A backyard breeder is someone who deliberately breeds his/her pets or even just lets the animals breed on their own. These “breeders” are usually doing it for profit and without an understanding of the animals needs, health, lineage, or standards. The results of the breeding are a plethora of innocent creatures. Most of these poor animals live in dirty environments and end up in shelters, which in turn can lead to being euthanized.
Backyard breeding is the reason for the pet overpopulation crisis. The “breeders” look on ads, including Craigslist.com, for someone advertising free or low-cost animals. If the advertised animals are not spayed or neutered, the “breeders” will snatch up those offers and begin breeding their newest victims. Oftentimes, when a dog’s fertility lowers, it is killed to make space for a younger dog. The animals’ living conditions are horrible – filthy, impossibly small, and appalling. They can also be subjected to abuse.
Of the 5-7 million cats and dogs that enter shelters every year, 3-4 million of them are euthanized. It’s estimated that 4 million dogs are bred in puppy mills each year. Only 10-20 percent of owned dogs and cats had been adopted from shelters, thus the reasons for lack of space. Only 10 percent of animals received by shelters and about 75 percent of owned animals are spayed or neutered. Many pet owners argue that they can’t afford to spay or neuter their pets. But those costs are less then raising and taking care of a litter of puppies or kittens for a year. And why would someone get a pet if they can’t care for it?
Of course, there are a few responsible breeders out there. They have all the proper licensing and equipment, and they actually care for their dogs. They usually breed one kind of dog, versus the backyard breeders multiple breeds. Responsible breeders also make very little profit, if any. They spend most of their “profit” on properly taking care of their dogs. They also breed to improve their dogs’ lineage.
People need to stop supporting and encouraging backyard breeding. Instead, we need to encourage spaying and neutering! If you walk through an animal shelter, almost all of those animals you see will be dead within a year. When you turn to a free animal that had been posted on the bulletin board, you are turning your back on a helpless animal waiting in line to die.
“Puppy Mills” Humane Society
“What is a Backyard Breeder” Almost Home Rescue
“Pet Statistics” ASPCA