Feb 11, 2007

Compacting Companion Animals

Ok, you've figured it out, I'm an animal lover and this is a common theme. I realize that it might not apply to everyone and some folks may find it redundant, but it's really important to me.
Dog breeding and buying is not Compact friendly.
Yeah, we all make our own rules, but geeze! Dog breeding, really? I won't go into all the resources that requires. Instead, just consider all of the resources it requires to capture, house, and euthanize 8-10 million U.S. dogs annually. Consider that 30% of shelter dogs are purebred and that there are breed specific rescues if you're set on some specific type of dog.
As dog guardianship has exploded in popularity in cities like San Francisco, this has become an issue of importance for dog handlers and folks who do not have dogs. Local governments spend over $2 billion each year on this problem.
Consumerism around this "market" of companion animal guardians is rampant. It's a billion dollar industry with Louis Vitton collars, squeaky toys shaped like George Bush, the Jumbone (a candy bar for dogs), Icy Paws (ice cream for dogs), Miracle Wipes (single use wipes for your dog), fashion t-shirts, and Halloween costumes.
I love dogs and cats (and horses, goats, pigs, etc) and I bought into this crap for awhile - to the extent that I could afford cat glamour items. But in an era of resource depletion, you'll find stalwart Compact allies in your shelter dogs and cats, who couldn't give a hoot who designed their matching leash and collar.


Anonymous said...

right on girl! i agree 1000 percent.
whats the matter with people these days? the best dog I ever had was a pound mutt. adopted dogs seem to know better.

Erika said...

I agree as well. "Don't breed or buy while shelter pets die"

nm said...

Not with you on this one. I believe that a reputable breeder is going to place the right dog in the right home based on temperament and a good amount of research on the home that the dog will be living in.

I cringe when I hear about people who backyard breed because their dogs are cute and want to keep the line going, one that is most likely genetically superior.

All dogs need training, companionship and patience, but understanding the home environment that the dog will be going to is also importance.

Yes, I also believe in rescue, but that has its own set of problems.

Agapantha said...


rachel said...

of course backyard breeders are the worst, and of course rescues have problems, we're reacting to a symptom of a problem. I wish that all rescues spent 50% of their time and money on spay/neuter programs and advocating legislation on breeding.

And I do not agree that breeders place dogs into good homes. First, reputations are obsolete in this market of shipping dogs to California from Montana or even Australia (note the doodle phenomenon). A great looking website does not make a good breeder. Anyone who would ship a 10 week old pup, alone and confused, across the Pacific does not care enough about individual dogs to breed them.

Unlike every rescue group I know, none of my clients who have bought dogs in the past 5 years have had a home check. They have ordered $2400 dogs from Australia via the internet from "reputable" breeders of the "first generations" of labradoodles.
And of course the same thing has happened locally.
Take two folks I know who bought an Am Staff pup from a well known local breeder. They're so out of their league w/ this 6 mo old that they have to consider surrendering her. Their personalities are more suited to a mountain dog type.

Indeed, having worked with the dog handling community for near 7 years, I have zero love for breeding dogs. It's exactly the sort of consumption that repulses me. I understand the love of a breed, but not enough to buy into that system. If you don't like rescues, go to your local Animal Care and Control and have some patience. Dogs, above most other purchases, should never be an impulse buy.

Steve said...

Hello. Very nice post. My wife and I got our dog from a shelter, and we couldn't be happier.

Nadine Fawell said...

I got my cat from a shelter, and she is the smartest little kitty I know (and probaly the prettiest, no bias).

I agree - breeding has no place until the strays in shelters have homes.

Anonymous said...

Rachel, This isn't related to your post (although I totally agree with you). But I heard about the Compact from a Washington Post article a few months ago, and have been thinking about it/trying it out with myself ever since. Someone asked me a question that kind of through me off though, and I was wondering if you have thought about this: Is getting an item shipped to you (used from eBay, possibly from far away) more environmentally friendly than buying a new one from nearby? I know that 'environmentally friendly' is an ambiguous phrase and can mean many different things, but how do you think about the energy, etc. consumed in the transportation process? Thanks!

Kathy Schrenk said...

Rescue dogs are great if you love a particular breed. If the rescue org. is doing it right (the few that I've dealt with are) they will know the animal well enough to place him or her in the right home. We got a Scottish Terrier from the local rescue group and they were very thorough, and we love him to death and he now has a great home for life!