Animal Rescue or Scam?

Great Animal Rescue or Great Scam?

A Complete Guide by Alison Hector ©

 

They sound so good but is that a valid rescue group? How to evaluate animal rescues credibility and worthiness.

Please read to make sure donations are not going to a scam

We are approaching the dawn of a new era. For the first time in history, there are over 70 open admissions No Kill shelters spanning more than 200 cities, towns and communities. New communities are appearing almost monthly. An emphasis by the public on saving pets from kill shelters is more popular than ever.

In tandem with this effort to save pets from kill-shelters has grown the number of rescues necessary to save their lives. There are an estimated 20000 rescues across the country according to the ASPCA and Petfinder lists at least 13000 shelters and rescues online.

Most rescues are motivated by their love of animals and truly are the backbone of all lifesaving from kill shelters in the country today. If not for their dedication, time, perseverance and altruism the numbers killed would increase by millions per year. When done often and right it is exhausting but exhilarating with some heartache thrown in for good measure. And it’s expensive. It costs a great deal to pull these animals and to care for their myriad of issues medically as well as to provide daily food, care, and shelter until adopted. Most rescues are never short on compassion but most are operating on a shoestring budget and continually must receive funding in order to survive.

However, the public loves companion animals and are willing to dig deep to see them saved, especially if they are not in a position to foster or adopt more themselves. The internet facilitates the impulse and mechanism of donating with ease. Unfortunately for these same reasons, some “rescues” have arisen that are not completely ethical and whose main goal is to make money for themselves. These less than savory rescues have honed social media heartwrenching down to an economic science.

One fantastic tool for all rescues is Facebook. A network of followers can be built and expanded. Links can be included to accept donations and to the rescue’s website if they have one. The popularity of the rescue on Facebook, however, does not always correlate with its integrity. A long time ago, when the Internet first became commercially feasible there was a cartoon in the New Yorker. It was a dog typing on a keyboard in front of the computer and the caption read “No one knows I am a dog on the Internet”. That still holds true today. Because on the Internet a glib, maudlin, catchy story or appealing presence may not reveal the reality of those we deal with.

Many rescues appear worthy and most of us have a limited amount of disposable income to part with. So the question becomes how can you tell is the rescue asking for funds on the Internet is credible.

The main goal of a real and worthy rescue (other than those that state they are a sanctuary) is to take in and then adopt out companion animals. This is the type of rescue we are examining in this article. They want to do this as often as possible because they are in the business of saving lives and it’s a number game. The more they pull – the more they adopt out – the more they save. In order to do this successfully, the real rescues need to employ a series of lifesaving mechanisms. If they are not performing any or few of these strategies they are most likely not saving very many lives.

The worthiness of the rescue often does not correlate with the amount in funding it receives. Often those factors have an inverse relationship because small hardworking rescues don’t have time to do the marketing that makes others so popular, real rescues are too busy saving animals lives. Also, worthy rescues would never engage in the type of unethical sales strategies that sometimes result in the most donations.

Here are some GUIDELINES and factors to help determine if you should donate to the rescue or not:

1. Donate locally.

  • Do you personally know these people?
  • Can you visit their facility if they have one?
  • Can you visit their foster homes or adoption events?

2. If you choose to donate to people with rescues you have only seen online and on Facebook proceed with great caution.

  • An overriding rule of thumb is to follow the money trail. Ascertain how much they are receiving in cash or goods and exactly how it is all being used. Is it documented? If not – stay clear.
  • Many will hide behind their cover of a 501 c 3 Federal IRS tax-exempt status. The IRS liberally grants the 501 c 3 designations to animal welfare organizations. Just because they bamboozled the IRS into receiving that designation does not mean they are credible. The questions the IRS asks to receive this ability to collect tax-free money is not necessarily an indicator nor deterrent to those that plan to misuse this status to fraudulently steal your cash. In fact, these unsavory rescues are literally banking on that status to gain your instant trust and as a lure since donations are tax-deductible to the contributor.

3. Avoid rescues that do the following:

  • Sound like a country western song with their constant tales of woe – if they are using a constant string of personal tragedies to lure you in then whether they are for real or not, they are not in a great position to care for animals when they cannot even take care of themselves adequately
  • Avoid those that use manipulation to tug on your heart and wallet strings
  • Beg for money because they are themselves near starvation and can barely pay their bills
  • Discuss their personal tragedies and how it is affecting their ability to care for animals; for example, if they state they had a break in and are asking for a large sum of money to allegedly replace what was stolen because without it they and the animals are going to starve or be severely harmed – you must question this. How do you know that actually happened? Ask for facts – who what where how and double check. For example was a police report filed? Were people really arrested as alleged? Etc. Don’t hesitate to call the police to check. You need to be able to ascertain that their sob story facts did in fact occur. If not do NOT give them a penny. This type of story is a RED FLAG and most credible rescues wouldn’t capitalize on it even if true.

4. Avoid those that refuse to be transparent and answer questions about anything regarding their rescue

  • Note if on Facebook or on websites or blogs if they have specific questions and answers regarding facts about their rescue, if not beware
  • Do they answer rescue related or specific animals in their care questions posed by others? If no then stay clear.
  • Ask for copies of their 990 (IRS tax return) and application to obtain the 501c3 status. If they refuse to give it to you – report them to their state Attorney General’s Office and the IRS.

5. Avoid those that do not clearly report and identify how many they rescue and adopt out

6. Stay clear of rescues that on their Internet presence post few pics of those they claim to have up for adoption or is in foster.

  • Avoid them if there are very few if any local people commenting on the pets in their care they have seen, adopted, or fostered.

7. Steer clear of those that do have an internet presence but mainly post pics of themselves with the pets

  • Real rescues usually have pics only of the pets in their care and the only humans in their pics are usually happy adopters.
  • A real rescue does not have time to for cutesy or heart-wrenching blogs with many details that are irrelevant to specific pets they are trying to get adopted out. Avoid.

8. Steer clear of rescues that have blogs that focus on a myriad of tragedies specifically geared to get you to DONATE NOW, but not to necessarily get the pet in the story adopted. No pet in the story? Then doubly avoid.

9. Avoid them if they don’t have a clear focus on adopting their pets out. Everything they write and every action they take should have rehoming the pets in their care as a priority (unless they are clearly a stated sanctuary) Always keep in mind the lifesaving worthiness of a rescue is may be evaluated by how many and how often they take in and then adopt out, as this continual, difficult and expensive process is the ONLY way more can be saved.

