One of our DogTime readers is a strong supporter of dog adoption, but her friend bought a puppy from a breeder. She writes:
I strongly believe that buying pets from a breeder is wrong, especially when there are so many shelter dogs who get overlooked and desperately need homes.
Recently, a friend bought a Yorkie from a breeder in the next state over. She is having a “puppy shower,” and I don’t want to attend. I’d like to be honest about why, but a mutual friend thinks I should just say I have other plans.
What do you think?
Joyless about Unpedigreed Dogs Getting Ignored Everywhere
Dear Labby Has The Answer
Well, J.U.D.G.I.E, here’s what etiquette says: If you aren’t comfortable attending, just tell your acquaintance you can’t make it, and leave it at that. But let me guess, that doesn’t quite feel like enough, right?
It’s likely that being honest could cause a rift in your relationship, so you need to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Instead, and at the risk of sounding like Mr. Caldwell, my high school guidance counselor, could you use this opportunity to educate your peers?
Instead of a gift, you could make a donation to a shelter or rescue in the new pup’s name.
One extra note of advice: If you do end up attending, it might be a good idea to put some thought into your remarks before you make them. Many of us (Dear Labby included) have to work on our holier-than-thou attitude when it comes to animal issues.
We’ll reach more people if we swap accusatory, judgmental digs for facts delivered with a level-headed indoor voice.
People Can Learn & Grow
Let me share a personal experience. My friend purchased a Shih Tzu from a pet store years ago. It was extremely upsetting to me since I am a huge advocate of adoption, and she knows this.
A comment or two came out of my mouth at the time that annoyed her, but I decided to keep it to myself from then on.
A few years later I was going to a hoarder’s house to help with rescuing nine dogs from a breeder, and I invited her along. She was thinking of getting a friend for her Shih Tzu, and she came along to check out the pups.
She ended up adopting one of the dogs from that hoarder’s house and has since been converted to a very strong adoption advocate. My friend just needed to learn it in her own way, on her own time.
People often don’t know — until they know. But once they know, they won’t forget.
There are many Yorkie rescues around the United States, and you could share some of their available dogs on your social media for her to see.
Regardless, it’s more important to share information than to judge. You have a good heart and I’m sure your friend does too. She just may not have seen what you’ve seen or know what you know, and the best any of us can do is help to educate others.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable with a friend’s decision to buy a dog instead of adopting? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below, and ask your questions for Dear Labby!