Dozens of dogs were rescued this summer by the Clinton County Humane Society, removed from a local breeder whose operation had gotten out of control. Most of the dogs had been terribly neglected; one’s coat was so overgrown that it was barely recognizable as a dog. CCHS took responsibility for all the breeder’s dogs — small breeds such as poodles and Yorkshire terriers — and agreed to bear the financial burden of providing vaccinations and veterinary care for all the rescued dogs, including spaying and neutering each of them before they can be adopted. Four of the dogs were pregnant, so their litters of puppies were also made available for adoption.
Each of the adoptable animals found new homes through CCHS, which always appreciates donations to assist with the cost of the healthcare and re-homing of rescued dogs.
Ohio has had a reputation as being a haven for disreputable breeders who do business because of the state’s lax rules about puppy mills, but new state regulations in Senate Bill 130 are meant to ensure animals live in spacious, clean cages, receive veterinary care and are transported in safe enclosures.
Until then, though, many people simply breed animals to make a quick buck and do not follow any of the guidelines for responsible breeding, which usually focuses on one or maybe two different breeds. The strictly-for-money breeders may take out ads or post on Craigslist with low-priced puppies of multiple breeds, asking no questions of buyers and doing as much high-volume sales as possible.
One in every four dogs in animal shelters in the United States is a purebred, according to the Humane Society of the United States. “Most dogs lose their homes because of ‘people’ reasons, such as cost, lack of time, lifestyle changes (new baby, divorce, moving, or marriage), or allergies, and not because of something the dog has done,” according to the HSUS.
But it is costly to maintain private animal shelters, and the Clinton County Humane Society is a nonprofit organization that does not receive any governmental funding — it is in existence due to the generous donations it receives and from the adoption fees from new owners. Veterinary care of the animals, including vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, heartworm testing, dewormer and spaying/neutering, can add up quickly.
CCHS also has worked to end the cycle of unwanted litters by creating Project Abigail, which began in March 2009 as a response to overwhelming litters of puppies and kittens being brought to the shelter in Wilmington. Abigail was the name of a mama dog who not only nursed her own puppies but ended up saving two other litters of puppies — one group whose mother had been killed and another group that had been dumped by their owners.
In hopes of preventing more outbreaks of unwanted animals, CCHS launched Project Abigail to take in litters of unwanted puppies or kittens, spay and neuter them, then find them loving homes. Also, the mothers and fathers can be spayed and neutered at either minimal or zero cost to the owners.
Spaying and neutering can help stop the vicious cycle of unwanted animals breeding exponentially, with most ending up at various shelters or the county dog pound.