  • Avoid the rescue if they have many posts about non-pet related subjects such as smiley face or arts.
  • Avoid them if even in jest they discuss doing anything illegal including drugs use.
  • If the rescue in question saves a few but doesn’t clearly focus their efforts on rehoming the pets so that they can continue to pull and save more, and instead only keeps asking the public to DONATE NOW, avoid at all costs.

10. Avoid the rescue if they or associated businesses have fake reviews per Yelp, Google or other review sites

  • Avoid the rescue if they fundraise in the memory of pets that are actually still alive or conversely fundraise for pets that are non-existent or already dead. note: the following example was not part of this original article by the author, Alison Hector and only added as an example by the blogger reposting the article [example; the group, Rescue Dogs Rock has been observed on multiple occasions seeking out tragic situations so they can insert themselves into the rescue and then use the story to raise money. RDR raised thousands of dollars by selling T-shirts using the memory and tragic story of Caleb the little puppy that died a horrible death; then when a legitimate group was working to find Caleb’s killer by hiring a private detective and working with the DA they reached out to Rescue Dogs Rock to join forces but Rescue Dogs Rock refused to help and even bad-mouthed the group trying to find the killer—Perfect example of a fraudulent rescue group only in it for the money]

11. Avoid with all cost if the rescue sues anyone for changing their mind about donating!

  • REDFLAG Especially avoid rescues that slander those that question their transparency or because they have asked valid questions, as a smokescreen to divert attention away from their lack of being forthright. This is especially true when the defamation in turn actually may have the effect of then harming more pets because those being slandered are also in animal welfare or rescue. If unsure of motives always ask who has the most to gain financially in the situation?
  • Just because a rescue has many followers or “likes” on Facebook does not mean they are on the up and up. It may be that they lucked into a gimmick or became associated with a popular Facebook page. It may just mean they understand human psychology, how to play people like a timeworn violin, and are fantastic at marketing aimed at kind people’s vulnerable soft spots for animals.
  • Many times these organizations are so bold they are clearly not what they purport to be if looked at with a knowledgeable eye and/or are receiving more in funds than they should be, given their actual rate of lifesaving but the public is unaware of how to evaluate a credible rescue. Even on the face of their own stories, their rescue doesn’t justify the amounts collected, but people are sucked in by their clever stories and don’t know what the hallmarks are of a good rescue that deserves funding really looks like.
  • Even when the less than honorable rescue has posts regarding a pet in their care, they insert themselves often into the story and do not focus on information relevant to getting the pet adopted. They discuss and use emotions designed to get the public to donate. They also often focus on the “irresponsible public” and use fictionalized details of sometimes even exaggerated abuse that they could not possibly know. Here is an example of a story from a rescue that employs this emotional manipulation to receive donations but does not focus on getting this pet adopted and one should be cautious about donating to :

“I received a desperate call. The woman was crying so hysterically I barely could understand what was being said. I told her not to worry I am there for her, please calm down. Her neighbor was frequently starving and beating a dog that was tied to a tree. The neighbor moved away and left her there. She described the many scars and how deep they were. I also started crying as I always do whenever I hear cases of such abuse. She left many messages, at many rescues but they never called her back or just told her to call me since everyone knows I am the only one to always lend a helping hand. I was very busy with my many dogs and myself crying hysterically over having to put one down but of course, I made time to call her back right away! Plus I freakin love unadoptable dogs! I heard the desperation in her voice as she cried “ Please please help me – you are the only one that might and animal control wants to kill him right away” So, I took a deep breath, and said yes I am the angel you were searching for but I have to be honest with you. ( Side note – these phony rescues use the words “being honest” quite frequently in their writings)I said as much as I want to help this poor dog, I’m beyond over-loaded with rescue dogs right now, so I’m not really sure that I can help. But I promise I’m willing to do everything I can to try and find someone else who can.
Then… I heard hysterical crying on the other end of the line.
She screamed out “Ellen, please! I am begging you! I’ve already tried everyone else. Anyone who was willing to talk to me… was only willing to help… by giving me your number. If you can’t help this dog… you and I both know… no one will… and she will die!” I knew she was right. So, I promised to contact her back after back and hung up. I reviewed our limited funds to see if I could help or not. Even though we couldn’t really afford it I called her back because I didn’t want the dog to die. I wasn’t sure of what I was even going to say I was so upset for that poor innocent baby. Then I just blurted out “when can you be here” The next morning, the lady and her family drove more than 6 hours to deliver my new baby to All Dog Rescue. When they arrived, it was love at first sight.
I named her Peace because I had to pick up the pieces of her broken soul.
And in return, Peace’s smile reminded me… of what I do… and why I do it. It’s never about me. It’s always about them. (NOTE – this type of story IS about the rescuer as much or more than the pet) And when they really need you… you always find a way…
*Peace has a long expensive road of recovery ahead. In addition to her many injuries inflicted by careless mean owners & massive additional issues, she is also heartworm positive, which requires even more extensive, costly treatment. If you’d like to contribute to Peace’s care and her future, please Donate NOW.”

* Pics are included of the rescuer with the dog – hugging and kissing her*

So here at Pet Advocates Network we will give you  GUIDELINES on how to evaluate dollar worthy rescues so funding can go where it does the most good:

A Good and Worthy Rescue:

1. Has a mission statement. It is usually to save as many shelter pets as possible by pulling them from shelters and then adopting them out. That is usually their number one goal – to get them into forever homes. Or they also more rarely accept owner-relinquished pets directly or are a sanctuary that does not adopt out. In any event, their goals should be clearly stated and then clearly followed.

  • If you want to donate only to rescue that claims it is “no kill” you must examine that claim.

2. The worthy rescue is transparent and hows no problem listing and answering the following questions:

  • If possible use one year as the uniform specified period of time with most recent stats possible
  • How many pets do you save/take in over a specified period of time?
  • How many do you adopt out over a specified period of time?
  • How many do you euthanize over a specified period of time?
  • Under what conditions do you euthanize?
  • Do you kill for space?
  • How many are currently in your care?
  • What are your hours I can visit?
  • What is your address and phone number?
  • Do you rescue pets from your local shelter?
  • Where do the pets come from?
  • Who is your vet?
  •  How much did you receive in contributions for a said specified period of time?
  •  Exactly how were the goods and money used?
  • Where may I get a copy of your 990? * see note on 501c3
  • If not a 501c3 why not?
  • How many employees do you have? Volunteers? Fosters?
  • How do your market your pets?
  • Do you have adoption events?
  • Do you have a website?
  • Are there current pics of the pets?
  • Do you have an up to date Rescue Groups, Petfinder or AdoptaPet account and listings?
  • Do you have applications to volunteer, foster and adopt?

