Humane success makes market for mixed-breed pups

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2006:


TACOMA–Why did the Humane Society of
Tacoma & Pierce County fire one 15-year employee
on May 25, and suspend another without pay for
three days, for mistakenly euthanizing five
Labrador-mix puppies?
Why did Joseph P. “Jo Jo the Dog Man”
O’Neill, 70, die alone of a heart attack on
June 22, 2005 aboard a train in Poland, after
40-odd years of rounding up surplus puppies in
rural Ohio for sale in New Jersey?
Why are puppies suddenly the hottest
animal commodity crossing the Mexican border,
supplanting the traffic in parrots?
After a decade of rumors about an
impending puppy shortage, mostly disregarded by
animal advocates as breeder propaganda, the U.S.
and western Europe are experiencing a puppie
scarcity so severe that even some young dogs
considered utterly unadoptable just a few years
ago are quickly finding homes.

Breeders and brokers, like the notorious
O’Neill, are finding profit in strategies that
formerly would have looked like economic suicide,
including deliberately breeding small mongrels
and importing dogs from overseas.
With the penalty for smuggling a puppy much lower
than the penalty for smuggling a parrot, while
the rewards may be comparable, street dog pups
in Mexican border towns are, if not scarce, at
least fewer than at any time anyone remembers.
As well as seeking a human “coyote”
[people-smuggler] to take them into the U.S.,
would-be migrant workers are seeking non-human
peros to sell as their grubstake for getting
started in the U.S..
For two weeks preceding Christmas 2005
the Border Puppy Task Force, formed by 14
California animal welfare and law enforcement
agencies, tried to get a sense of the size of
the puppy traffic.
“Agents at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa
border crossings” in southern California “ordered
vehicles carrying anything with ‘feathers,
fleas, fur or fangs’ to a separate area for more
thorough inspections,” reported Associated Press
writer Elliot Spagat. “The searches turned up
362 puppies under 3 months old, 155 between
three and six months, and 1,061 adult dogs,”
for a total of 1,579 animals in 1,157 vehicles.
“It’s unclear exactly how many of those
dogs were smuggled,” Spagat continued. “It’s
legal to ferry dogs if they are declared at the
border and they have rabies shots and health
records–but Captain Aaron Reyes, director of
operations at the Southeast Area Animal Control
Authority in Los Angeles County, said the ‘vast
majority’ of those under three months were
probably contraband. About half the puppies
between three and six months old were likely
smuggled, he said.
“Typically small breeds like poodles and
Chihuahuas,” Spagat wrote, “the puppies are
believed to be purchased in Mexico for between
$50 and $150, then sold at street corners,
parking lots and flea markets in Southern
California for between $300 and $1,000 each.”


The Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce
County may have had little choice but to fire
someone after the mistaken euthanasia case hit
the news. Discussion of the case among online
dog rescuers was fast and furious. Most
commentators were sure they could have saved
those puppies, had they been offered the chance.
Before e-mail, those messages might have
been telephone calls. Outrage might have
simmered locally, but probably would not have
spread beyond the community.
Today, word of such cases circles the
globe in under 24 hours. A local error can
become an international incident–and astute
shelter directors know they must respond to the
online buzz, because the people buzzing are
collectively a network of tens of thousands,
whose e-mailed descriptions and photos of animals
often help to find homes for the hardest cases.
More than a third and perhaps half of all
adoptions nationally are Internet-assisted,
including about 3.2 million adoptions (about
11.5% of the total) achieved through PetSmart
Charities’ Luv-A-Pet boutiques in Petsmart stores.
When the fostering and adoption
volunteers who make that record possible become
irate because puppies were killed who could have
been saved, assuaging their anger becomes
priority #1.
Shelters took mistaken euthanasia
seriously even when shelter killing was at a peak
30 to 40 years ago. Saving animals who could be
saved was what kept donors giving and kept
workers on the job.
Yet as recently as 15 years ago, a case
like the one in Tacoma would rarely have been a
mistake. Conventional shelter management belief
was that large, dark mixed-breed puppies had
almost no chance to be reclaimed or adopted.
Pet overpopulation was still equated with
surplus litters. Found litters and
owner-surrendered litters of large mixed-breed
pups were often killed immediately, to keep cage
space open for dogs who might have had better
prospects amd required less care.
“The 7-week-old mixed-breed puppies were
euthanized less than six hours after a Good
Samaritan neighbor took them to the shelter,”
reported Kris Sherman of the Tacoma News-Tribune.
“Greg Stillwell, the puppies’ owner, said they
somehow escaped from his Point Defiance-area
home. He learned they’d been taken to the
shelter when he returned home from work, but by
the time he got there first thing Saturday, they
were gone. “
By law, the humane society was supposed
to have kept the pups for at least 48 hours.
Shelter policy is to hold all animals for at
least 72 hours.
The presumption now is that all dogs
found at large have a home. Fifteen years ago,
that was not always believed to be true of found
mixed-breed pups. Most often they had just been
dumped by someone who wanted to “give them a
chance” better than their prospects in typical
Today, most puppies can be saved,
regardless of breeding, if they are healthy or
can be brought to health. Many shelters have
more people willing to foster dogs, of any age,
than they have dogs to be fostered.
Most shelters are still coping with too
many dogs. But between the success of pet
sterilization and electronic adoption promotion,
through services such as Pets-911, even large
dark mixed breeds are no longer in oversupply as
acute as even a few years ago.
The glut in the early 21st century is of
pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes, mostly of
unknown breeding and training. Though pit bulls
and pit mixes make up under 6% of the U.S. dog
population, they account for about a fourth of
all dog admissions to shelters.
Because pit bulls and pit mixes also
account for more than half of all the insurance
industry payout for dog attacks, they are
essentially uninsurable adoptions in many cities,
and still have a euthanasia rate believed to
exceed 90%.
But a 90% death rate was the norm for all shelter dogs circa 1980.
Even in that atmosphere, “Jo Jo the Dog Man”
O’Neill accurately perceived and exploited a
puppy shortage.

Jo Jo the Dog Man

O’Neill, proprietor of J.P. O’Neill
Kennels in Princeton, was a dog breeder. But
more than a breeder, O’Neill was a seller.
J.P. O’Neill Kennels happened to be at
the western end of the most heavily traveled
highway corridor crossing central New Jersey
east/west before the construction of I-195. At
the other end was the first low-cost
sterilization clinic in the U.S., opened in
Neptune, New Jersey in 1957 by Friends of
Animals founder Alice Herrington. Somehow
O’Neill became aware, well ahead of most of the
pet industry, that many of his clients just
wanted inexpensive pups, regardless of breed,
and suddenly couldn’t find them in the Neptune
The quickest way to turn a profit in
dog-selling, O’Neill discovered, was to collect
