I truly wonder how all of the dog loving adopt don’t shop / spay & neuter everything advocates plan on owning dogs if everyone stops breeding and all dogs are speutered??

I’ve been wondering the same.

listen in an ideal world breeding is fine, and not all breeders are evil anyway. But as things are right now, there is a vast overpopulation of dogs and cats, particularly in the south. These dogs also deserve loving homes and wont get them if everyone buys a purebred dog from a breeder. Spaying and neutering and adopting isn’t the end it’s the means. It’s a way to keep families who dont want an unplanned litter of puppies from having to dump them at the pound, and then a way to find the ones already there a home. I’m sorry but this argument just seems really dense. No one wants dogs to stop being bred 100%, we just want to control the population responsibly so that as many animals as possible are taken care of adequately.

1. If there is such a huge pet overpopulation problem here in the US then why are we constantly importing dogs from other countries to be sold in shelters ?Since you asked, I’m from New England where there clearly isn’t an overpopulation issue. Our shelters are constantly advertising meat dogs from korea, dogs from Russia, Quatar , and a ton of street dogs from Puerto Rico. The shelter most local to me rarely has adult dogs and just carts up litters of puppies from Virginia, Tennessee , and Puerto Rico. The shelter is empty by the end of the week, they legit get a truck load of pups every Monday. And yes , they do get puppies from the south. Obviously the south does have a much larger issue with stray dogs and poor animal care / ownership. But it isn’t a huge issue everywhere in the US. And most of the shelters here in the northeast do plenty of transports to the south to fill the empty shelters up here . I’d much rather see that than see the importing of potentially disease ridden dogs from other countries. We’ve had parvo and distemper outbreaks in MA because of illegal transporting of rescue dogs.

2. Promoting responsible dog ownership is what keeps families from having unwanted litters to dump at a shelter. While I am fine with someone choosing to responsibly own an intact animal there are definitely people out there who shouldn’t own intact animals. If you can’t keep your animals properly contained and managed then they should be spayed/neutered. I own two intact males and I can say with 100% certainty that they have never sired an accidental litter. And there are so many low cost or free spay / neuter and vaccination clinics around now that it’s becoming easier for lower income families to access affordable vet care and be responsible owners.

3. Not everyone wants a shelter dog and that’s a personal choice. There are plenty of valid reasons to choose a responsibly bred purebred over a dog in a shelter or rescue (and vice versa of course). I would much rather see a person choose the best fit for their home and lifestyle than to get the wrong dog and have to rehome / give it back to the shelter .

4. It’s great that you don’t think all breeders are evil and can recognize that there are responsible breeders out there. But that isn’t the case for a lot of people. There are those out there that think breeding shouldn’t happen and ALL dogs should be spayed / neutered. And more commonly there are those that think responsible breeders are still bad and should be shut down and then we are left with no specific breeds. Breed preservation is important to a lot of people, myself included.

I despise puppy mills, backyard breeders, and irresponsible pet owners who let dogs roam or abandon them at shelters. I encourage people who aren’t dead set on a purebred to go check out local shelters for a suitable pet. I think dog people would be better off supporting each other and working on proper pet owner education than to simply spew adopt don’t shop or purebred only/ all mutts are bad bullshit . In a lot of circumstances responsible breeders and rescue dog workers/volunteers are working toward the same common goal- getting dogs into good homes and keeping them there while trying to eliminate poor breeding practices and puppy mills. Just something to think about.

CW: graphic photos of animals at the end 

I respect your opinion and I think we are just coming at this from two different locations with different perspectives. I have worked with dog and cat rescues closely for about 12 years now. We focused not only on spay/neuter and adoption but also on community education and providing those low-cost clinics that you mentioned. I apologize for the following and for taking this so seriously, it’s a very personal issue for me having worked with it for so long. I agree with your points generally, and I don’t think they are mutually exclusive with spay/neuter and adoption advocates. We are just in locations that are at different stages of animal ownership and care. 