3. If they have an Internet presence they liberally use photos of the pets in their care. Photos are the number one way to get a pet adopted as well as receive donations for that particular pet in need:

  • They post photos of all those in their care. That includes those they take into their facility or foster homes
  •  They post photos of all those adopted
  •  They post photos of adoption events.
  • They DON’T post endless photos of themselves with the pets.

REDFLAG

  •  Sometimes a less than honorable rescue will save a few animals and post a few pics of the small amount they are actually taking care of or have in vet care. They use this lure to get the good-hearted public to donate more to them with claims of their saving many more than are shown or identified.
  •  If they refuse to show photos of all those they say they have saved or have continual excuses for not putting them up. DON’T give them a penny. (The photos of those still in the shelter that the rescue claims they will be pulling don’t count) The photos should be at their location and that should be made obvious. Photos should be recent and kept updated.

4. A worthy rescue has a description of each pet in their care they are trying to rehome and any background of the pet that is known. Also the needs of the pet and what type of home he or she would be well suited for.

REDFLAG Avoid those that insert their own emotion into the description geared to manipulate for more donations. For example, discussing how they cried hysterically or every other tear-jerking ploy or phrase that is not relevant to getting the pet adopted.

EXAMPLE OF A LISTING FROM A CREDIBLE RESCUE:

Hi, my name is Spot and I am a working guard dog. I need an experienced, working dog owner. I came to All Dogs Rescue when another rescue refused to take me because I bit during my transport. The transporter was told to take me back to the shelter where I came from and have me put down. The transporter could not do this so she called us and asked if they could help train me. I was not neutered, had a nasty and painful ear infection and was skinny and starving. ADR is collecting proceeds to assist with this. When the trainer at ADR tried to give me food, I jumped at her and tried to bite the can. She says I was allowed to have these bad manners with other people, but she would not tolerate me acting that way, so straightened me up. My foster mom told me it was a matter of life or death, but I didn’t understand what that meant, I just know she was serious about getting me trained. Now she says I am ready for a home with an experienced owner.
What a perfect home would have A home with an experienced working dog owner. A person who understands how to be the top dog or leader and the need for exercise. NO Children, small dogs or cats.

Several appealing photos of the dog from various angles are included in the post.

5. A worthy rescue’s entire Internet presence is geared toward getting its pets adopted and the following applies to those that are on the Internet.

6. A credible rescue focuses ONLY on marketing their pets, medical care, adoption events, securing volunteers and fosters. In addition to what should constitute a majority of their posts is featuring the pets they have in their care, these are the only other elements they concentrate on. They individual rescuers DON’T focus on themselves, they don’t have cutesy irrelevant stories or post long tear stricken stories about the ones they had to euthanize.

7. A worthy rescue frequently discusses and actively, overtly uses methods for getting pets adopted and that encompasses up to date listings and having a Petfinder account and/or an Adopt a pet account since these are the two most frequently visited websites used by the public to search for a rescue pet.

8. A worthy rescue lists and shows on their website all the ways it is marketing pets to get them adopted. It shows how the public can get involved with specific events or endeavors that result in adoptions. That is usually the main focus of the website.

9. A valid rescue has up to date working links to their applications for fosters, volunteers, and adopters. This is a must for credible rescues that exist to save animals by getting them rehomed. RED FLAG. If a rescue does not have any type of these applications easily available or the link continually says “page not available” then avoid.

10. A valid rescue is known and respected by its LOCAL community. They often support local businesses in a symbiotic relationship. Don’t hesitate to inquire around. In addition, they do not trash other local rescues so as to make sure only they are donated to instead. (Inquiring into a rescues claims or transparency is NOT trashing them. Making up slanderous lies is)

11. A worthy rescue with many resources and plentiful of funding does not send stray dogs on their property to a high kill shelter

On a personal note, I believe a rescue that supports and defends kill shelters and does not advocate for shelter reform should be avoided as well as those that purport to be no-kill simply to gain more donations but are not.

In sum, it is easy to fall for the heart-wrenching Madison Ave infomercial appeal of some less than honorable rescues because of their manipulation and fairytale quality. Just because they are popular on Facebook or have used that to leverage media does not mean they are worthy of your donation.

In a final analysis, the most worthy rescues are putting all their efforts into continual life saving and not busy with writing fairy tales to win a popularity contest and for max donations.

Some less than honorable rescues won’t focus on adopting out their pets or bringing more in even though they ironically have the most resources, because that takes time, money and work. Some will also kill the animals in their care calling it “the last act of kindness” instead of spending their time and money donated to rehome them for the same reasons. What they care most about is taking your money.

Then ask yourself should you give another penny to, vote for, or support a rescue that already for example has well over $100000 or a significant amount in donations for the year, is not transparent, and has just a few animals total with few ever adopted out despite a wealth of resources to do so but instead writes good heart-wrenching stories OR should you donate to a rescue with no personal or engaging hard-luck tales, but is busy trying to save from death row and is verifiably adopting out as many as possible with little support or funding and badly needs your donation?

If you really want to help save lives, before you give another penny determine if the rescue meets or defeats the guidelines and criteria listed above.

By Alison Hector, Esq. © 2012

 

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Your little life mattered

babyPossum
Rest in Peace little angel

Cheese is Crack

Ever wonder why it is so hard to give up cheese? Cheese is addictive; because an ingredient called casein, a protein found in all milk products. During digestion, casein releases opiates called casomorphins. Casomorphins trigger dopamine receptors which activate the addiction.

