Discovered these sites last week. Seems that they exist in most states for most breeds. Take a few minutes to poke around on this site and it will be obvious to an experienced breeder that this is a puppy broker and that although the insinuation is that these pups are locally bred, they do ( to their credit, I suppose) state that the pups come from an “exclusive national network of the finest” breeders and not necessarily from the state headlined.
They position themselves as knowledgeable, ethical breeders right in your backyard, but, although its easy to list Codes of Ethics, anti-puppy mill rhetoric and generally talk the talk, there is one thing they can’t do and that is to be, quite literally right in the client’s neighborhood. Visit-able, able to lend a hand, answer calls with crate training questions, eager recipients of cute photos and stories ( who else cares like Grandparents!). Providing family raised puppies, sold DIRECTLY to their new owners ( no middle men need apply).
Hmmm…knowledgeable, ethical breeders right in one’s backyard….that’s something we know something about. We just might have to redefine what the term “backyard breeder” means! Maybe we are the real “IN your backyard” breeders. Seems I know a bunch of breeders who could fill that niche for real!
It seems that one of the primary reasons dogs end up in shelters is actually due to owner relinquishment and that pets that were paid for were less likely to be represented in shelter populations. Purebreds make up about 30% ( still more than any of us want to see) of shelter inhabitants ( Wow! You mean we aren’t single-handedly responsible?!). It also suggests that many of the relinquished pets were under a year old. What if those owners had had a breeder to call to help guide them through rough spots or, if it came to that, to offer to take the dog back? You may find perusing this study interesting. http://www.petpopulation.org…
Given the recent awakening of the public to the value and pleasures of all things “locally grown”, it seems a perfect time for us to fully inhabit our roles as the local experts – the ideal place for puppies to be born and raised. Maybe we can be “Local Hero” dog breeders – small, sustainable, ethical and accessible to puppy seekers who choose not to adopt.
It’s all marketing, at some level. If they can do it so can we, but we have some humps to get over – not the least of which is our own virtually allergic reaction to the idea of ourselves as “pet” breeders. I don’t believe, for a minute, that we need to give up our day jobs and start pumping out puppies, but I do think, as a bona fide “national network of the finest breeders”, we can have a real positive effect by embracing the “pet” side of our work. We must not be reticent about positioning ourselves even more clearly as the right choice. Let’s brainstorm some ethically palatable ideas.
If not us, who? I think we all know who…