Overpopulation is indeed a MUCH less serious issue in New England that it is where I’m from in Kentucky and in much of the south and midwest. All of our transports take dogs to rescues in New England, other than the two or three we have sent to Canada. I agree with you that we should focus more on dogs already in the US for both health and logistical concerns. The hard thing is, we need the funds and manpower to do so. Rescues don’t always take our dogs because they have the freedom to choose not to. We will sometime spend months looking for a rescue that will take our more challenging or less adorable dogs, and you can pretty much forget it if they have a pre-existing health problem like heartworms. 

I fully support education and promotion of responsible ownership but the fact of the matter is that in many communities right now, there are people who will never *be* responsible owners. My neighbor has an intact male Large pit bull with a bite record that has on more than one occasion been aggressive with both my family and our dogs and threatens our chickens. All of our attempts at education and respectful requests have fallen on deaf ears. Many other dogs roam loose in our area, because that’s just the way people live and rescue workers have to deal with the fallout of that as best they can, which is why we push for spay and neuter programs and laws. I mean, the guy who runs the county pound literally cannot read. He is literally illiterate. 

As far as buying from breeders, I don’t have a problem with it on the surface, although I know many do and I understand why.  But those puppies all need homes too and we are definitely working towards the same goal in that respect. However, I don’t agree that it necessarily entails that people will be smarter about their purchase or that the dog will be right for them if they choose a breeder. One of our current fosters is a purebred, AKC registered chocolate lab that was purchased by a family that left him at the vet because the wife and children were terrified of him because of their size. This happens less often probably, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen enough to be an issue that we see, especially with larger breed dogs (and yorkies for some reason). 

I do understand where you’re coming from but we need to advocate for the dogs who are here. And I think the issue here is that it isn’t as big of a concern in New England. Breeding is fine there. There are laws and regulations in place in most communities that make it less of an urgent thing. And that’s awesome. But the reality here? It is very different. We are never going to run out of dogs. We are never going to import them from the north or other countries. And because it is our daily life we can get a little bit aggressive about it sure. But we are working in our own communities, and the only way we can get these dogs out is by encouraging people in lower dog population areas to adopt as well. I’m going to do that dumbass and annoying thing and add some pictures of the conditions I and my fellow volunteers deal with daily. Spaying and Neutering is vital to us, AND education. I would love to be in a community where the only extra dogs were from breeders. 

The following pictures are from the Powell County Animal Shelter/County Dump in Kentucky. These are dogs I have personally fostered or facilitated rescue for, not just stock photos of animal abuse. These are a few years old now and conditions have since improved somewhat because of our work encouraging spay and neuter programs and adoption, but the pound remains overpopulated and full of disease. 

Here in BC Canada we don’t have an overpopulation like some parts of the states do. I just quickly browsed the BCSPCA available adoptions and there’s something like 62 dogs in all of BC (so in over 30 different shelters altogether; there’s only one dog at our local shelter available). There are parts of Canada that have more of an overpopulation issue and sometimes those dogs get transferred here but I’m noticing more rescues importing dogs from other countries and the states. When I used to volunteer/foster at the spca most of the dogs there were there for boarding, and not shelter dogs. (Cat’s on the other hand…wayyy too many cats here)

That said, I think an issue (apart from discouraging backyard breeders/puppy mills and education) with overpopulation is the difficulty finding rentals if you have animals. Around here it is nearly impossible to find a rental that will allow pets, and if they do it’s only one small dog or maybe a cat. There are so few rentals available around here too. There’s a group ( that is advocating for more pet friendly housing because so many pets end up in shelters because of it. IMO if finding rentals with pets wasn’t such an issue I think a lot more people would be getting dogs and less ending up at the shelter. Of course there will always be people just pumping out litters or getting rid of dogs for dumb reasons though.

I wish people were more educated on where they buy their puppy if they are going to a breeder. There are SO many backyard breeders here but people think if they’re getting a purebred, all they need to worry about is that it’s registered. Then there’s the crazy amounts of designer breeds selling for ridiculous amounts that have zero health testing. It has become too easy for people to just breed any two dogs together and make money off it. I have a rescue GSD with health issues and just lost my heart dog to cancer. It’s SO SO important to be trying to breed away from genetic health issues and it’s so frustrating that so many people don’t care. The whole ‘my vet says he’s healthy’ doesn’t cut it for breeding breeds that have lots of genetic health issues.