free-to-good-home puppies from rural
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other nearby states,
sell as many as he could in New Jersey while they
were still small and cute, then dump unsold
surplus at shelters–most often, apparently,
the North Shore Animal League, in Port
Washington, New York, and the four shelters of
the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey.
When asked about his business, O’Neill
often alleged, including to ANIMAL PEOPLE, that
he was a puppy broker for North Shore. This
claim created a deep rift for a time between
North Shore and the Associated Humane Societies.
Eventually North Shore threatened to sue O’Neill.
By the mid-1980s, as the giveaway puppy
volume diminished, O’Neill began advertising in
rural newspapers, actively seeking pups. He
began paying up to $10 each for pups. He drove
ever farther to get pups.
O’Neill collected the most pups in the
Amish districts of Ohio–but the Amish discovered
his markets. Amish families by the dozens gave
up Ohio dairy farms during the 1980s, taking
advantage of federally subsidized whole-herd
buyouts undertaken to stabilize milk prices, and
moved to the outer New York and Philadelphia
suburbs to breed dogs.
Near the end of O’Neill’s long career in
dog-selling, he became aware that dogs of exotic
background offered by rescue groups often fetch
premium adoption fees, and that western European
dealers had for at least a decade been profitably
exploiting puppy surpluses in the former
Communist nations.
As dog sterilization has gradually caught
on in eastern Europe, U.S.-style puppy mills
have become established in Poland and Hungary,
producing high-priced purebreds cheaply enough
that some are commercially imported to the U.S.
A landmark of sorts was achieved in early
May 2006 when the head prosecutor of
Gyor-Moson-Sopron County, Hungary, initiated
criminal charges against the 63-year-old owner of
a puppy mill in Sopron, where 209 dogs were
discovered in conditions of alleged severe
neglect after a March 2006 demonstration by local
animal activists.
While eastern Europeans are manag ing to
match the worst abuses of U.S. puppy-millers,
no one has figured out yet how to efficiently
import dogs of ordinary market value for either
sale or adoption in the U.S.
The North Shore Animal League America has
led the U.S. for decades in developing humane
relocation to help dogs and cats find homes.
Pioneering high-volume adoption since the late
1960s, North Shore initially placed mostly
animals from local pounds, then brought animals
from farther afield as the local supply ran out.
By the early 1990s North Shore collected
animals from shelters as far away as Alabama in a
fleet of air-conditioned vans. The shelters
providing the animals, then and now, receive
subsidies for sterilization and adoption
North Share has experimented with similar
arrangements involving shelters in China and
several other nations, but even though the
imported animals have been quickly rehomed, the
high cost of air transport has thwarted hopes of
expanding the import volume.
Many smaller all-volunteer charities such
as Save-A-Sato and the Taiwan Abandoned Animal
Rescue Foundation have for more than 10 years
successfully imported animals for adoption from
Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and other nations by
persuading travelers to take dogs and cats as
part of their baggage allowances.
That works well for individual res cuers
who rehome animals just one or two at a time,
but not for organizations placing dozens or even
hundreds of animals per weekend, who need a
reliable supply to keep prospective adopters from
going to breeders or stores that sell puppy-mill
Whatever idea O’Neill had for profitably
importing puppies from Poland apparently went to
his grave with him. Yet few who knew him doubt
that he was there because he thought he saw
significant easy profits–and as O’Neill was
never in the high-end market, he must have seen
a way to import dogs less expensively than anyone
“His family soon after his death gave up
the business,” New Jersey activist Libby
Williams told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “Our organization,
New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse, was
contacted by O’Neill’s wife, a week after he
died. Approximately 80 four-to-six-month old
mixed-breed puppies were left behind. Mrs.
O’Neill offered us 40 puppies,” placed with the
help of the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter,
“with the remainder going to North Shore.
“The era of Jo Jo the Dogman is finally
over,” Williams summarized. “Unfortunately,
there are many others who are operating the same

