Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why Shop When You Can Save?...............By Kathryn A. Gainard

A little over a year ago I adopted Dori from Close to Home Animal Rescue. In the pictures she looked like an adorable little ball of fur… a Yorkie-Cairn terrier mix, I knew she’d be perfect to go with my other two dogs, Winnie & Tigger (oddly enough, I didn’t name either and they were separate rescues, even… I suppose they were just fated to be together.) 

Dori - Mother's Day 2011

After reading a little about Dori, I began to uncover more and more about the horrors of puppy mills and commercial kennels.

Dori came from a puppy mill in northeast Ohio and was one of the very very few lucky enough to escape. Someone had turned her into the pound after she was no longer profitable to them. And even luckier for me, I got to take her in. She was covered in mats and barely recognizable; her physical torture was easy to see, but her mental and emotional torture was even more prominent. I went through numerous interviews with the ladies of C.H.A.R. because she was so terrified and an incredible flight risk. Men, in particular, sent her into a complete panic. She would run frantically into the wall to escape even just the eye contact from a male. It was in her eyes that I saw the sheer terror, though. She has some of the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen and it was heart-wrenching to look into them and know that she was in agony.

When we’d play on the floor with Winnie and Tigger she’d stand down the hall and watch… wanting so badly to join in but frozen in fear. After about a month, she stopped looking so scared when you’d go to pet her. At about 6 months she played with her first toy. She even destroyed one of my file boxes but I was so happy to see her acting like a dog that I didn’t care. She doesn’t run into walls anymore, but men still frighten her a bit. Her tail wagging is becoming more and more frequent and she now lays totally out in the open at my feet.

Dori with Xmas Bone

A lot of people ask me what difference it makes whether they buy their pet from the pet store or whether they adopt one from the shelter. And it’s a very simple answer:

When you buy your pet, you’re perpetuating the puppy mill market. Puppy mills are the number one resource for pet store inventory. If people stopped buying from the pet stores, the profitability of the puppy mills would decrease and they would end. And so would one facet of animal abuse.
Some facts about puppy mills:
1.  Very often the dogs in puppymills are covered with matted, filthy hair, their teeth are rotting and their eyes have ulcers. We have seen many dogs whose jaws have rotted because of tooth decay.

2.  Many dogs lose feet and legs when they are caught in the wire floors of the cages and cut off as the dog struggles to free themselves.

3.  Very often there is no heat or air-conditioning in a puppymill. The dogs freeze in the winter and die of heat stroke in the summer. Puppies "cook" on the wires of the cages in the summer.

4.  Female dogs are usually bred the first time they come into heat and are bred every heat cycle. They are bred until their poor worn out bodies can't reproduce any longer and then they are killed. Often they are killed by being bashed in the head with a rock or shot. Sometimes they are sold to laboratories or dumped. This is often by the time they reach five years old.
For more information about puppy mills and how to help stop them visit:
Also, when you adopt, the shelters have given the necessary veterinary care to the animals. Vaccinations, check-ups, spay/neutering, dental, toenails, grooming, etc, have all been done to ensure a healthy, happy life for you and your pet. Pet stores guarantee nothing and are held liable for nothing.
Another reason to adopt rather than shop, is the fact that the money that goes toward an adoption helps protect the animals and their rights in your area. So many dogs & cats end up in shelters, neglected and forgotten without any hope. Wanting nothing more than a family and home. Adopting helps shelters take these animals in and keep them out of the over-flowing pounds. Adopting helps them find homes. Adopting helps control the population with spay and neuter clinics. Adopting helps save lives.
As an animal lover, wouldn’t you rather save than shop?

Submitted by Kate of A Dying Art Co. on ArtFire where you can find many of her creative projects for people and pets, as well as her website: Kate is a very active volunteer with the Crafting for Animals Guild and uses her talents generously to help the guild in every way she possibly can.

She is one of many members participating in the coupon week from 10/23 through 10/29 to help raise funds for the Close to Home Animal Rescue group in Ohio/Pennsylvania, the spotlight charity for CFA Guild during October in honor of National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Read all about the promotion HERE, or the box below, and get the coupon code so you can shop with Kate and the other guild artisans during that week.


Scotti Cohn said...

This is a wonderful testimony to the importance of avoiding the purchase of animals from pet shops. I am thrilled that Dori found such a loving home!

El at Tantalizing Stitches said...

Such a lovely little dog. I'm glad you had the chance to save Dori. Its so hard to determine whether a breeder cares for the animals they sell.

For me, the number reason for adopting shelter animals is because I want to provide a home to an "unwanted" animal. They are always such a surprise and joy in the home. I've never had a bred pet.

Also, none of my pets ever had babies under my care (unless they were already pregnant when they entered my house).

Pam said...

Dori is precious. I'm so glad she has a good home now. Hope that soon she will feel safe enough to lie right next to you or even let you hold her on your lap and give her some loving! Hope that those looking for dogs right now will go to their shelters and bring home their forever pet.

Creative Critters said...

Poor sweet little Dori! You probably saved her life by adopting her. And with your kindness and gentle understanding she can become a happy healthy part of your family. This is precisely why my pets have always been rescues, and why I do what I can to support animal shelters. Not only do they save lives, but they give these poor creatures the opportunity to see the good side of humans. Thank you so much for sharing Dori's story!
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

Ditto to all of the above! Adoption rocks!!

(sorry for having to delete my first brain and fingers are not working together today, not yet anyway)

Kanweienea Kreations said...

Wonderful article. I think that it is great to adopt from a pet shelter. If you can't find a pet there, there are rescue groups for almost every breed. If you still can't find a pet there then by all means reseach thorougly for a reputable AKC registered breeder.