The opiates from mother’s milk produce a calming effect on the infant and, and is responsible for much of the mother-infant bond. Mother’s milk has a drug-like effect on the baby’s brain that ensures that the baby will bond with Mom and continue to nurse and get the nutrients all babies need.

t-say-cheese-no-meat-murder-cheese-daiya-2673955Cows milk is meant for baby cows, not baby humans. The composition of milk varies widely from animal to animal, providing the perfect first food for the young of that species. A seal’s milk is extraordinarily fatty (50 percent fat) so that seal pups can grow very quickly, depositing a thick layer of blubber that will protect them from the cold and sustain them as they learn to hunt for themselves. Just as we are different from seals, we are not exactly the same as cows either! It won’t surprise you, then, that cows’ milk is very different from human milk – which is why we mustn’t give ordinary cows’ milk, condensed milk, dried or evaporated milk to a child under the age of one. If a human baby is given cows’ milk, it has to be changed into a formula that attempts to replicate human milk. download (3)Do you think that cows milk is ideal for humans? Cows’ milk is meant to help a calf grow very rapidly indeed, reaching 47-63 stone (300-400kg) within a year. We, on the other hand, take about 18 years to reach adult weight (a woman of 5’4” has an average weight of about 10 stone 3lbs (65 kg); a 6’ man has an average weight of 13 stone (83 kg)). So, we have very different rates of growth and while cow’s milk and human milk contain a similar percentage of water, the relative amounts of fat, carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals vary widely. So let’s look at four of these main nutrients (for more information see the White Lies report, www. whitelies.org.uk/materials) You’ll soon discover why cows’ milk is ideal for baby cows, but not for humans.


The following was borrowed from All Creatures

COW’S MILK IS FOR CALVES
Cow’s Milk is the “Perfect Food” for Baby Calves
But Many Doctors Agree It is Not Healthy for Humans
by Michael Dye

People who have been taught that cow’s milk is the “perfect food” may be shocked to hear many prominent medical doctors are now saying dairy consumption is a contributing factor in nearly two dozen diseases of children and adults.

Doctors say cow’s milk can lead to iron deficiency anemia, allergies, diarrhea, heart disease, colic, cramps, gastrointestinal bleeding, sinusitis, skin rashes, acne, increased frequency of colds and flus, arthritis, diabetes, ear infections, osteoporosis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more, possibly even lung cancer, multiple sclerosis and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In American society, one of the most sacred of all sacred cows is the milk of the cow itself. Cow’s milk is more American than apple pie, but that’s because apple pie doesn’t have Congressional lobbyists and a multi-million dollar advertising budget. Most parents wouldn’t think of raising their children without the benefit of cow’s milk to help their little bones to grow big and strong. Its silky, white texture is the very epitome of our concept of wholesome purity.

Our “nutritional education” in school (funded in part by the dairy industry) taught us that dairy products are one of the four basic food groups we all need for proper nutrition. And with more than 60 of the most powerful Congressional leaders in Washington receiving campaign contributions from the National Dairy Council, we can be assured that dairy products are well-entrenched as a major staple of our government-sponsored school lunch programs.

Cow’s milk is promoted as the “perfect food” for humans, and especially for our children. This advertising has put such a strong emphasis on the health of our children that some people view milk commercials as more of a public service announcement than an attempt to sell a product. These ads have told us “Milk is a Natural,” “Everybody Needs Milk,” “Milk is the Perfect Food,” etc. This advertising has served its purpose well because the average American consumes 375 pounds of dairy products a year. One out of every seven dollars spent on groceries in the U.S. goes to buy dairy products.

But to gauge the full impact of this promotion, we must consider more than just the dollar amount spent on dairy products. We must also consider the impact this massive advertising, promotion, lobbying, “nutritional education” and public relations effort has had by creating a widely-held perception of cow’s milk as a very wholesome and healthy product. This promotion has been so effective that it is common for even people who give up meat to still feel that they should continue consuming dairy products to ensure they receive sufficient protein or calcium. People buy cow’s milk for their families based on the premise that this product provides essential nutrition, helps to build a healthy body, and that indeed, their precious health may be in jeopardy if they do not drink milk.

If this is the premise on which Americans spend an incredible chunk of their grocery bill to provide for the health and nutrition of their loved ones, we need to further examine this premise.

Despite what the dairy industry has led us to believe, many medical doctors and nutritionists are now saying that cow’s milk is not healthy for human consumption, and that it can lead to many serious diseases. When you look at the credentials of the doctors making these statements, it would be hard for the dairy industry to accuse these physicians of being on the lunatic fringe of the medical world.

Frank Oski, M.D., author of Don’t Drink Your Milk! is the Director of the Department of Pediatrics of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 19 medical textbooks and has written 290 medical manuscripts.

In the first chapter of his book, Dr. Oski states, “The fact is: the drinking of cow milk has been linked to iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children; it has been named as the cause of cramps and diarrhea in much of the world’s population, and the cause of multiple forms of allergy as well; and the possibility has been raised that it may play a central role in the origins of atherosclerosis and heart attacks.”

Dr. Oski comments, “Being against cow milk is equated with being un-American,” but still he notes, “Among physicians, so much concern has been voiced about the potential hazards of cow milk that the Committee on Nutrition of the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics, the institutional voice of practicing pediatricians, released a report entitled, ‘Should Milk Drinking by Children Be Discouraged?’ Although the Academy’s answer to this question has (as of this writing) been a qualified ‘maybe,’ the fact that the question was raised at all is testimony to the growing concern about this product, which for so long was viewed as sacred as the proverbial goodness of mother and apple pie.”

Another outspoken critic of cow’s milk is Dr. William Ellis, a retired osteopathic physician and surgeon in Arlington, Texas, who has researched the effects of dairy products for 42 years. Dr. Ellis is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the East, Leaders of American Science, the Dictionary of International Biography and Two Thousand Men of Achievement. Dr. Ellis says dairy products are “simply no good for humans… There is overwhelming evidence that milk and milk products are harmful to many people, both adults and infants. Milk is a contributing factor in constipation, chronic fatigue, arthritis, headaches, muscle cramps, obesity, allergies and heart problems.”

When Washington D.C.-based pediatrician Dr. Russell Bunai was asked what single change in the American diet would produce the greatest health benefit, his answer was, “Eliminating dairy products.”

Dr. Christine Northrup, a gynecologist in Yarmouth, Maine, states, “Dairy is a tremendous mucus producer and a burden on the respiratory, digestive and immune systems.” Dr. Northrup says when patients “eliminate dairy products for an extended period and eat a balanced diet, they suffer less from colds and sinus infections.”

Dr. Oski’s book includes a letter written by Dr. J. Dan Baggett, a pediatrician in Alabama who describes his experience after six years of recommending that all his patients eliminate cow’s milk from their diets. He writes, “In general, they cooperate much better than I had earlier anticipated except for the pre-teenagers and teenagers.” Dr. Baggett’s letter, states in part:raf,750x1000,075,t,fafafa_ca443f4786

“During the years 1963 through 1967, I referred an average of four appendectomy cases per year. During the past five and a half years, I have referred only two patients for an appendectomy, the last one being three years ago. Both of these children were professed milk guzzlers.