Puppy millers

However, Jo Jo clones are the least of
the worries of the humane community about the
effects of unfilled demand for pups. Of much
greater concern is the migration of high-volume
breeding–“puppy-milling”–from economically
struggling parts of the Midwest to the edges of
affluent suburbs.
The neighbors are noticing.
“These despicable places, where dogs are
bred and raised in unsanitary, crowded and
disease-prone conditions, flourish in
Pennsylvania, specifically in Lancaster County,”
fulminated a Philadelphia Daily News editorial on
March 29, 2006. “Known for lush farms and its
Amish population, the county and its more than
240 puppy mills have helped make Pennsylvania the
puppy mill capitol of the east.
“It’s a shameful reputation,” the Daily
News continued. “Puppy mills are not pretty
The Daily News called for “steps from the
Legislature, changes in administrative policy,
and in regulations. More dog wardens, with
greater enforcement power and more
responsibilities, are needed. So too are
prosecutors whose specific job is to handle these
and other related cases.”
The Daily News even envisioned “an
animal-control version of a SWAT team that can
quickly swoop down on mills and take breeders who
are violating the law into custody.”
Fifteen years ago that would have been
radical talk from an animal rights group, let
alone mainstream media.
Puppy-millers are also running into
fierce resistance in Minnesota, a longtime hub
of the industry despite the opposition of several
generations of Minnesota politicians, beginning
with former U.S. Senator and Vice President
Hubert Humphrey in the 1950s.
Long associated with the Happy Tails
kennel in Little Falls, Minnesota, best known
for selling a pup named Spike to singer Donny
Osmond in 1999, Gary McDuffee expected little
opposition when in late 2005 he sought to build a
bigger facility in Labelle Prairie Township.
The Morrison County commissioners quickly
issued a conditional use permit allowing McDuffee
to keep up to 600 dogs on 40 acres, waiving an
environmental review.
McDuffee, 52, testified that he had
enjoyed an excellent inspection record during his
25 years as a dog breeder, and pledged to have
his breeding dogs surgically debarked to avoid
disturbing his neighbors.
As of January 25, 2006, when
Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Paul Levy
described McDuffee’s plans, the visible
opponents included Vicki Davis, executive
director of the Tri-County Humane Society in St.
Cloud; neighbor Roger Nelson, 69, and other
neighbors who signed a petition that Nelson
circulated; and Prior Lake breeder Joyce
Borglund, in business 11 years, who keeps 25
dogs or fewer.
“There is no controversy at all,” McDuffee said of Happy Tails.
Then the Star Tribune article hit the Internet.
By January 30, Morrison County
administrator Tim Houle told the Duluth
News-Tribune, the volume of complaints was
“unlike anything we’ve seen here.”
An online petition attracted 15,000
electronic signatures in just two weeks.
The Star Tribune discovered USDA reports
on Happy Tails describing “plastic walls behind
the dog runs lined with urine and waste buildup.
Some kennels were below standard size; others
had exposed, sharp edges. Expired medical drugs
were found.”
The Morrison County commissioners sought
compromise by suspending approval of any new
kennels for one year. They asked the state to
regulate breeding kennels. But the commissioners
did not rescind the permit granted to McDuffee.
Neighbors sued the county in February
2006 for approving the permit. The Minnesota
Federated Humane Societies in March 2006 asked
the state Court of Appeals to overturn the permit
on grounds that debarking the dogs would
constitute cruelty.
Shifting positions
Opposing debarking and high-volume
breeding is the traditional and virtually
unanimous position of the humane community–but
these are relatively difficult issues to
legislatively deal with, because they involve
either local or state jurisdictions. Thus each
political battle must be fought at least 50
times, often against deeply entrenched local
interests, to fully reform or at least regulate
current practice.
Federal legislation, once achieved,
applies to all 50 states, and there is a clear
history of precedent for federal intervention to
ensure the health and welfare of animals moving
between states in commerce, or entering the U.S.
from abroad.
Seeking stronger federal laws and more
funding for enforcement of existing laws to curb
puppy-milling has had demonstrable donor appeal
ever since the 1969 privatization of the U.S.
Postal Service introduced bulk mail discounts for
nonprofit fundraising.
Back then, however, humane societies
and local breeders tended to neatly align
themselves in opposition to any interstate puppy
transport. The possibility of anyone ever doing
significant numbers of out-of-state adoptions was
apparently completely unforeseen.
The hope of the humane community was that
if the sale of inexpensive volume-bred puppies
could be curtailed, dealing with the cast-offs
from small-time local breeders might become
manageable. Local breeders mostly just did not
want big commercial breeders undercutting their
One result of that long-ago alliance is
that to this day the federal Animal Welfare Act
still does not regulate breeders who sell pups
directly to the public.
“If you call yourself a kennel and sell
to the public, irrespective of the number of
puppies sold, you don’t require a [federal] per
mit,” USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service spokesperson Darby Holladay explained
recently to Karen Dandurant of the Portsmouth
Herald. “If you come to me as a dealer and are
buying wholesale, you need a license.”
The growth of Internet-assisted humane
relocation for adoption and direct-to-consumer
puppy sales by commercial breeders have
confusingly shifted the alliances that created
the Animal Welfare Act in 1971, as a major
expansion of the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of
Local breeders are still fighting a
losing battle against humane relocation and
interstate commercial traffic in pups, led by
Oregon breeder and National Animal Interest
Alliance founder Patti Strand.
Some humane societies and animal control
agencies remain skeptical of humane relocation,
but mostly no longer oppose it, if only to avoid
conflict with Internet-using rescuers.
Internet-using rescuers and high-volume
adoption shelters tend to be vociferous arch-foes
of puppy millers, but fight any proposals that
might inhibit humane relocation.
Puppy-millers have discovered that hiding
behind the concerns of humane relocaters tends to
be their best defense.
Including exemptions for nonprofit
organizations is not really a way to bypass the
problem, because most individual rescuers do not
have nonprofit status, while establishing bogus
nonprofit fronts to evade taxation and regulation
is an increasingly often used trick of
profit-seeking industries.

The Santorum PAWS bill

The paradoxes of political alignment in
the Internet era have inflamed web sites, e-mail
lists, and chat boards since U.S. Senator Rick
Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) on May 26, 2005
introduced S. 1139, called the Pet Animal
Welfare Statute.
“The bill is meant to modernize the
Animal Welfare Act to assure compliance with
minimum animal welfare standards in the
commercial pet trade, as Congress originally
intended,” Santorum said.
On March 16, 2006, after more than nine
months of acrimony, Santorum unveiled a
discussion draft of an amended version of the
PAWS bill. The “core principles,” explains
Santorum’s web site, are that persons who breed
and/or sell a high volume of dogs and cats at
retail should be regulated, while persons who
import dogs and cats into the United States for
resale should be subject to regulations that
protect the health and welfare of the imported
“There is a need for additional statutory
authority for the Secretary of Agriculture,” the
Santorum web site summarizes. “The Centers for
Disease Control monitors the import of dogs and
cats for zoonotic diseases (diseases that can
affect humans), but the CDC does not monitor the
import of dogs and cats for animal health and
animal welfare purposes,” and lacks the
infrastructure to do so.
The USDA has the requisite
infrastructure, but lacks jurisdictional
authority “to establish or enforce standards to
protect animal health and welfare with respect to
mass import of dogs and cats for resale. “
PAWS seeks to “limit the importation of puppies
to those who are more than six months of age,”
and to “require that imported dogs and cats be in
good health and have all necessary vaccinations. “
Within the humane community, the most
controversial aspect of PAWS is that it would
permit “certified third party inspections” in
place of inspection by APHIS personnel.
“It is essential to alleviate the
inspection burden placed on APHIS,” Santorum
argues. “APHIS is currently struggling to
maintain its current inspection program.
Bringing high volume retailers under coverage of
the Animal Welfare Act and strengthening
enforcement provisions so as to increase
compliance will further increase the APHIS
inspection burden.
“In many instances,” Santorum asserts,
“there are duplicate inspections of compliant
facilitiesŠby private entities, APHIS, and
state or local authoritiesŠAccordingly,” the
present version of PAWS adds an “exemption for
persons who sell dogs or cats solely at retail,
and are deter mined to be in compliance with the
standards of a nonprofit organization which has
been certified by the Secretary as having
standards and inspection protocols that are at
least as protective of animal welfare as those
required under the Animal Welfare Act.
“In addition,” Santorum adds, “persons
who are dealers under the Act may opt for
inspection by a certified third party inspector
in lieu of inspection” by APHIS.
“The certified third party inspector
would have to undergo a rigorous certification
process, and would be subject to ongoing
surveillance” by APHIS, says Santorum.
The March 2006 edition of PAWS also
“removes from the dealer definition in the Animal
Welfare Act all references to the sale of
‘hunting, security, or breeding’ dogs,”
Santorum explains, to “preclude potential
litigation arguing that the dealer definition
currently in the Act requires that sellers of
hunting, security or breeding dogs be regulated
on a more stringent basis than persons who sell
dogs as pets.
The March 2006 PAWS draft “clarifies that
not-for-profit animal shelters, rescue
organizations and other persons who do not sell
dogs imported into the U.S. for resale and do not
operate for profit are excluded from coverage as
a dealer. The sponsors of PAWS do not intend to
change the status of nonprofits with regard to
Animal Welfare Act regulation,” Santorum
Heavily promoted by the Humane Society of
the U.S., Doris Day Animal League, and other
national animal advocacy groups in original form,
PAWS no longer enjoys the strength of support
from the humane community that it had in 2005.
“Third party inspections of puppy mills
by industry groups such as the American Kennel
ClubŠsets a dangerous precedent of empowerment
for other industry oversight bodies such as the
Association for Assessment and Accreditation of
Laboratory Animal Care,” points out the American
Anti-Vivisection Society.
In addition, notes AAVS executive
director Tracie Letterman, PAWS “now excludes
most animal dealers selling to research
“We expect the new version to be
introduced soon in the Senate,” Animal Welfare
Institute president Cathy Liss told ANIMAL PEOPLE
in mid-May 2006. “I don’t think the bill can
move as a free-standing measure, but with
Santorum able to demonstrate widespread support,
anything can happen,” such as PAWS being adopted
as a rider to a USDA budget bill.
“While the House Agriculture Committee is
against any animal welfare measures,” Liss
added, “they may like this one because it is so
helpful to industry.”

