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“Rescue” Dogs and “Breeders” – A PR Nightmare

Click here to read the complete article
100 – July 2019

By Amy Fernandez

So one day last week, requiring a few minutes in the dog free zone (and don’t pretend this is news to you) I stepped into the corner bar. It’s nice. The only place where my total information gap about major league sports serves me well. We’re all staring intently at the big screens. I don’t know or care what the hell is going on. It’s almost like meditation. No idea how it happened, but I soon found myself in conversation with the guy next to me – dog related needless to say (and don’t claim this doesn’t happen to you, either). It’s like you’re broadcasting some kind of subliminal dog vibe. Next thing I know I’m looking at a million pics on his phone and then he tells me the story…

This guy is a lifetime Labrador lover. He’s not alone. No breed in history has dominated popularity ratings like this one. And I heard all about each and every one that marked this guy’s life journey; mind you this was my one hour escape from dogs. Like a junkie, I am soon into the conversation. So here’s the deal. His last Labrador died last year. That’s when social guilt/buyer trepidation commandeered the project. Mr. and Mrs. Labrador lover instead went to an unnamed but very well-known organization to “adopt” an $800 rescue dog.

Won’t get into those particulars but it was a sizable, athletic, adult male, recently neutered, high octane, handful of dog. In other words, a drastic lifestyle adjustment from the sweet, old cuddly Lab. But his wife loves the dog and they were saving a life. I cannot argue with that statement.

Problem is that his wife, who masterminded this acquisition, subsequently suffered a long-term health crisis. That’s bad enough, but coming home every day to a wild 90 pound dog tipped the scales for this guy. He’s been boarding it at premium rates until she gets home. At that point, the prospective cost was closing in on five digits.

I listened long enough. Why didn’t you just go and get another Lab? That’s your breed of choice and there’s definitely no shortage of Labrador breeders around this neck of the woods. Moreover, if you bought from a breeder you would have life-time tech support in a situation like this one. Wife in hospital, can’t manage the dog. I’d be there if I was the breeder and I’m sure you would, too.

Unfortunately, I was braced for his response. I’ve heard it too many times. Somewhere along the line transacting business with an actual dog breeder has become synonymous with the risks and ethics normally reserved for used car salesmen and drug dealers.

Click here to read the complete article
100 – July 2019

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