“I do not have a single patient with active asthma. In fact, I have nearly forgotten how to prescribe for them.

“Perhaps the most significant thing I have learned is that Group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus germ will not, under ordinary circumstances, establish an infection in a child kept on an absolutely no-milk-protein dietary regimen. I have been aware of this for the past two and a half years and, so far, there have been no exceptions. Any time a patient of mine is found to have streptococcal pharyngitis or pyoderma, we can establish by history that he has ingested milk protein within five days prior to onset of symptoms or signs bringing him to the office.

“I now admit an average of 12-14 patients per year to the hospital. Their average hospital stay is three days. Between 1963 and 1967, I admitted an average of 100+ patients to the hospital per year. Their average stay was five days.”Screenshot_9

So how can all these medical statements be explained in light of what we have been taught all of our life about milk? Remember “Milk is the Perfect Food”… “Milk is a Natural”… “Everybody Needs Milk.” Are we talking about the same food here?

Perhaps we are not. It would appear that promoters of cow’s milk are creating advertising statements that are meant to appeal on a subconscious level to our positive feelings and experiences with human breast milk. All mammals, including humans, are intended to be nourished during infancy by milk from their mother. Part of the very definition of a mammal is that the female of the species has milk-producing glands in her breasts which provide nourishment for her young. Each species of mammal produces its unique type of milk designed specifically to strengthen the immune system and provide nourishment for their babies, which are weaned after their birth weight has approximately tripled.

So, absolutely yes, “milk is a natural”… in the proper context. It is perfectly natural for infant mammals, including humans, to be nourished exclusively by milk from their mother’s breasts. So if we are talking about human breast milk for babies, yes, “milk is the perfect food.” And yes, during infancy when we have no teeth for eating solid food, and as we need to strengthen our immune system, “everybody needs milk.”

I have just quoted three of the most popular advertising slogans of the dairy industry and they are indisputably as true as any words that could be spoken on the subject of nutrition… if they are applied to a baby’s need for human breast milk. In fact, not one of the doctors I have quoted in describing the terrible problems caused by cow’s milk would disagree that milk is a natural, milk is the perfect food or that everybody needs milk, in this context.

But whoa.

The dairy industry has begun with these three statements that we all know are true about a baby’s need for human breast milk and twisted them out of context to apply them to a completely different product they are selling. And the sad result is that most Americans still think these noble statements about our babies needing to suckle their mother’s breast milk are true when applied to the advertising claim that humans of all ages need to buy and drink cow’s milk.

So, in an effort to undo the damage caused by this manipulation, let us consider the differences in human breast milk versus cow’s milk, and further examine the physical problems caused by humans trying to subsist on the milk of another species well past the age when any mammal should be drinking any milk.

A good place to start in analyzing the distinction between the milk of different species is to begin to understand how nature works. As Dr. Oski explains in Don’t Drink Your Milk!, “The milk of each species appears to have been specifically designed to protect the young of that species. Cross-feeding does not work. Heating, sterilization, or modification of the milk in any way destroys the protection.”

So, how much of a difference is there between a human baby drinking the milk of its mother versus drinking the milk of a cow? Dr. Oski cites a “study of over twenty thousand infants conducted in Chicago as far back as the 1930s… The overall death rate for the babies raised on human milk was 1.5 deaths per 1,000 infants while the death rate in the babies fed cow milk was 84.7 per 1,000 during the first nine months of life. The death rate from gastrointestinal infections was forty times higher in the non-breast-fed infants, while the death rate from respiratory infections was 120 times higher. An earlier analysis involving infants in eight American cities showed similar results. Infants fed on cow milk had a twenty times greater chance of dying during the first six months of life.”

Dr. Michael Taylor, a Chiropractic Physician, doctoral candidate to become a Doctor of Nutrition and fellow of the American Academy of Orthomolecular Medicine, agrees, stating, “It is a dietary error to cross species to get milk from another animal.” He notes there is a tremendous difference between human babies and baby calves, and a corresponding difference between the milk that is intended to nourish human babies and baby calves. In an interview on “Let’s Eat,” a Seventh-day Adventist television program, Dr. Taylor notes that human infants take about 180 days to double their birth weight, and that human milk is 5 to 7 percent protein. Calves require only 45 days to double their birth weight and cow’s milk is 15 percent protein.

In addition to the difference in the amount of protein in these two different types of milk, there are also major differences in the composition of this protein. The primary type of protein in cow’s milk is casein. Cow’s milk has 20 times as much casein as human milk, which makes the protein from cow’s milk difficult or impossible for humans to assimilate, according to Dr. John R. Christopher, N.D., M.H.

Protein composes 15 percent of the human body and when this protein cannot be properly broken down, it weakens the immune system, causing allergies and many other problems. Allergies caused by cow’s milk are extremely common. In fact, Dr. Taylor states that when a single food can be isolated as the cause of an allergy, 60 percent of the time, that food is cow’s milk. Dr. Ellis notes that symptoms of this allergic reaction to cow’s milk in infants can include asthma, nasal congestion, skin rash, chest infections, irritability and fatigue.

Dr. Oski’s book cites evidence from Dr. Joyce Gryboski, director of the Pediatric Gastrointestinal Clinic at Yale University School of Medicine, who states “they see at least one child a week who is referred for evaluation of chronic diarrhea and proves to have nothing more than an allergy to cow milk.”

Another reason many people suffer various symptoms of disease from drinking milk is that, according to Dr. Oski, the majority of the world’s adult population is “lactose intolerant,” meaning they cannot digest lactose, the sugar in milk (cow’s milk and human milk). An enzyme known as lactase is required to digest lactose, and Dr. Oski states that “between the age of one and a half and four years most individuals gradually lose the lactase activity in their small intestine. This appears to be a normal process that accompanies maturation…. Most people do it. All animals do it. It reflects the fact that nature never intended lactose-containing foods, such as milk, to be consumed after the normal weaning period.”

In fact, so many people have bad reactions to drinking cow’s milk that in 1974 the Federal Trade Commission felt compelled to take legal action against advertising claims made by the California Milk Producers. The ads claimed “Everybody Needs Milk.” The FTC prosecuted the milk producers for “false, misleading and deceptive” advertising. The FTC complaint cited the high incidence of lactose intolerance, allergies caused by cow’s milk and the increased risk of heart disease. The FTC won and the milk producers had to come up with a new slogan for their ads: “Milk Has Something for Everybody.”

