By R. Neil Kline

Before I begin my article, please let me tell you the following about myself:

I am an animal lover.

I have 2 degrees from a well-respected university in both Animal Science and Agriculture & Natural Recourses.

I have worked with all sizes of animals in my life from mice to cattle.

I have worked at an animal shelter for many years while in college and been a zookeeper at one of the top zoos in the U.S. after graduation.

I am an avid supporter of having pets spayed and neutered. I have seen what other shelters workers can attest to in the needless numbers of unwanted animals both in shelters and on the streets and their untimely euthanasia.

My wife and I decided back in 2008 that we wanted a dog.

Not having children and approaching our 50’s, we wanted to share our love and nurturing with a new pet. It was something that we had discussed for many years prior and were ready to take the plunge.

Knowing already that we wanted a Miniature Pinscher (my wife’s cousin has two), we set out to look first at adopting a grown one or puppy through a local Min Pin Rescue Center.

At the time, we lived in a townhouse condominium and had no yard of our own. As I went over the criteria in adopting a Min Pin, it appeared to be an ever increasingly difficult task as the requirements mounted (such as not only having your own yard but a fenced yard at that and an in-home “inspection”). Are we talking about a dog or a child here?

Before anyone gets in a tizzy, yes I realize that this is for the animals own welfare and to protect against possible abuse but to be judged by an organization to see if I am “worthy” of an adoption is where I have the problem. I do not want to see any animal a victim of abuse but there are plenty of wonderful people out there with loving hearts and a warm home who are turned down in this process for a number of reasons by these “Rescue Agencies”.

After going over these rules, I decided that I would be better off purchasing from a reputable breeder, raising the pup with a clean slate and have not regretted one moment of it.

Being the 2000’s now, it is in vogue to adopt a “rescue” dog or cat from a shelter.

People who do this I’m sure genuinely care for their new companion but some, at the same time, can go around patting themselves on the back for doing such a nice deed. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good deed.

When I am walking my dog and people come up to see her (for nearly 4 years now), they will naturally ask where we got her. I tell them from a wonderful breeder.

Nine times out of 10 I will either get a disappointed look, a “rolled eyebrow” look or actually even be asked why from a breeder and not a shelter. After all, I could have “saved an innocent life.”

My answer is swift and simple. I did save a life.

My Min Pin needed a home too, just as much as a shelter animal. Is her life any less valuable because she comes from a breeder? Not in my book. To me, all lives are precious and for people to judge not only me for my decision but also my dog for coming from a breeder is both rude and ridiculous.

Are there less than reputable breeders? Yes. Just as there are less than reputable adoption alternatives.

When did all this stupidity begin? Being chastised for owning a purebred AKC dog from an AKC breeder?

I would never dream of judging another person as to where they got their pet and why does it matter?

For those whose love is true and deeds are selfless, it doesn’t.



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