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 Post subject: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:04 am 
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I always thought breeding dogs was a little messed up until I started working at my sisters store. Some of the girls there breed their animal companions and the more I have talked to them the less breeding seems evil. After various discussions with them I was able to understand the difference between responsible breeding and puppy mills. These girls are not making large profits, love animals, and make sure their puppies have breed specific tests done (so the future owners know what they are getting into when they buy one). While I understand that the breeding of "pure" dogs makes the puppy mill industry stronger, should the former be chastised because of the latter group of humans that hate animals?


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:11 am 
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Seriously? I'm assuming this is a legit post, so I'll answer seriously.

Breeding dogs creates more dogs in a world that is already overpopulated with them. Every dog bought from a breeder is one less rescued from a shelter, and ultimately from their death. Not only that, you can never ensure that animals that you breed aren't going to be the very same animals that end up in shelters, pounds, or dying on the street.

It objectifies the animal - it makes them into an item to be sold like a freakin sock or something. The same reasons why it's unethical to sell you know..people.. as a vegan you should be able to see why it's unethical to sell animals.

It's not always so fun for the mother, to be locked up with some male of the same species who's in the mood - get impregnated - and have their babies taken from her to be sold. Nor can it be that fun to be taken from your mother when your a few weeks old because someone needs to make money off your adorableness.

There's nothing good about breeding dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:07 am 
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Thanks for your post, I knew I would get pretty harsh replies

I am very aware of all the points you brought up. I suppose I should have started this post by saying that I 100% endorse adoption over buying from a breeder. Perhaps I am a little disillusioned though and I think smaller goals for our society are more effective for change. I am experiencing so much inner monologue right now that I find it really difficult to even write a proper reply... and I think my wavering stance is now based on the fact that I have a relationship with people that do this. I just wanted some more opinions and insight.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:08 am 
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I think it's healthy to look at ethical issues from different perspectives. However, I agree with Fee 100% and I think most of us who are vegan for ethical reasons do too.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:00 am 
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Most small-scale home breeders aren't operating puppy mills and the animals get to live in a nice home, but...it's still breeding! As Fee said, for every breeder puppy that's adopted one is killed in a shelter. It's not ethical and I don't think vegans should be endorsing people who justify their breeding with all sorts of qualifications ("We don't make a lot of money," "The animals are happy," etc.). We should be helping to explain that what they're doing is still contributing to the pet population, which we should be aiming to reduce.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:20 am 
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Dogs are also pack animals and it's not natural for them to be separated from all their pups.

Plus, every pregnancy puts the animal's life/health at risk and pure-breeds are more likely to have genetic health problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:02 am 
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Through breed rescues and shelters, you can have your pick of any purebred dog you want. I could drown in beagles and labs. Maybe it's because I'm in FL but I want to punch anyone who breeds pit bulls in the face and THEN turn them over to Tofulish.

Other than because it's a hobby you enjoy, there really is no good reason to breed animals. It's not as if Yorkshire Terriers are endangered. Because of massive pet overpopulations, it's really better for even the best breeders to work on rescuing and adopting out the dogs that are in risk of being killed.

I think that it would be awesome with awesome sauce if every responsible breeder moved to starting a breed specific rescue instead. I would also like the Lab rescue of Florida to stop tempting me with large dogs I have no room for.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:47 am 
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I volunteered for a Lab rescue for a couple of years. There are plenty of purebred dogs out there who need homes. It's so sad that people are willing to pay a lot of money to buy a puppy that they later give up because they can't handle the responsibility or the dog is larger than they realized it would be/more expensive/a number of reasons.

In my opinion, the people you're friends with are justifying making money off of their pets by saying they are doing it "responsibly." Responsibility to me is spaying/neutering your pet, feeding him/her, walking, playing and all of that stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:16 am 
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There are so many reasons why this is wrong - I could easily go way over the 60000 character limit on a topic like this.

Everything everyone said above is right but I will add one more really basic one:

HSUS estimates that between 6-8 million healthy adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized euthanized every year in animal shelters simply because there are not enough homes for them.

These animals are just as deserving and loving as those that people pay breeders hundreds of dollars for.

There is an over supply problem and breeders and people who buy animals from them are a big part of it.

Anyone who claims to "care about" animals but then breeds them, buys them from a breeder, or defends breeders really should go and spend a few hours at their local animal control and see the animals who die there everyday.