One medical researcher, Dr. Kevin McGrady, commented, “Milk has something for everybody all right — higher blood cholesterol, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke.”

Three reasons cited by medical researchers that dairy products contribute to heart disease are their high content of cholesterol and fat, along with an enzyme in cow’s milk called xanthine oxidase (XO). This enzyme, which creates problems only when milk is homogenized, causes heart disease by damaging arteries. Explaining the significance of XO, Dr. Ellis cites research by Dr. Kurt Oster, Chief of Cardiology at Park City Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut:

“From 1971 to 1974, we studied 75 patients with angina pectoris (chest pain due to heart disease) and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). All the patients were taken off milk and given folic acid (a B-vitamin) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), both of which combat the action of XO. The results were dramatic. Chest pains decreased, symptoms lessened, and each of those patients is doing great today.”

Dr. Oster’s article states that Dr. Kurt Esselbacher, Chairman of the Department of the Harvard Medical School, was in full agreement. Dr. Esselbacher writes: “Homogenized milk, because of its XO content, is one of the major causes of heart disease in the U.S.”

Dr. Oski warns, “The consumption of cow milk from an early age may have life-long consequences… One pathologist has reviewed the heart vessels of over 1,500 children and adolescents who had died as a result of accidents…. These children and adolescents had not died as a result of disease, yet many of them showed signs of diseased arteries in the heart…. The majority of children with normal blood vessels had been breast-fed; the majority of children with diseased vessels had been fed cow milk or cow milk based formulas. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the differences between human milk and cow milk were responsible for the early changes in the coronary arteries.”

But don’t we need to drink milk to get calcium? No. The best way to add calcium to your diet is to eat more fresh green vegetables. Cow’s milk is high in calcium, but Dr. Ellis explains, the problem is that it is in a form that cannot be assimilated very well by humans. Dr. Ellis states, “Thousands and thousands of blood tests I’ve conducted show that people who drink 3 or 4 glasses of milk a day invariably had the lowest levels of blood calcium.”

Dr. Ellis adds, “Low levels of blood calcium correspond with irritability and headaches. In addition, the low calcium level in milk-drinkers also explains why milk-drinkers are prone to have muscle spasms and cramps. Since calcium is necessary for muscles to relax, a lack of calcium causes muscle cramps, etc.”

One of the most serious problems caused by a calcium deficiency is osteoporosis, a condition characterized by the loss of 50 to 75 percent of the person’s original bone material. In the U.S., 25 percent of 65-year-old women suffer from osteoporosis. Their bones become brittle and easily broken. They can crack a rib from something as minor as a sneeze.

Our pervasive dairy advertising has led to one of the most commonly held, and solidly disproved, fallacies about bones, which is that the best way to build strong bones is to increase calcium consumption by drinking plenty of milk. Actually, the consensus among leading medical researchers is that the best way for most people to increase their calcium level and strengthen their bones is to reduce their protein intake, and specifically to reduce consumption of animal products. Research has conclusively shown we can do more to increase the calcium level in our bones by reducing protein intake than by increasing calcium intake. The reason is that animal products and other sources of high protein are very acidic, and the blood stream must balance this acidic condition by absorbing alkaline minerals such as calcium from the bone structure. Thus, numerous studies, including those published in the Aug. 22, 1984 Medical Tribune and the March 1983 Journal of Clinical Nutrition, have found that vegetarians have much stronger bones than meat-eaters. Indeed, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition article found that by age 65, meat-eaters had five to six times as much measurable bone loss as vegetarians.

Speaking of minerals, another serious problem caused by consumption of cow’s milk is iron-deficiency anemia. Dr. Oski notes that 15 to 20 percent of children under age 2 in the U.S. suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. Cow’s milk contributes to this condition in two ways.

First, he notes that cow’s milk is extremely low in iron, containing less than 1 milligram of iron per quart. Because of this, he writes that it is estimated that a 1-year-old would need to drink 24 quarts of cow’s milk a day to meet his iron requirements, which would be impossible. He states many infants may drink from one to two quarts of cow’s milk a day, which satisfies their hunger to the point that they do no have the appetite to consume enough of other foods that do have a high iron content.

The second way that cow’s milk leads to iron-deficiency anemia in many infants is a form of gastrointestinal bleeding caused by increased mucus and diarrhea associated with dairy consumption. “It is estimated that half the iron-deficiency in infants in the United States is primarily the result of this form of cow milk induced gastrointestinal bleeding,” Dr. Oski writes. “Mucus is frequent and some stools contain obvious traces of bright red blood… The diarrhea impairs the infant’s ability to retain nutrients from his feedings. In addition, the changes produced in the gastrointestinal tract by the allergic reaction result in seepage of the child’s own blood into the gut. This loss of plasma and red cells leads to a lowering of the infant’s blood protein level and to the development of anemia.”

The mucus created by dairy products causes other problems as well. It is well-known that dairy products cause excessive mucus in the lungs, sinuses and intestines. Dr. Ellis notes this excess mucus in the breathing passages contributes to many respiratory problems and that mucus hardens to form a coating on the inner wall of the intestines that leads to poor absorption of nutrients, which can cause chronic fatigue. This mucus also causes constipation, which can lead to many other problems.

Two very common problems with infants are colic and ear infections, both of which can be caused by cow’s milk. Medical studies have found cow’s milk can contribute to these problems either directly, when the infant drinks cow’s milk, or indirectly, when the infant breast feeds from a mother who has been consuming dairy products.

Colic, suffered by one out of every five infants in the U.S., is characterized by severe stomach cramps. The July/August 1994 issue of Natural Health reports, “When a mother eats dairy products, milk proteins pass into her breast milk and end up in the baby’s blood; some studies have found that cow’s milk proteins (from milk drunk by the mother) might trigger colic-like symptoms in infants fed only human milk and no cow’s milk.”

Concerning ear infections, Dr. Northrup states, “You just don’t see this painful condition among infants and children who aren’t getting cow’s milk into their systems.”

The Natural Health article also notes, “Removing dairy from the diet has been shown to shrink enlarged tonsils and adenoids, indicating relief for the immune system. Similarly, doctors experimenting with dairy-free diets often report a marked reduction in colds, flus, sinusitis and ear infections.”

Another common problem for children is the bellyache. Dr. Oski states in his book that up to 10 percent of all children in this country suffer from a syndrome known as “recurrent abdominal pain of childhood.” He says studies performed in Boston and San Francisco each concluded “that about one-third of such children had their symptoms on the basis of lactose intolerance. The simple solution was to remove all milk and milk-containing foods from the diet and watch for signs of improvement.”

