Breeding part of major problem

Published 9:23 am Friday, March 15, 2013

To the editor:

In response to “Creatures Great and Small” in the Bulletin’s March 8 issue, I’d like to address the writer, Charlie Speight, who proudly tells the story of breeding his dog, Tootsie, and is puzzled by his wife’s being treated “ugly” when they mentioned their plan to breed their dog, and their 25 percent vet penalty for not having their dog spayed.

Mr. Speight mentions the “wonderful service” of Foothills Humane Society, so he does seem somewhat aware of the pet overpopulation crisis.

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We kill 3-4 million shelter animals in this country every year; 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats who enter a shelter are killed because there aren’t enough homes to take them in and 25 percent of the dogs are as purebred as Tootsie’s puppies.

Every time I hear someone like Mr. Speight brag about his litter of puppies, I wonder if he’s ignorant or selfish, or both. When Mr. Speight proudly introduced Tootsie’s 11 puppies into the arms of their new owners, 11 shelter dogs died because those owners didn’t adopt. Irresponsible pet owners are why adoptable pets are killed in shelters in this country every hour of every day.

Mr. Speight mentioned having his grandchildren witness the delivery of Toostie’s puppies. I challenge him to also take his grandchildren to a shelter and let them see all the animals housed there waiting for homes. Perhaps there they’ll see litters of puppies who were born in the streets to emaciated or injured mothers, or the lucky ones who waited to be born on the cold cement floor of a shelter kennel to the sounds of constant barking and howling, the smell of kennels that can’t be cleaned often enough, and the presence of many germs their tiny bodies won’t be able to fight.