Ask the expert…

We contacted a volunteer for the SPCA to ask him what he thinks a possible solutions may be. Overall his answers were what we had expected. He told us that it has to start with the breeding process. Most often dogs that are given to shelters are because of behavioural problems that are caused from isolation, not socializing them properly as puppies and bad breeding. As puppies it is very important that dogs go through their stages properly and get used to new things and environments. If not fears can be imprinted on them and cause fear aggression, which ultimately leads to dogs in shelters. So, if puppy mils could effectively be banned and shut down, and well as backyard breeding could be limited and stopped this would drastically decrease the number of poorly bred dogs being put into shelters. Second to behavioural problems, we were told the next leading cause of dogs going into shelters is families moving or having children and not being able to re home the dog, thus forcing them to put the dog in a shelter.

It seems as though, everyone we talk to unanimously agrees that puppy mils and backyard breeding are the source of the issue of sheltered dogs- clearly it is time to find a solution.

Importance of spaying/neutering your animals

Often times people don’t mean for their animals to reproduce. Outside cats for example, are known to surprise their owners with kittens, and owners are forced to find homes for them. An easy way to prevent this, is just to get your pets spayed and neutered. This process of only about $100.00 is worth it in the long run, to protect future animals from not having a home. By doing this, we decrease the number of homeless pets and improper breeding.

Pet Shops

Pet shops appear like happy places filled with cute dogs and cats waiting for a good home. The reality of these pet shops though, are the animals come from puppy mills. There, dogs are beaten, abused, crammed in tiny cages and bred over and over until they are of no use anymore and they are euthanized. Dogs with serious health concerns are bred regardless of their condition, and the buyers are not informed of these issues when purchasing their pets. If pet shops go out of business it will affect close to 100% of puppy mill’s business. Many cities have already taken the steps to close down all pet shops, because they are aware of the truth of where the animals come from. A local way for you to make a change is boycott pet shops entirely.


Making strict laws to prevent people from breeding their animals is definitely a start, but it needs to start at a more direct level too. Pet owners when buying animals should have to fill out applications and agreements that they wont breed their animals unless they are licensed breeders, and if they break these agreements be faced with large fines. Most times, unless dog breeders also intend to breed dogs to show, they are only breeding for profit. Therefore, the people purchasing these dogs can make a difference by only buying from show dog breeders, because this shows they are more likely to care for their dog’s well being. If buyers are willing to purchase their dogs from these legitimate breeders, and spend a little bit extra money, pet shops will eventually go out of business which will put puppy mills out of business. This will also guarantee the dog’s health care and assurance, when if you purchase from  backyard breeder or puppy mil the dogs often have serious health problems that come up later in life.

Issues and Causes

Issues:  Over population/Over breeding, homeless pets, people who buy their pets and are unable to care for them, buying puppies and kittens just to sell them when they grow up, shelters turning into kill shelters because of mass amount of animals.


Causes: Backyard breeding for profit, puppy mils and over breeding without care of animals well being.