This article appeared just today: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40689181/ns/health-pet_health/from/toolbar?gt1=43001
One thousand, two hundred dogs - dead. If this number doesn't seem big enough, it is estimated 4 million animals are killed in shelters in the United States each year. Estimates vary, but only about 1 out of 4 animals that enter a shelter are adopted back out.
Commercial breeders - often called puppy mills - are deplorable. There are large-scale breeders such as the one in the article; there are so-called back yard breeders, people who breed in smaller scale but for profit. Most puppy mills are concentrated in the midwest.
We've just followed the case of Elizabeth Moore, a woman who was breeding cats.
We, as a society, need to get our heads on straight. The USDA oversees some puppy mills, and the animals are considered "livestock," and they can have as many as possible in depolorable condition. At the same time, many areas have laws that limit the number of pets a person can have. What you end up with are breeders churning out between 2 -4 million animals each year. Add in pet limit laws, and you have countless numbers of good people with good homes who cannot adopt or foster without being a criminal.
Do the math: no commercial breeders = no animals killed in shelters.