And then go and think about how they are contributing to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:41 am 
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Along with the really great reasons listed above, you don't mention if the girls who sell the puppies do home checks and insist that the puppies get spayed or neutered, and then check to make sure that the animals have been spayed/neutered and are getting adequate vet care etc.

Its all fine and good to say that when the animals are in their homes they are warm and safe and get adequate veterinary care, but if they are being sold to any idiot with $500, your friends are not responsible breeders. The responsibility for a dog doesn't end when he/she leaves your home.

The vast majority of dogs that end up in shelters weren't born in shelters. They were the product of breeders - whether professional or backyard, or people who were too irresponsible to spay/neuter their pets and too irresponsible to place the puppies in a loving home that would take care of them for the rest of their lives.

One of my friends bought her Bichon (I know!) from a backyard breeder whom she thought was lovely etc. My friend, who makes a ton of money, decided that she was going to "get one litter just to make my money back." I don't think that is an unfamiliar thought, given that we live in a culture that commodifies animals. She was talked out of it, but I imagine many people who buy from breeders go on and breed their dogs to sell puppies. The choice is pay $100+ to have your dog spayed/neutered or make $$ selling puppies. So your friends may be great to their puppies, but if they aren't insisting on spay/neutering and enforcing that, then they are exponentially contributing to the overpopulation problem.

Even the nicest, kindest breeder you know is in it to make money. So the worth of their animals is directly linked to how much they can be sold for. The minute their sale value goes down ie the puppy is born with a medical condition (MBM can tell you all about that better than I could thanks to her pup Bonnie) or becomes an older dog, the dog is no longer worth anything. Where do they end up? Some may be given away, but many will end up in shelters (directly or indirectly). What does the breeder do if they get a call from a shelter that tells them one of their dogs is in a cage and will they take him/her? Someone here who works in shelters has posted about having a dog that is found, calling the breeders whose names are on the microchip and asking if they will take the dog back and being told to just put the dog to sleep.

And as Vantine says, if you're breeding pitbulls, who are the most discriminated breed in America, who disproportionately make up the largest number of dogs euthanized in America because so many towns won't let you keep them, won't adopt them out, and because so many people are afraid of them, you are like someone who runs towards a burning building and throws extra fuel on. And I will cockpunch you once Vantine hands you over to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:33 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Someone here who works in shelters has posted about having a dog that is found, calling the breeders whose names are on the microchip and asking if they will take the dog back and being told to just put the dog to sleep.


So sad. This makes me nauseous and really upset.

Again, thank you for all of these very well articulated and passionate posts. As I keep reading these the more I feel terrible for empathizing with my coworkers. I think in the past I just saw things as very black and white, and then didn't know how to react when I actually met people that did this.

I can't help but feel that the argument of "you can rescue any breed you want" is ultimately bootstrapping, as it gives into the same problem and furthers breed popularity. However, I can see this as an argument when trying to persuade someone who NEEDS a yorkie to adopt.

And yes Tofulish, they do screen their owners. I am happy to say at least that the two puppies I got to see for the past 2 months have gone to good homes. One was adopted by another coworker who I know is going to spay and the other went to a big home with other dogs.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:47 am 
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thedreamofhorses wrote:
As I keep reading these the more I feel terrible for empathizing with my coworkers. I think in the past I just saw things as very black and white, and then didn't know how to react when I actually met people that did this.


I think its great that you opened the conversation. Its really easy to gloss over the impact of breeding when you meet nice people (with cute puppies!) that you like as people. I don't think there is any shame to liking them as people and if they really care about the animals, like it seems they do, maybe your conversations with them will make a difference.

None of us are perfect, and many people breed simply because they think they are doing a good thing and don't see the broader impact of that decision.

As an example, there is a woman who comes to all our animal rescue events and is just lovely, but she breeds her Chihuahua because she doesn't want her friends who fall in love with her Chi to go to a bad breeder who is exploiting their animals to get a Chi. We talked to her about hooking them up with a Chi rescue instead, and she sounded excited about that.

