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When A Friend’s Joy Causes You Pain…

Like it or not, this is an age of understanding and compromise. Blame (or credit) our political climate. I want to be the kind of person who listens, digests information and attempts to understand viewpoints different from my own. If you’ve been on Facebook, you likely understand the daily struggle. You know what it feels like to question everything you thought you knew about a friend, based on something they’ve posted.

This morning was challenging for me. One of my friends posted a photo of the new puppy she’ll be welcoming into her home. This puppy is from a breeder.

If you’re an animal rescue advocate, like I am, you understand the emotional response that accompanies the absorption of this information. Tears, confusion, denial and MORE tears are just a few. I’m currently emotionally unprepared to simply message her asking, “Why?” In part, because I’m afraid of the answer.

I’m teary because I’ve spent thousands of hours working to discourage people from encouraging breeders. It’s supply and demand. If there’s no demand, and people aren’t voting for breeders with their dollars, theoretically the supply will diminish and eventually this country won’t suffer from a pet overpopulation epidemic. I’m saddened that someone had space in their heart and home and chose to deny an adoptable animal that position. (Which, quite literally, is a death sentence.) I’m mourning for the dog that will die because of this choice. I’m mourning for the next one, dozen, hundred, thousand that will die because someone will see that post and think purchasing animals from a breeder is a good idea. According to the ASPCA, approx 1.5 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year. As an animal lover and a human, I feel the weight of responsibility to improve those statistics.

In 2017, with the internet and thousands of rescues networking together, you can find any breed/age/sex your heart and home desires. With the few exceptions of working therapy animals, I don’t understand why breeders are still in business. Even Police departments have begun recruiting shelter dogs to train as K9 officers.

If a Seattle area friend specifically wants a puppy, perfect! Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue pulls them from overcrowded shelters in GA (and beyond) and brings them right here to the PNW. They’re great. In fact, a Peach Puppy hitched a flight with me last year 🙂

@gapeachrescue #dogrescue #freedomflight #Delta

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In addition to your local shelter, rescues like Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue specialize in matching adopters with pure-bred dogs. I’ve personally worked with Seattle Humane, Auburn Humane Society, RAIN and PAWS. All wonderful organizations.

Until we reach the point where zero adoptable animals are euthanized, I’ll struggle with understanding the justification for companion animal breeding. Even then, until back yard breeders and puppy mills are eradicated I’ll continue to advocate for spay & neuter programs. Farther into the future, I look forward to the day when the USA can more regularly welcome homeless pets from other countries suffering from overcrowding.

We can save them all. One at a time. I invite you to help me, and others dedicated to this end. It won’t happen without you.

Maybe you’ve read this post and you disagree? Maybe you don’t feel the same urgent responsibility? Maybe you haven’t easily found the type of dog you want? (I’d love to help you search, next time.) I’d love to understand YOUR point of view and personal struggles. Much like, I hope to have a conversation with my friend regarding her motivations to buy from a breeder.

Thanks for reading 🙂

As always, feel free to reach out:



About Heather

HI! I have a dog who sleeps in a cat tree and a cat who comes when he's called. I'm fueled by coffee, music & optimism. Things like yoga and gardening fill my warm weather weekends. I strongly believe that mini golf IS a sport, words are weapons and beauty exists in the spaces between definition. Ask me anything...Except regarding Fight Club...I won't talk about Fight Club.