Today’s world, everything has to have a label. It might end up being an incorrect label or even an offensive one but a label none the less. The animal world is no different.
I hear words on a daily basis, thrown around without much thought to the harm it does. Some of these words that come to mind are Puppy Mill, Backyard Breeder, Greeder etc. In reality they have no hard definition and are really subject to interpretation by their user.
The human species is bad about judging on first impression, they don’t stop to see what is really happens. No one will do everything exactly the same as the next person, just because they do it differently doesn’t mean they are doing it wrong.
Let’s take a common word you hear in news papers and articles: Puppy Mill. It is actually in the dictionary as “an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane.” Let’s touch on this a little bit, ‘regarded as’ basically means that it’s subject to interpretation. What one person sees as ‘inhumane’ may actually be acceptable, and fully within the law. Some breeds don’t actually fair well indoors and do better outside in a secured environment, doesn’t make abused.
Also, when people hear the term ‘Puppy Mill’ they think cha-ching!, money. I’ve often heard that breeders shouldn’t be breeding for money, they’re only in it for the money, etc. That way of thinking is ludicrous. Breeders shouldn’t be ashamed of making a profit as long as everything else is done right. (please watch for our blog pertaining to ideal, reputable practices) The reality is, even when everything is done right, especially if you have a breed that goes for high dollars, a breeder may end up making a little profit — that is if you don’t add up the time involved.
You may want to argue about “puppy mills” being the cause for overpopulation however that scheme has been all but busted. Please read our entry: The Phenomenon called “Retail Rescue”.
I hear another term “Backyard Breeder” thrown around a lot, probably even more than “Puppy Mill”. But let’s dissect this term…
Backyard = “a yard behind a house or other building, typically surrounded by a fence.”
Breeder = “a person who breeds livestock, racehorses, other animals, or plants.”
So basically, this term applies to EVERYONE! who has bred anything… or maybe you’re a ‘Living-room’ Breeder, a hotel-room breeder etc? This term is considered derogatory in most context, it’s often used to put another breeder down whom one might not agree with their practices, doesn’t actually mean the person is doing anything wrong.
Sadly I’m hearing these terms spit at each other by fellow breeders. The truth is, the animal rights people only have to work half as hard at destroying respectable breeders because we’re tearing ourselves apart from the inside. Their agenda of ridding the world of pets is slowly coming a reality because we, breeders, are unknowingly helping by tearing each other down instead of banding together.
The sad part is that everyone is forced to take a side, either you’re for a breeder or you’re for ‘rescue’. The sides just can’t seem to get along and work for the good of our companions. The reality is that if Animal rights activists, PETA, HSUS etc had their way all animals would be spay/neutered and in 20 years we’d have no dogs, cats, hamsters etc. We need breeders! The world needs ethical breeders to keep working on producing genetically healthy pets so that 50yrs from now our grandchildren will know the love of puppy kisses. We don’t want the “Boy/Girl and their dog” adventures be a thing of old. We need to stop trying to label each other and tearing each other down, we’re fighting the same fight, both breeders and rescues want what’s best for our companions.