You can't make a difference with someone if you make them wrong and refuse to hear their side of things. Once you understand why, you can help them find other alternatives, if they are open to it. And even if they don't stop breeding right away, you may have planted a seed that bears fruit later.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:28 am 
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I'm upset with my friend because she is lonely and her dog died a couple months ago so she decided to buy a 'designer dog.' I explained to her that plenty of rescue organizations exist, the pros of adopting a rescue dog... all of that, but to my dismay, she bought a dog from a pet store. (I'm cringing.) Her argument was that she wanted a little designer dog and you can't get those at rescues. But I think this post sums it up pretty well:

Quote:
In my dog training practice in recent years, I have seen a huge influx of designer dogs. You know the Puggle (part Pug and part Beagle), the Schnoodle, Doodle and let's not forget the Yoshon. After researching puppy stores in NYC the other day, I walked into one selling what they proudly sold as rare mix called a Yoshon. I thought to myself, "Yoshon?" What's that? So, I asked the lady working in the store to explain the breed and why she was selling a mixed breed puppy. Her answer was that he was a designer dog. She enthusiastically revealed his true identity and said, "Yorkie-Bischon mix." I secretly thought to myself, "Wow, this designer dog explosion is really getting out of hand!" People are going crazy for the names of these mixes, made up names and funny looks. I understand the attraction, but in truth, they are all available at the local shelter! Just as cute, if not more original or shall I say, 'organic.' What a concept! I think the general puppy-loving public is unaware of where these pound puppy look-a-likes are coming from and what a massive, cruel and abusive industry they are feeding. In puppy stores and on the internet, a mixed breed is being toted as a "pure breed designer dog," and puppy mills are farming them. Oh my gosh, can we as a society not see this? Supply and demand will dictate the mass breeding of these mixes to puppy mills/commercial breeders. Don't believe me? Well, let me tell you--the Yoshon I was looking at was being sold for $1,600.00. Later that day, I went to the ASPCA/NYC adoption center and the same adorable mixes, pure breed pup's and many adult dogs all shapes and sizes, who were also available at a very reasonable price- $200.00 donation fee!

From: http://pawsforaminute.com/_blog/Blog/tag/Adoption/page/2/


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:38 am 
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Great post Meggs! I'm going to start calling Cuddles a designer Labrapittle from now on.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:44 am 
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Help me think of a clever designer dog name for Star. I think she's a Labrador/Border Collie mix.
Borador?


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:47 am 
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ColLaBorador?

Just don't let the Resistance find her.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:54 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
ColLaBorador?

Just don't let the Resistance find her.

You're clever.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:30 pm 
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beyond all of the shelter issues, breeding propagates health issues within certain breeds. almost every bulldog develops respiratory or heart problems, labs and goldens are disproportionately prone to hip dysplasia and bone/spleen cancer, etc. even if you choose the healthiest possible breeding pair, so much inbreeding has occurred within these lines over generations that it's almost impossible to avoid furthering these negative traits along with the good ones. you are essentially selecting for breed-specific illnesses by trying to make your dog look a certain way. nothing about breeding is good for dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:20 pm 
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i understand where you're coming from. my mom bought us a poodle when we were kids, her family had always owned pure bred poodles, and my aunt shows and competes with purebred poodles and other dogs. a lot of her close friends are dog breeders, and i had a really hard time getting over the fact that both my mom and my aunt were very pro-"responsible"breeder, and had personally contributed to the breeding market, once i became vegan. i mean, these are people i think very highly of and love a lot. but, it is possible for people who are otherwise very kind and thoughtful to have some serious blind spots and mistaken ideas. i mean, we all know very nice and loving and ethical people who haven't made the move to veganism yet, it's not much different than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:25 pm 
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acr wrote:
beyond all of the shelter issues, breeding propagates health issues within certain breeds. almost every bulldog develops respiratory or heart problems, labs and goldens are disproportionately prone to hip dysplasia and bone/spleen cancer, etc. even if you choose the healthiest possible breeding pair, so much inbreeding has occurred within these lines over generations that it's almost impossible to avoid furthering these negative traits along with the good ones. you are essentially selecting for breed-specific illnesses by trying to make your dog look a certain way. nothing about breeding is good for dogs.



this!

if breeders were really in it to "better the breed", why not breed in order to fix health problems? why not breed for temperament? why not stop purposefully breeding dogs with deformities? although they are super adorable deformities, breeding dogs with with too short legs and too big eyes and too much skin does nothing to improve those dogs' quality of life. breeding sporting dogs when there really isn't a need also sucks. a lot of people end up with dogs with so much power or energy and no way to constructively use it.

it might make a little more sense for breeders to not breed specific breeds, but instead breed dogs that are healthy and mentally stable. i would give breeders some credit if they chose a dog's health over its physical appearance.

but it's all about making money.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:14 pm 
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I'm just going to reiterate that there are over two million animals euthanized in america each year. Dogs are cute, dead ones are sad, no one should be actively trying to make more.

