Last fall, I brought two foster puppies with me to a party at same friends' house. I asked in advance, but hoped the exposure would help sociale the puppies and maybe even find a new home. One family - husband, wife, daughter and son - were asking about one of my fosters. I explained my role, and gave them the contact info of the rescuer to process their application.
They didn't follow up.
At the party a few weeks ago, that same family was there. During a conversation, the wife exclaimed "Oh! You're the one who brought the puppies before, right? We have our own new puppies now." When I asked her where she got them from, she sheepishly replied "From a breeder." I think she recalled a bit late that I am involved with rescue. It was not my party, and she was not my friend, so I felt out of place reading the riot act for their stupidity. However, I hoped the look of disdain I flashed made my opinion clear.
Among animal advocates, there is a neverending debate. One, how can we convince people to spay and neuter? Ignorant people and backyard breeders contribute heavily to the homeless pet population. Two, how do we convince people to adopt, instead of buying? Three... which shelters to support?
The no-kill movement has been building steadily for a while, and frankly is the ideal solution. There are many people who criticize no-kill shelters for making others "yes-kill" by default, and fr being selective in which animals they choose to intake.
Many animal control facilities - the old-fashioned "pound" - are shelters that euthanize. Part of the problem is money. Most animal control shelters are tied to public funding. As a public entity, they don't have the luxury of being "full" and refusing to accept. The euthanasia rate at most animal control shelters is between 60% - 90%.
On the flip side, there are terribly operated no-kill shelters that become supermax prisons for animals. The animal inmates become institutionalized, neurotic, and antisocial as a result of being caged for weeks... months... years. As such their chances of adoption grow more remote each day.
Is it better to exist indefinitely in monotony, slowly going crazy? Are "yes-kill" shelters sparing animals from such a fate? Or do animal control shelters kill just because they aren't willing to create a new solution?
I know that the family who chose to buy their new puppies inadvertently sentenced another animal to death by the choice they made.