Too Many Dogs What You Can Do To Help

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Too Many Dogs What You Can Do To Help

by Carol Stack

Did you know that one dog and her offspring can produce about 67,000 puppies in a six-year time? Considering that shocking figure it's not surprising that about 4-5 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States shelters.

One of the reasons for all these unwanted dogs is puppy mills. If puppy mills could be shut down there would be a significant reduction in the number of unwanted pets.

The breeders at these puppy mills are often kept in cages that are more like chicken coops than dog kennels. They are often de-barked by shoving a metal pipe down their throat and banging it with a hammer to rupture their vocal chords. The life these dogs live is unimaginable.

Females are bred over and over again until they become too old or develop some health condition that prevents them from being of any use to the owner, at which time they are often euthanized at home by whatever means the owner chooses.

The fortunate ones end up at dog rescues. The breeder, after years of getting all the puppies he can from her, will offer her for sale in a local paper or online. Some rescues will watch for these ads and ask if the breeder will offer to relinquish her to the rescue to be adopted out or ask if the breeder will let the rescue buy the dog for a lower price (rescue funds are most always scarce).

Rescues make this attempt to get the female dogs out of the breeding circuit, spayed, and into a good, loving home. Oftentimes, if the rescues can not intercept these dogs, they are sold to another party who will continue to breed the dog.

The puppies from these puppy mills end up at pet shops. One way you can help put puppy mills out of business is to not buy puppies from any pet shop. Another way to help is to support any legislation your state or country tries to pass to shut down puppy mills.

What can you do personally? If you have any dogs make sure they are fixed so they can't add to the overpopulation.

Other ways you can help is to volunteer at your local shelter or with a dog rescue. Perhaps you want to foster a dog or several dogs.

You can also provide unwanted dogs with a good home by adopting them from a dog rescue or from an animal shelter. Once home, give the dog time to get accustomed to his new surroundings. Let him be inside with the family.

If you don't already have a doggie door, get one. And if you don't have a fenced yard (which shelters and rescues usually require) put one up, even if it's just a small section outside the doggie door. This will make it easier to housebreak a dog that has never been trained.

To adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue is a wonderful thing to do, but first be certain you are ready for a new dog. Read up on how to take care of a dog or puppy. Read up on the breed you want. Get some dog training materials (Cesar Millan is highly recommended).

Adopting a dog is a big responsibility that should be for the life of the dog. The same thing goes for adopting a kitten or cat. These creatures depend on us to take care of them, and right now there is a lot we can do to improve their plight.

Carol Stack enjoys writing articles, especially about dogs. She lives with her husband, children, four dogs and seven cats in the United States. Carol and her daughter Christy have created the web site that lists dog breeds and their characteristics, and talks about dog care and dog training.

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