If you want a specific breed that badly, there are so many breed-specific rescues. Or just let your local shelter know what you're looking for, and they'll let you know if they come across that breed. About 25% of the dogs that end up in shelters are purebred so, it probably won't take that long.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:41 pm 
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The next person who creates a designer dog and advertises it should be pilloried.

I know a borzoi enthusiast who dropped out of dog show land when he met someone who had all non-white borzoi puppies KILLED because she "didn't think they should be any other color." Mull that over before you smile at a breeder.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:01 pm 
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acr wrote:
beyond all of the shelter issues, breeding propagates health issues within certain breeds. almost every bulldog develops respiratory or heart problems, labs and goldens are disproportionately prone to hip dysplasia and bone/spleen cancer, etc. even if you choose the healthiest possible breeding pair, so much inbreeding has occurred within these lines over generations that it's almost impossible to avoid furthering these negative traits along with the good ones. you are essentially selecting for breed-specific illnesses by trying to make your dog look a certain way. nothing about breeding is good for dogs.

Word to this. I have two dogs, a heeler mix whom we adopted from a shelter, and a purebred pug whom we rescued from a shitty owner. Our mutt is so healthy and happy; meanwhile our pug struggles every day with physical problems perpetuated by stupid humans.


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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:19 pm 
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littlebird wrote:
it is possible for people who are otherwise very kind and thoughtful to have some serious blind spots and mistaken ideas. i mean, we all know very nice and loving and ethical people who haven't made the move to veganism yet, it's not much different than that.


This. One of the nicest and generous people I know breeds dogs. He and I have talked about it, I've shared information, and we've agreed not to talk about it anymore (in that I've asked him not to share details with me out of respect for how I feel about it). At first, I had to struggle with whether or not I would continue the friendship (we're co-workers who are also friends) -- but I'm friends with lots of omnivores . . . it wasn't going to change anything. Instead, I hope I planted a seed. He did take his dogs to get genetic tests after I spoke with him. That is something that wouldn't have happened then if I hadn't shared information with him.

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 Post subject: Re: Breeding...?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:26 pm 
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I entirely agree that breeding dogs is wrong and that we should all adopt. There are too many wonderful dogs without homes. I also understand your difficulty with this because you know someone who does it, they have somewhat decent reasons for doing it, and you still like them, so it's hard to see how it could be entirely wrong. I think we all know people who don't see anything wrong with buying a dog from a breeder. I'm sure many of us also know people who do see things wrong with it, but do it anyways because they really want a german shepherd puppy or whatever. I even know a vegan with two dogs from breeders (supposed responsible breeders and I think it was her partner who insisted on the breed, but still). It's hard to reconcile the feeling that good people do things you feel are wrong, but I'm sure we have all experienced that before. I have a really hard time talking to people who don't get or care why buying dogs is wrong. I'm okay if they don't have the dog yet, but if they already have the dog, I feel like they won't care or be able to do anything about it except think I'm a judgmental crasshole who hates their dog (obviously not true).

I have two year old akitas and an old lady mixed breed. My partner has wanted an akita for as long as I've known him. His dad bred dogs somewhat recreationally--I don't think he made much money off of it. We had two mixed breed dogs die last year, one of which he had before we were together, they were really, really close. After six months or so, he wanted to get another dog, an akita. I didn't tell him that he couldn't or anything, I'm not his mother, but he already knows exactly how I feel about that. I would have been really, really upset. I had never really heard of breed-specific dog rescues before, so I was surprised when he told me he had signed up with an akita rescue group. We only wanted a puppy, not an older dog, mainly because we had a 10 year old dog who we didn't know if she would get along with an older dog, particularly one known for being animal-aggressive like an akita is. We weren't expecting it to be very easy or quick to get a puppy because we figured most people wouldn't give up a puppy and if they did, we thought there must be a list of people in front of us waiting for one. Well, that isn't how it worked out and we got a call saying they had a four puppy litter that needed homes. So we got two because we're crazy like that. Anyway, point is, you can totally get a "purebred" dog that really needs a home.

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