Friday, June 25, 2010

Mower County Humane Society: Don't support backyard breeders

From Austin Post-Bulletin

Summer has finally arrived and the MCHS is bursting at the seams as usual. We're hoping to see an increase in adoptions, after experiencing some rather slow months. Unfortunately, our organization hasn't seen a decrease in new arrivals.

Our shelter is currently housing about 120 cats and kittens — an extremely large number for a shelter our size, and the requests keep coming from people to take in more. Currently, the MCHS is unable to take in any more cats, a situation that is only exacerbated by the large number of kittens on hand.

The MCHS will not adopt out kittens until they have been spayed or neutered, which is usually done at about 3 months of age. Because of this, we have many cages full of kittens that are waiting to reach the appropriate age and weight. Please consider adopting an adult cat from us sooner, instead of later. We have many that have been with us for a very long time and are waiting for secure, indoor homes. Please be a responsible cat owner: have your cats spayed and neutered and don't allow them to run loose.

The irresponsible breeding of cats and dogs continues to be a big problem in Austin as well as surrounding areas. The MCHS is aware of many individuals who are actively breeding and selling dogs on a regular basis, essentially making them "pet dealers". Although it is not illegal to breed dogs, these so-called "backyard breeders" are supposed to adhere to a list of Consumer Protection Statutes designed to protect not only the breeders, but consumers as well. It's safe to assume that the majority of "backyard breeders" in our area are not doing this.

Any person who is actively breeding and selling dogs is required to collect sales tax for the animals.

He is also required to have proof that the animal has been vet checked and received the appropriate vaccinations. Frequently, a "backyard breeder" will tell a purchaser that the puppy is too young for vaccinations. This also means that the pup is too young to be taken from its mother, making it susceptible to many illnesses.

Many of these "breeders" are right within Austin city limits, creating numerous problems for the MCHS. They frequently sell their puppies to people who are not ready for the responsibility; dogs that will eventually find their way to our shelter. These breeders are the reason for the large increase that we've seen in pit bulls, German shepherds, Dobermans, and even cocker spaniels. Their interest in the dogs usually disappears as soon as the money changes hands, often leaving a purchaser with a sick dog or one with inherited genetic problems. Buying from these breeders encourages them to produce more dogs, ultimately adding to already overcrowded shelters. Please be aware of your consumer rights and don't enable "backyard breeders" by purchasing their animals.

We would like to extend our thanks to Lisa Dockstader of "The Portrait Shoppe" in St. Ansgar and Emily Mayotte from "Pawsh Styling Spaw and Boutique" here in Austin, for once again organizing the "Wine, Whiskers, & Wags" fundraiser, which was held on June 17 at the Hormel Historic Home. We truly appreciate their huge efforts and support.

The MCHS is very thankful for memorials received in memory of Brenda Northwick Boehm, "Barney" Harding-Hanson, Art Mills, Violet Adamietz, Catherine Jax, Edward Bustad, Ken Holtan, and Alma Uzlik.

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