that I am a pedigree 'snob' rolleyes.gif . She listed all the pets we had through our childhood who were crossbreeds and asked me what I could possibly have against them. I tried to explain what happens to a lot of back yard bred dogs but she just couldn't or didn't want to understand sad.gif .

So frustrating!!!

#15 Puggie


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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:04 PM

One point. There are breeders and there are breeders...

My old girl (now deceased) was a free to a good home desexed female pug of around 4 years old from a registered breeder. This person is well known in pug circles. They show, are a member of the canine control council, have even been on major TV shows etc. talking about the breed. If you wanted to go by someone you would assume is reputable, this would be it...

The breeder was rehoming a male beastie (that they'd bred) as his owners were moving. We'd had our names down for older beasts, so when this fella came up the breeder called us. On the phone I mentioned we'd actually got another male beast since registering our interest, so were probably more interested in a girl, but that our friends were interested in a male pug so we'd come and check him out in any case. At this stage the breeder mentioned she also had a 4 year old girl who they were looking to re-home.

We went to this registered breeder's home to see the two beasts (years ago now) and all I can say is you don't need to be a backyard breeder to run a puppy farm sad.gif

There was a female pug (in season) kept in a soiled baby's cot with the male in there to do the 'business'. They both looked cramped and distressed. There's no knowing how long they had been kept like this. There was a litter in the laundry in the most sordid conditions imaginable. There was another in a bedroom. There would have been at least 20 pugs running all over the place - this is in a small suburban house and garden. It was horrific. Keep in mind this is a registered breeder. This was a member of the canine control council. This was meant to be someone reputable dry.gif

We took both beasts (both were free to good home - to be honest I wanted to take all the little blighters to get them out of that sort of a place). The boy was OK. He subsequently vet checked out fine and had no ongoing problems.

My girl was a different story. When we got her she was in poor shape. Rough, dull fur. Trouble walking etc. We were told she had been desexed (in fact the scar from the operation was still in the process of healing) and once she was fully healed she'd be back to herself in no time. When, about 2 weeks after getting her, my girl came on heat, so I took her to our Vet for further investigations...

They found my '4 year old spayed girl' was entire, and riddled with uterine tumours. Evidently the 'scar' was from her last batch of pups - born by caesar, as she was too riddled with tumours to deliver naturally. My Vet estimated her to be 8 years of age, and said there was evidence to suggest she'd had many many litters - the tumours were a result of this puppy farming. She had basically used as a breeder and tossed aside when she was no longer useful. They didn't even bother to remove the tumours etc. to give her a chance of living - they took the pups, sewed her up and shipped her out mad.gif

My Vet was crying when he told me about the sort of life she would have led sad.gif

We had her operated on; a complete hysterectomy. Her fur improved, she became a healthy, happy and loyal little girl, and was my princess and best mate for another 10 years or so. She was never able to walk 100% properly (or at least not for any great distance)... Her legs were too damaged from years of carrying the extra weight when she was used as a breeder. But she lived a full and happy life and gave so much love to myself, my family etc.

Missy was everything to me, and although the ongoing Vet bills as a result of the earlier years of neglect cost a small fortune, no amount of money was too much for my loyal devoted and loving friend. That someone could treat her the way she had been infuriates me. That it was a REGISTERED BREEDER makes me see all shades or red, purple and green!!!!!

Of course I reported it (Local Council, Canine Control Council, RSPCA, anyone who would listen etc.) but there appeared (at least then) to be little they could do to pursue registered puppy farmers... Subsequent discussion in pug circles revealed many of them knew about this breeder and would not allow their beasts to breed with theirs because of poor blood lines, poor conditions etc. but someone trying to do the right thing and buy their pup through a registered breeder would not know this...

It's not ALL like that, though... Jimbo (my now deceased boy) was also from a registered breeder, and the difference between the two places is like chalk and cheese. I would have no problems recommending his breeders as responsible and loving owners. They really really cared - they stayed in touch for years after Jimbo left them to join our family.

I guess what I am trying to say is there are breeders and there are breeders. Ask in breeder circles about who you are thinking of buying from. See the dam and the sire. Check out the place these pups are coming from. Like I said above - a registered breeder can still run a puppy farm sad.gif

Now - here's a photo of my girl. This was taken shortly before she passed on. She was old, fur faded, grey, blind and arthritic. But I still think she was beautiful...

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