In a recent interview published in your paper (The NEWS, Aug. 12), I made comments that suggested that I felt all pure breeds were “Frankenstein breeds.” That was certainly not my intention, and as an owner of a pure-bred toy poodle, nor is it my belief.
I was more referring to specific breeds, highlighted by the recent surrender by a “breeder” of 26 Bulldogs to the BCSPCA. These poor dogs all needed multiple surgeries to their nostrils, palates, eyes, and teeth. They also all suffered from whip worm and coccidia. Our bills are around $10,000 for these poor things. I believe that when we select traits in some breeds to the point where they can no longer walk, breathe or give birth naturally, that is time to stop and look at what we are doing to these dogs.
I believe that there are many reputable breeders out there who breed not for profit, but for love of the breed, and often do not profit at all. This is what separates a responsible breeder from a puppy mill.
I still believe that adopting from a rescue should be someone’s first consideration, but if they choose to purchase from a breeder that they ask to see where the dogs live, review medical records, and meet the parents, which incidentally are all things a responsible breeder will insist on anyway. I would like to see a system in the future where the SPCA can work more closely with reputable breeders so that together we can fight the horror that is an unscrupulous puppy mill operation!
I apologize to anyone who was offended by the unintended implication of my comments, and invite anyone who would like to speak with me further to please contact me! If anyone suspects that there is a puppy mill in their area, I encourage them to call our hotline at 1-855-622-7722.
Leon Davis, branch manager, Nanaimo & District BCSPCA