Too many intact pets, too little accountability in the pet community

Breeders vs. Rescues/Adoption:

There are a lot of people out there who think breeding should be banned completely.  I don’t agree. Rescues are badly needed, let's just take a breathe before bashing another pet owner.

No puppy or kitten is perfect, from anywhere.  You may get a wonderfully healthy spayed or neutered pet from a breeder or a rescue.  You may also get a sick pet from anywhere.  These are just the things to watch out for.

The breeders that are doing it for preservation of a breed are not the problem. They do it to keep something beautiful on earth.  

Those breeders have a few litters each year, work with other breeders, and only sell a few kittens as pets.  

Source: Newborn Sphynx Kittens Nursing! by SimplyCuteSphynx

 Good Breeders kittens are spayed and neutered before going to their new homes. 
They are aware of and tell new owners about any genetic problems the breed may have. 
They should be registered with a breed association.
They should be charging you a good amount of money for a kitten.  This covers the cost of proper veterinary care for mother and kittens.  For some breeds there is more that has to be done to assure health.
Often many breeders are involved with rescue for their breeds and others.

"If you meet a breeder in a parking lot and purchase for $400 what should be a $1400+ kitten you may be getting a problem kitten.  It may be sick, too young, have a hereditary condition or just outright die within a month. Nobody can predict the future with any pet, but why not set yourself up for success?"

Problems arise when:   
BYB (Back yard breeders) sell kittens:
They do not spay or neuter kittens before sending them home.  Period.  End of story. (of course bad healthcare and bad ethics, but I’m talking about ending the tragedies of too many pets in shelters).

One of the reasons our purebreds are ending up in rescues and being abused, turned out into the street, etc, is that people think they want to breed them, and don’t know what it involves.  

They can’t handle it, it’s not cute, it’s not fun, especially with Sphynx, there’s so much money and medical knowledge involved it’s almost a crazy thing to try. 
Kittens die.  Get stuck in the birth canal.  Mother cats go into labor and can’t give birth.  Contractions stop.

Mother Sphynx Cat Daisy

People are misinformed, want to have a litter because “she should experience it” or don’t want a male to be neutered because “I don’t want to do that to a cat” (says the male owner covering his crotch with his hands).

These are not humans, these are animals. They do not think like we do, and by refusing to neuter and spay you may be causing the death of other animals that are now brought into this world and have nowhere to go.  There's evidence that pets that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to suffer health problems like cancer, or run away.  


(I’ll use “Rescue” to mean Shelter, Adoption Network, Foster home, etc.)

Most Ethical, established rescues spay and neuter before letting anyone “adopt” an animal. They are a wonderful place to get a pet who needs a home.
As the world is getting more and more full of pets that need homes, budgets in these places are stretched to the limit.  
It becomes less and less possible for them to get all of these animals spayed and neutered before sending them home.
It’s a self perpetuating problem.

"Adopt don’t shop is a great phrase, but honestly most people pay a fee when adopting an animal.  That fee goes to help the rescue run.  It pays for vet care, food, etc."

Adoption places often charge MORE for purebred pets, hoping to use the money to do more good.  I understand this, but isn’t it yet again placing a purebred pet in a “shop” category and using it to get more money?

 It used to be that most any breeder would take back a purebred that did not work out (not refund, but take back) to find a new home for them.
Sadly, many cannot do that anymore because the world has been glutted full of “cheap” breeders selling breeds for too little that it’s not easy to find a new home.

Both bad breeders/puppy/kitten mills and unethical shelters/rescue/fosters have the same things in common.
Working independently, they have no accountability to anyone.  Pets are sent out often still needing to be spayed and neutered and needing healthcare.
They are often sent home with unsuspecting new pet parents either sick, needing to be vaccinated, too young, or without proper behavior assessments.

Not knowing what’s coming and trusting that their adorable puppy or kitten is perfect, no pet health insurance is purchased (from an ethical company) They cost their new parents thousands of dollars in vet care, can be destructive, and end up abused, turned out on the street or in shelters because of this.
The purebreds often end up in shelters, where they are adopted, often for a second time newly spayed or neutered.  They act out again, as it takes up to 6 months for most of the hormones to leave the body, and the cycle starts over.
The “regular” cats that people have and don’t want to spay or neuter “suddenly” start marking, get pregnant, act strange, or run away driven by their hormones to reproduce.
When uneducated, naive or greedy people breed either purebred cats or cats, they compound the problem of overpopulation.

"Just like a good person, a good breeder cares.  They take health precautions, neuter and spay for reasons that help keep their cat alive and other cats from being born and then dying in shelters."

So let’s not jam people into categories and use labels.  I see a lot of hatred and bullying out there of people with purebreds from people with “shelter” cats.
Separation is what keeps things from getting better.
Let’s take all that negative energy that’s turned against each other and use it for getting all the cats “fixed.”  It will “Fix” so many problems!
This includes TNR (trap neuter release) for feral cats.
If you ask someone if they got their cat from a breeder or a shelter, that should not be a problem.  The next questions should be, “were they neutered/spayed before you brought them home?” and if no, “why not?  when are you getting it done?”
That ’s where the work begins.
There are many wonderful causes, and you can support which ever you choose.  
But please, please be kind.  I did rescue and foster for 20 years and helped over 100 cats.  Now I have “breed” cats and yes I bought them. 

I've been bullied and horrible things have been said to me and about my cats.  I have learned some hard lessons.  But my cats have given me a platform to get out some very important information.  
Remember, we can make a difference with love one cat at a time.  And that’s what really matters.  
Too many intact pets, too little accountability and ethics.
(yes I know I did not cover every single point, and once again I am talking about how we treat each other and what is really important - neuter, spay and LOVE).

Airie McCready
Simply Sphynx

1 comment

I love this article!

Annie May 22, 2018

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