The Rescue World Needs To Stop Buying Puppies

Rescue Pit, along with many other rescues, are working to ultimately limit the number of dogs in need. Our policies reflect this, and it is true for most organizations. but not all.

There are rescues across the country, and here in Rochester, who use your donations to support backyard/irresponsible breeders and ultimately increase the number of animals in need. They purchase puppies, and leave mother dogs in potentially horrendous conditions. 

14459786_10154404138206327_325708157_nThese are the dogs a rescue leaves behind when they purchase puppies.

Typically purchased dogs are located on craigslist or Facebook sale pages (Now, the Facebook Marketplace). Often donations are used to purchase the dogs to “save them”. This act encourages dogs just like the one above to continue being locked up, and used for breeding. At times the volunteer will “purchase” the dogs, and then surrender them. This is a technicality and the rescue is still supporting irresponsible breeders, especially when they continue to do it, and are not curbing this behavior in their volunteers.

Purchasing puppies creates space for the breeder to continue breeding. 

The individuals whom breed dogs are in it for the money. Their goal is to sell puppies at $25-$500 each. Once a dog has a litter, the only desire is to sell them, and quickly. Any rescue purchasing dogs validates this behavior, shows support for their practices, and encourages them to do it again. Purchasing puppies creates space for the breeder to continue breeding. 

Please don’t misunderstand; we see these posts too. They pull at our hearts, and bring us to tears. We often reach out, explain the overpopulation problem, and encourage them to surrender the dogs to Rescue Pit. This is discussed without any exchange of cash and the expectation that we will facilitate, and pay for, the mom being spayed. The moment the person says “they are only for sale”, the conversation is over. It hurts, and we feel deeply for the dogs, but we cannot continue to support the selling of dogs in this manner. Supporting the irresponsible breeder means they will do it again, and again, and again. And now purchasing these five dogs could result in 10, 25 or 50+ more being in need.

There is no other activity where people would financially support something in hopes of ending it or curbing the behavior.

Another argument for the policy of buying dogs is that “well, someone’s going to buy them, might as well be a rescue”. While true on its surface, it is ignoring some basics of an economy. If rescues are purchasing dogs, the demand will increase. As demand increases, the market will respond and supply will increase. The higher the supply, the more dogs in need.

We all want to help the dogs, and part of this is limiting irresponsible breeding and its effects. To do this, rescues must adopt a policy of not purchasing dogs. There is no other activity where people would financially support something in hopes of ending it or curbing the behavior. Five years ago rescues would have never bought a dog from a pet store – so why are we buying dogs from craigslist today?

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