Lawsuits & buying power

Meanwhile, using existing legislation,
the Humane Society of the U.S. and several
individual puppy purchasers on February 9, 2006
filed suit against the online puppy dealer Jim
Anderson, doing business as Wizard of Claws in
Pembroke Pines, Florida. Explained an HSUS news
release, “The suit alleges that Wizard of Claws
defrauds customers by misrepresenting the origin
of puppies sold, and by selling puppy mill dogs
that suffer from a wide array of health problems,
including contagious diseases and genetic
Following a five-part NBC investigative
series reported by Jeff Burnside and produced by
Scott Zamost, Florida attorney general Charlie
Crist on March 1, 2006 announced that his office
would also probe Wizard of Claws. The business
“looks like it could violate Florida statute 501,
which is unfair trade and deceptive practice,”
Crist told NBC.
Historically the humane community has
understood that puppy-millers could not be bought
out of business, though attempts have been made
at times to buy out individual breeders who
seemed unlikely to resume. The idea of competing
with commercial dealers to buy dogs at auction
has also been rejected as economically unviable,
even when the circumstances might not give
breeders an incentive to breed more.
But the changing economics of
supply-and-demand helped to make rescuers the
most aggressive bidders on April 29, 2006 at the
Bartow County Animal Shelter near Cartersville,
Georgia. By order of Probate Judge Mitchell
Scoggins, 128 dogs from the estate of breeder
Katherine Culberson went on the block. Another
28 dogs, considered beyond sale, were given
outright to rescue groups.
“Many of the dogs were in poor health and
unaccustomed to humans because they had spent
their lives in cages,” reported Jeffry Scott of
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Guy Bilyeu, 46, executive director of
the Chatta-nooga-based Humane Educational
Society, showed up with a group of supporters
and $16,000. He bought more than 60 dogs,”
Scott wrote. “Richard Dubé, 56, of Southern
Comfort Maltese Rescue, said he brought about
$12,000 and planned to buy about 20 Malteses,
give them medical treatment and neuter them, and
adopt them out for $200 to $300 each.”
The North Shore Animal League also participated.
“We’re making sure these dogs don’t get
bought by other breeders and find homes,” Bilyeu
told Scott.
Breeders were present and bidding, but appeared to have been shut out.

Designer pups

“In my community,” ANIMAL PEOPLE guest
columnist Margaret Anne Cleek wrote in November
1993, “some individuals are purposely breeding
small mixed-breed dogs and selling them for up to
$125. There is a wanted ad for small mixed pups
run continuously in our paper by a local pet
store. We have created a shortage of small dogs
and easily adaptable family mutts. And when a
demand is created, people will produce pups to
meet the demand.
Irate readers disbelieved that puppies
were no longer in substantial oversupply.
Pet Population Study–though the findings
were not published until 2005.
The National Council established that the
U.S. puppy birth rate appeared to have stabilized
at about six million per year. Puppy births in
households exceeded pet dog attrition by only
2.4%, while the pet dog population was growing,
then and now, by about 1.5% per year.
That left surplus puppy births in homes
at under 1%. Puppies produced by breeders
appeared to be competing for homes successfully
against adult shelter dogs, not shelter pups.
About 6% of the U.S. dog population
passed through animal shelters, both in 1996 and
now–but even in 1996, puppies were only about
17% of the total shelter dog traffic.
In December 2006 the pet store price of
especially cute small mixed-breed “designer pups”
in Tom’s River, New Jersey, reportedly soared
to $1,600. The breeder price was $800, wrote
Asbury Park Press correspondent Cheryl Miller.
Miller’s article alarmed Virginia Merry,
vice president of Animal Birth Control Inc. in
nearby Pine Beach.
“Our volunteers as well as others have
worked hard for the past few decades to bring
down the population of unwanted and abandoned
pups bred by careless owners,” Merry wrote.
“Then along comes a thoughtless article like
Miller’s, in which greedy people are given a
blueprint of how to make big bucks breeding
“Animal welfare groups have been fighting
against puppy mill animals sold in pet shops for
years,” Merry continued, “pointing out the
wisdom and joy of rescuing animals at shelters
instead. So now we have a new trend: designer
dogs, bred mutt to mutt, in addition to the
many pedigree dogs born with genetic diseases due
to inbreeding and over-breeding. Shelters will
soon be filled with designer dogs, whom nobody
will want once they pass the cuddly stage.”
But the public wants pups, and if the
humane community can’t fill the demand, breeders

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