A Bare-Bones Logical Analysis of “Adopt Rather than Buy a Dog”

I could have made this several thousand words long, but sometimes simply listing the logical points is a better way to illustrate a problem – like a blue-print rather than a pretty rendering. From my many years in and around this problem these are some logical points that any solution has to consider – in my opinion. Your perspective may differ.

  1. Animal lovers want people to rescue dogs. (Celebrities also advocate this, but they are people who love to talk when they think they can elevate their status – as long as they don’t have to get their hands dirty or doing anything that would reveal the dark underbelly of a problem.)
  2. There are seven times too many dogs for available homes.
  3. Encouraging people to get more dogs eventually hits a saturation point where the community cannot accept more dogs without an increase in dog-related problems – which leads to more dogs going into shelters and rescue.
  4. Shelters and rescue groups likely handle less than 30% of the at-risk dogs at any one time.
  5. Shelters adopt out about 20% of what they get and destroy the rest. You can’t trust their stats. They tailor them to get donations. If they told the truth people would realize that with all the billions invested in shelters and rescues, the dog population is still growing – and the actual influence of humane groups is pretty much zilch.
  6. No-Kill shelters and rescues do not affect the number of dogs at risk. They merely cause the local animal control agency to kill a higher percentage. (That saturation point I mentioned always controls the real numbers. If you need a visual, consider the Grim Reaper as the enemy. )
  7. To successfully find homes for more dogs means that a net increase in homes must be created or the demand must be decreased. This could be done by making sure that adoptive animals are trained to live with people. The problem is that you must either train the dogs that get adopted or train dogs with the hopes they will be appealing. If you make the wrong pick, you waste time and money training a dog that will be destroyed or sit for years in a “rescue” organization kennel or crate.
  8. Some people are animal likers rather than obsessive animal lovers.
  9. Animal likers won’t live in a house that smells of urine or with a dog that scratches/bites their child or destroys couches.
  10. Animal lovers denigrate animal likers for their lack of commitment. They usually oppose considering them for adopting a new pet. Here’s a typical exchange…

Rescue Counselor: What happened to your last dog?
Prospective Adopter: We had to find another home for her because she growled at our toddler.
Rescue Counselor: Sorry, we expect a deeper commitment from people who want one of our dogs.

11. My friend Bob just lost his 17 year old Min Pin, Zippy. He wants another one. I called a rescue group. They wanted me to fill out an adoption application so they could “approve” Bob before they revealed information about what dogs they had. Then they make a home visit. That is one more impediment to rescuing dogs – the people who want to save them create barriers as if it was a seller’s market. Nope. Remember, there are seven times too many dogs trying to squeeze into available adoptions. Bob is willing to buy a dog outright to get what he wants. Animal lovers will tMerlot_MiscPix-591-(21)hink ill of him because he would like to have the best dog he can find. UPDATE: Bob just got an absolutely delightful Min Pin that has his heart bursting with joy. From where? A conformation breeder who breeds once in a while. This dog was slated for her grandchildren but her daughter had to move and it was a bad time. Rather than letting Merlot sit around for a year, she is now in the happiest place on Earth – Bob’s house. That is the ‘forever home’ utopia of rescue. Too bad a rescue group had nothing to do with it.
12. After they are turned away from adoptions and rescue, animal likers will get another dog, somewhere. (Just as Bob did)  This often leads to going through dogs until they find one that automatically adapts to their family. As rescues won’t give them one – or have given them a hard enough time to drive them away – they buy one from a private party, non-picky shelter, pet shop or simply learn to say what the need to say to get a dog from another rescue.
13. A shelter employee that is too rigorous in interviewing adopters can become a pariah and called “kill crazy” because they would rather kill a dog than send it into a home much like where it originated. This behavior is most common during the early stages of working in the humane movement. That is because all people go into a zealot stage as a means of keeping their sanity. (True story from personal experience.) Some grow beyond it, some quit and some remain humaniacs for life.

And now we have more dogs than before. We also have millions and millions of dollars flowing from naive but sympathetic dog lovers into the pockets of rescue groups and private shelters that have no clue how to improve any of this. Stan Marsh, of South Park Elementary School in Colorado would suggest spending those millions on improving the behavior of the dogs so that they don’t growl at children in the first place and get to stay in their homes. That means they wouldn’t need to be rescued and the animal likers could turn into animal lovers. But he’s in the fourth grade so his opinion doesn’t really matter. south-park-s01e04c05-dont-be-gay-16x9




One thought on “A Bare-Bones Logical Analysis of “Adopt Rather than Buy a Dog”

  1. Informative post. Did not realize that no-kill shelters aren’t exactly assisting in the saving of dogs. That 20% statistic blows my mind… Never knew that.

    See what I wonder, is before positive reinforcement swept the nation, were there as many dogs going into pounds / rescues? Unsure if there is data for that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *