Monday, June 16, 2008

Roadside Dog Sales

Yesterday, in the 100 degree heat, as we passed the newly scraped lot at 290 and RR 12 (future location of Walgreens), we saw a truck parked in the lot with a pen of “AKC” puppies for sale.

If “AKC” evokes words like “quality” and “prestige”, just keep in mind that registered, professional breeders probably aren’t camped out on a scraped lot on a scorching hot Sunday afternoon.

Our neighbors to the north including Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Austin have all enacted ordinances forbidding this very type of “roadside” sales of dogs to help reduce the number of animals adopted on a whim that later end up at the shelter after an owner reconsiders. The ban also seeks to reduce problems with unhealthy animals offered at a roadside sale where there’s little quality control, and it is not uncommon to get a sick animal.

For those who think you need to buy a puppy, please consider adoption from a local rescue group. Sadly, every year millions of dogs are euthanized in shelters around the country. These aren’t old, sick “mutts” who are just being put out of the misery, rather, many are ”AKC” purebreds and adorable little puppies.

If you’re looking for a certain breed of dog, go to http://www.petfinder.com/ and enter your zip code. Search results will direct you to information on dogs in animal shelters in and around Dripping Springs or wherever you live. You can also narrow down your search results based on size, age, and gender. You can find exactly the kind of dog you’re looking, and you’ll be saving a life.

As an additional note: For those of you who will only consider puppies, please open your mind to older dogs -- they sleep through the night! And for those who will only consider purebreds -- mixed breeds typically have fewer health problems brought on by years of purebred inbreeding.

Photo: The dog in the photo, a healthy, sweet chihuahua-terrier mix was rescued less than 24 hours before she was to be euthanized at a local pound.