The Natural Health article also notes that antigens in cow’s milk may contribute to arthritis and osteoarthritis. “When antibody-antigen complexes (resulting from an immune response) are deposited in the joints, pain, swelling, redness and stiffness result; these complexes increase in arthritic people who eat dairy products, and the pain fades rapidly after patients eliminate dairy products from their diets. In a study published in Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, when people with rheumatoid arthritis fasted on water, fruit and vegetable juices, and tea for seven to ten days, their joint pain and stiffness were greatly reduced. When they ate a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (including only milk and eggs as animal foods), the symptoms became aggravated and they remained ill.”

A 1992 report in The New England Journal of Medicine also notes that cow’s milk can contribute to juvenile diabetes and autoimmune diseases by impairing the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin.

The Natural Health article also states a 1989 study published in Nutrition and Cancer found a link between consumption of cow’s milk and butter with the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. The article adds, “High levels of the cow’s milk protein beta-lactoglobulin have also been found in the blood of lung cancer patients, suggesting a link with this cancer as well.”

Dr. Oski’s book also cites studies by two scientists from the University of Michigan who have conducted extensive research on factors associated with multiple sclerosis. There is an unusual geographic distribution of MS victims in the U.S. and throughout the world, which has baffled medical researchers for decades. This distribution of MS victims has no correlation to wealth, education or quality of medical care. Dr. Oski notes the Michigan scientists found in this pattern in the U.S. and 21 other countries, “the only significant link was between multiple sclerosis and average milk consumption.”

Dr. Oski’s book even cites a possible link between excessive consumption of cow’s milk and juvenile delinquency, based on a study conducted in Tacoma, Wash. Dr. Oski writes, “When the diets of young criminals were contrasted with those of adolescents from a similar background, it was found that the juvenile delinquents consumed almost ten times the amount of milk that was drunk by the control group. The juvenile offenders ate less fruit, nuts and vegetables.”

When a reasonable person considers all this evidence, it would be difficult to still believe cow’s milk is healthy for human consumption. So, what do we drink instead? Dr. Oski partly answers this question by writing, “For the newborn infant, there are two obvious alternatives — the right and left breast of the healthy mother.”

After a child is weaned, there is no reason to drink any milk. We shouldn’t drink any liquid with our meals because this dilutes our digestive fluids. When we are thirsty, we should drink distilled water. Or, if you want to drink something nutritional between meals, the best choice is freshly-extracted vegetable juice.

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Purebred = Inbred

 

So-called purebred dogs riddled with genetic disease but dog breeds aren’t even a real thing we made them up.  We talk about dog breeds as though nature created them that way and as though every mutt were just a mix of different pure breeds but in fact, mutts are dogs in their natural healthy states and pure breeding is a form of genetic manipulation humans made up.

Outside of a few traditional working dogs, 90% of all dog breeds were created in just the last 100 years. In the 19th century, Victorian England eugenics was all the rage and competitive dog breeding became a fad among the wealthy. “Purebred” dog is it’s totally arbitrary; people think we have a pure breed that means a good healthy dog nope when you hear purebred you should think INBRED.  The American Kennel Clubs prohibit purebred dogs from ever mating outside their breed and often mate them with their own parents and siblings.  One study found that 10,000 pugs have the same genetic diversity as 50 individuals making this little guy as inbred as King Charles II of Spain.

All of this inbreeding means that the average purebred dog is very sick.   Sixty percent of golden retrievers die of cancer, a third of King Charles Spaniels have skulls that are too small for their brains, Great Danes are so huge that their hearts can’t support their bodies. The bulldog is a total genetic failure! A hundred years ago the Bulldog was a proud breed but a century of inbreeding has ruined them, their noses are so squashed they can barely breathe their heads are so big they can only give birth by caesarean section their tails can become ingrown they basically all have hip dysplasia and their average life expectancy is six years let’s face it these dogs shouldn’t even be alive but the sad part is Kennel Club’s could cure all the Bulldogs problems if they just allowed them to crossbreed but they won’t because then they might not look like the cute little Bulldogs everyone loves but our insistence that these dogs live up to our arbitrary standards is causing them to get sick and die. As much as you love the Bulldog the fact that exists that this is all borderline animal abuse.

One easy solution is to go to your local shelter to get your next dog; he or she will be happy, healthy and a 100% all-natural dog.

Hey Baby its the 4th of July

4th of July
By X

She’s waitin’ for me
When I get home from work
Oh, but things ain’t just the same
She turns out the light
And cries in the dark
Won’t answer when I call her name

On the stairs, I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

She gives me her cheek
When I want her lips
But I don’t have the strength to go
On the lost side of town
In a dark apartment
We gave up trying so long ago

On the stairs, I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July

Whatever happened I
Apologize
So dry your tears and baby
Walk outside, it’s the Fourth of July

On the stairs, I smoke a
Cigarette alone
Mexican kids are shootin’
Fireworks below
Hey baby, it’s the Fourth of July
Hey baby, Baby take a walk outside

Songwriters: DAVE ALVIN

Would you want to be forced to eat the dead skin on strangers’ feet?

There is a disgusting and cruel practice called “Fish Pedicures” where patrons are told any number of lies that lead them to believe that having tiny starving fish eat the dead skin off of your feet will add some benefit to the beauty of your feet. The fish used in this unethical practice is the Garra Rufa and they come from warm rivers and feed on algae in the wild originates in the river basins of the Northern and Central Middle East, mainly in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Garrrufa
Garra rufa

What they fail to tell you is that the fish are severely starved to the point of eating anything just to survive.  The greedy salon owners who offer “fish pedicures” claim that feeding on the dead skin is natural for Garra Rufa [type of fish used] and that the fish enjoy doing it. However, in tests that have been done; where Garra Rufa have been fed their natural diet of algae 3 times a day and when one of the meals is replaced with dead skin from people the fish will not eat the skin. Human arrogance once again rears its ugly head.

In addition to the practice being cruel and unethical, it also has the potential to cause an infection as the basins containing the fish where the patrons put their feet can’t be sufficiently sanitized between customers, and there is no way to disinfect the fish themselves. If a user is infected with a blood-borne virus like HIV or hepatitis and bleeds in the water, there is a risk the diseases could be passed on.  Fish pedicure basins provide a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, and even tiny cuts or sores can become infected when immersed in them. The Garra Rufa fish themselves have been found to carry strains of several infection-causing bacteria, including Streptococcus agalactiae, which can also cause pneumonia, and others that are resistant to antibiotics.

