Pet Overpopulation, Puppy Mills, Dog Fighting, Oh My!

Did you know…..

* Almost 4million homeless cats and dogs are put down in shelters in the U.S. each year. That’s 1 every 8 seconds.

* Thousands of buyers unknowingly support puppy mills and non-licensed breeders, who are more into making money than caring for animals and reducing pet overpopulation.

* Refusal of spaying or neutering your pet can add to the overpopulation of pets.

* AKC registered dogs are NOT guaranteed as healthy dogs. The AKC registered certificate just states that the dog had parents of the same breed HOWEVER these papers can very easily be falsified.

* “puppy mill rejects” (in other words, non-profitable puppies) are either put down or sold to research laboratories

* The main dogs that are bred for puppy mills are never sold and put down after they are no longer needed.

* In all 50 states, dog fighting is a felony. In the state of Illinois, the max prison term is 5 years & $25,000 fine. What is it in your state?

* Being a spectator at a dogfight is currently a felony in 20 states, a misdemeanor in 28 and legal only in Georgia and Hawaii.

* There are 3 levels of dog fighting: Street (spontaneous and associated with gang activities), Hobbyist (organized fights but more for the ‘entertainment’ than money), and Professional (on a larger scale with 50 or more dogs and mostly in it for the profit). Any “rejects” from dog fights on the Professional or Hobbyist levels are sold to Street fighters, which cause the main problem of aggressive dogs roaming the streets.

* Due to the history of dog fighting with pit bulls, they are the most misunderstood and feared breed.

(on a lighter note)

* Of 49 pit bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s property, only 1 was deemed unfit for rehabilitation and put down. The other 48 were adopted, fostered, or still currently being rehabilitated.

* You can help combat dog fighting rings by being observant and vigilant. If you suspect anything, contact local authorities.

* You can help reduce pet overpopulation by: spaying/neutering your pet; adopt rather than buy; if you prefer to buy then buy from a licensed breeder and visit their ‘facility’ so you can see firsthand how the animals live; leash your dogs and keep your cats indoors; and never leave your pet unsupervised outdoors.

* Nearly 50 Chicago-area pet stores pledged that they will NOT sell puppies and instead promote adoption or buying from a licensed, reputable breeder. How many pet stores in your town pledged the same?

* If you suffer from financial setbacks and can no longer care for your pet, take them to a shelter. Pet abandonment is a crime. Leaving your pet at a shelter is not.

* Most behavioral problems are the fault of the owner and not the pet.

* Just like children, pets require patience and unconditional love.

* Some pets adopted from shelters can still suffer from emotional woes only created by their previous owner. You can change that. You can make a difference.

Sources: Humane Society of United States, Realtors to the Rescue, & ASPCA

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