Oh Dog! I have another guest blogger! Today’s guest is Rainbow Diamond. She is the Anti-puppymill Spokesdog for Diamond Dachshund Rescue of Texas. You can find out more information about their rescue and rehabilitation efforts at www.ddrtx.org. You can also find Rainbow on Facebook.
There are a lot of misconceptions about dogs in rescue organizations. People think we are all sick, or have been rejected by our families for behavior problems. They think if they get a dog from a breeder, the dog will be a better dog. This is not true. Most dogs come into rescue because of a problem in the family, not because of a problem with the dog.
If you get your dog from a pet store, a “puppy expo”, or an irresponsible breeder, you are not guaranteed a better dog. Pet store dogs and puppy expo dogs come from “Commercial Breeding Facilities” also known as “puppymills.”
When comparing getting a pet from a “puppy expo” and getting a dog from a rescue group, a vet here in Texas said, “sometimes you want to shop at a mall and sometimes you want to shop at Goodwill.”
As a puppymill survivor, I want to assure everyone that doing time in a puppymill is no clean and pleasant “mall.”
I have been treated far better here at my “goodwill” rescue group than I ever was in the puppymill where they broke my back and made me live in a bathtub having babies.
The puppymill websites may look nicer than rescue websites. They have professional portraits done with baskets and flowers and teddy bears. These pictures cover up the fact that their dogs NEVER EVER get to come out of their cages. On the website of the puppymill where I lived, they had a picture of me standing up and looking cute, even though I had been paralyzed for YEARS.
The breeding mill owners make a lot of money off of selling dogs, but the dogs never see one dime. If a dog gets sick, there is no vet care. There is no soft bed, there are no toys. Puppymill owners market the dogs like ad executives marketing any other product. What you see on the website does not represent the baby making factory behind the scenes.
The REALITY is that rescue is a MILLION times happier, cleaner and nicer than living in a puppymill. In rescue, we live in happy, loving homes and are valued members of our foster families. We get regular vet care from qualified professionals, we get toys and treats and the best food our families can afford. In rescue, our families care for us because they love dogs. They get to know our likes and dislikes and treat us in a way that makes us feel happy and loved. Most people who work in rescue do it as volunteers. That’s right! It costs them money to help dogs. They pay out of their own pocket for our food and shelter and never see any money in return. Rescue volunteers help us because they love dogs. Our adoption fees cover basic medical care for a healthy dog. rescue workers raise the money for other vet care in other ways. Adoption fees are lower because rescue is not in the business of selling living beings. Rescue makes families, we are not a store where dogs are bought and sold.
Puppymills make lots of money selling their dogs for hundreds, even thousands of dollars, but the dogs don’t get adequate care and sometimes even food is scarce. Dogs are listed as being “for sale” as if they were clothes or toys, not animals with thoughts and feelings.
Rescue groups get lots of puppymill dogs that we rescue and rehabilitate. Here is how that happens:
1) there is a puppymill raid and rescue steps in to save the dogs
2) people buy dogs at a petstore, from a puppymill, or at a “pet expo”. They find out that the dog is unsocialized, not a good match for their family, or sick. The family drops the pet at the pound where rescue steps in to save the dog.
Once we have the dog in rescue, we place the dog in a foster home that is prepared to help the dog thrive. If it is a puppy, we put them with other puppies where they will learn social skills, if they are scared, we put them in a therapeutic foster home to help them learn to relax, if they are sick, we get them medical care. If everything is good, they move into a regular foster home where they can have fun while they wait for their new family.
The dogs you get at a petstore and the dogs you get in rescue are the same dogs. The differences come from the care the dogs get in rescue before moving into your home, the information and training support provided by the rescue organization, and the guarantee that the rescue group will always take the dog back if things don’t work out.
I am both a puppymill dog and a rescue dog. Dogs are in rescue because they are lucky, not because they are damaged.
Getting your next pet from a shelter, rescue group, or reputable breeder is a HUGE step in shutting commercial breeding facilities down. If there is no demand for puppymill dogs, there will be no more supply.