Fish are conscious animals, not mindless (and inefficient) loofahs. Get a safe, healthy, cruelty-free pedicure from a willing and compassionate human technician

Staphylococcus aureus infection of the feet following fish pedicure

Screenshot_1

 

 

Bees are slaves and you are eating their vomit

source PETA

Bees collect and use nectar to make honey, which provides them with vital nourishment. A single worker bee may visit up to 10,000 flowers in one day and, over a lifetime, produce only a teaspoonful of honey

These tiny animals are factory-farmed, much like chickens, pigs, and cows are. Bees reared for honey are fed just enough sugar water to ensure that their honey production continues—only to have their life’s work and food supply stolen.

To make honey, plant nectar is “sucked up” through a bee’s tongue and stored in an extra stomach, where it mixes with enzymes. After arriving back at the hive, the bee pukes the liquid into another bee’s mouth. This continues from bee to bee until the nectar is finally deposited into a honeycomb.

Yup, bee vomit
giphy

Wildlife does not need managing, nature does a perfect job

Multiple examples of how wildlife is managed by itself and nature! The only thing man does is mess things up. #hunterslie #trapperslie #pestcontrollies #zooslie

Wildlife Services’ deadly force opens Pandora’s box of environmental problems

Canada Goose Tortures Animals

The white-hot pain begins the moment that a steel trap crushes her leg. She’s in agony, struggling to escape—but the trap’s jaws have cut deep, down to the bone.
In her desperation, she even tries to chew off her own leg—her only chance of getting away before the trapper returns. bobcat
Bobcats, foxes, and coyotes are among the many animals who are killed by trappers so that their skin and fur can be used by cruel companies like Canada Goose, which sells coats trimmed with the fur of dead coyotes and stuffed with the feathers of abused birds.
We’re ramping up the pressure on Canada Goose to stop using cruelly obtained materials in its clothing. Wherever it operates—from New York to Tokyo to London show the public that the company sews misery into its coats. PLEASE SUPPORT PETA,  PETA owns enough shares in Canada Goose to give them the right to attend annual meetings and submit shareholder resolutions asking it to stop using animal-derived materials in its products.
There are signs that this pressure is working: The company itself has publicly acknowledged that activism like ours poses a real threat to its bottom line, and every day, we’re inspiring more kind consumers to shun the brand’s clothing.

Why Breeding Dogs is a Problem, Even if the Breeder is ‘Reputable’

Why Breeding Dogs is a Problem, Even if the Breeder is ‘Reputable’

source: onegreenplanet.org 

Despite the fact that nearly 62 percent of Americans have a pet, there are still more than 70 million homeless dogs and cats living in the U.S. Of these 70 million needy animals, only around six to eight million enter shelters each year. Although they only take in a fraction of America’s homeless animals, these shelters are mostly packed to capacity and strapped trying to function with limited funds. Yet, regardless of this wealth of pets looking for loving homes, only around 20 percent of Americans adopt their dogs from shelters.

So where are the other 74 percent coming from? Well, breeders.

You can find virtually any breed of animal in your local shelter – purebred or mixed – but consumers continue to pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars for dogs from breeders.

Some believe that by purchasing their dogs from a special breeder they will somehow be getting a “superior” pet, however, not only is this false but there are a number of other reasons that breeding dogs is irresponsible and harmful no matter how good their reputation may be.

The Myth of Purebred Superiority

Consumers looking for a new family pet are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for a purebred dog because they’re told that the puppy has been raised in a loving environment and will grow up to have a friendly disposition with minimal health problems.

However, there is no way to really tell because in many cases, it’s dependent on the individual dog. While there may be breeders that take precaution to avoid inbreeding (which often leads to significant health issues), and are selective with the dogs they do breed, making sure to raise them in loving environments, there is no definitive “rule” that guarantees these animals won’t suffer from health or behavioral problems early or later on.

You can never forget that breeders are still trying to run a business at the end of the day, so it is only in their best interest to advertise the benefits to owning a purebred, and even perpetuating the myth that certain positive attributes cannot be found in shelter dogs. Ironically, the Humane Society estimates that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred.

What Distinguishes a “Reputable” Breeder

Now, when we refer to “reputable” breeders, it’s merely to differentiate between those that breed their animals “responsibly,” and those that don’t. A lot of consumers don’t do research prior to purchasing their new four-legged family member, and as a result, end up buying their new best friend from cruel puppy mills. Others rely on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) inspection certification to ensure that the dogs they purchase are both purebred and don’t come from an abusive background. However, an exposé into the AKC’s inspection program revealed that many of these certified breeders subject their dogs to puppy mill-like conditions as well.

Although the AKC is considered the highest authority on purebred dog standards, Ed Sayer’s, the President of the ASPCA, stated in the New York Times that a number of the raids his organization has carried out involved commercial breeding facilities that were registered with the AKC.

Many puppies who come from puppy mills suffer from serious health problems as a result of reckless breeding. For example, the New York Times highlighted the story of one woman who purchased a puppy from an AKC breeder only to find out the puppy suffered from a number of abnormalities as a result of reckless breeding practices; the breeder had passed AKC’s inspection only two weeks prior. Two months later the facility was raided and all of the dogs were removed from the breeding facility.

When a representative from the AKC was questioned as to just how many breeders have AKC registered dogs in the country, they admitted that they did not have those figures. While the AKC may not believe they’re responsible for all breeders, their approval of these substandard facilities is deceiving to consumers and frankly, they should be held accountable for the breeders they certify.

The Question of Overpopulation

Reputable breeders have a passion for breeding dogs and many do genuinely love the animals they care for, but that does not address the very real problem of what breeding pets does to the existing pet overpopulation problem.

According to the ASPCA, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year because of lack of space, resources, and people who are willing to adopt these animals. No matter how you look at the issue, the idea of producing more dogs to meet the “demands” of people who are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a purebred pup while there are hundreds of thousands of purebred dogs waiting in overcrowded shelters is incredibly irresponsible.

The fact is, all dogs deserve a loving home, but when these dogs become commodities who are bred for profit, it doesn’t matter how well-meaning or qualified the breeders are. If we wish to put an end to the gross pet overpopulation problem and provide loving forever homes for dogs who truly need it, there is no real justification for the perpetuation of dog breeding.