It's Who I Am

I have issues with PETA. You know, the organization that is there solely to help animals? Yeh, them. Hate me if you must.

I know they started out with good intentions. They still have good intentions, in fact. I like that about them. Sadly, they seem to have crossed a line somewhere that now puts them firmly in the fanatical camp. Fanatics tend to rub me the wrong way because they don't hesitate to tell you that you're 23 different kinds of wrong.

Here's my problem: I own a kennel. PETA has taken an active stance against puppy mills (and I applaud them), but as a direct result of this they've made phrases like backyard breeder, hobby breeder, and even dog breeder to be bad things. I have a hard time describing my little operation here to potential customers. If I use any of the above terms, negative images come to their mind and suddenly what I do is distasteful to them. I assure them that my puppies are born and raised in the house, and now that makes me one of those freaks that have 104 cats inside and the smell of urine greets you at the door. Only with dogs. I've contemplated becoming licensed, and have a friend who is, and she gets people who hate her for that because everyone knows that licensed kennels are huge operations that don't care about the welfare of their dogs.

So you tell me - what do I call myself? What do I say to make myself sound reputable? Why is it that I'm being made to feel ashamed of what I am?

My dogs are part of my family and I cry when bad things happen. And yet, they're a business. I know that when they retire from the breeding program they'll need to be placed in good homes. This does not make me a bad person, it makes me responsible. And yet PETA has made me ashamed to say that. They make people think that I'm callous, uncaring, and heartless.

I am incredibly proud of my dogs. I've carefully chosen and raised them over the years so that not only are my dogs of exceptional temperament that I trust Micah with, but they're absolutely beautiful to look at. And my puppies are a result of that careful selection and planned breeding. I'm thrilled to know that those puppies will leave my place and bear my name as their breeder. They are here because of me. I have provided families with exceptional pets that are smart, healthy, loving, and of correct conformation. It takes a lot of work, and I'm taking pride in my efforts. There's nothing wrong with that; in fact there's everything right with it.

I will no longer allow PETA to make me feel as though I'm doing something wrong.

I am a kennel owner.

I raise puppies for a living.

And I love what I do.


utmomof 5 said...

I so agree with you about the fanatical part. If organizations would just stick with what thier intentions started out to be I would think higher of them. I can name several organizations that fall under that catergory.

I think your dogs are beautiful and you should be proud of what you do!! I tell ya if my hubby wasn't so against having another dog, I would be on a plane to get me one of your puppies!

Viv said...

What you do is wonderful. I love animals (maybe too much) and I would have way too many if it were not for my husband.

Every single day, I see dogs running loose...never with tags. It makes me so incredibly sad. We should worry more about educating animal owners about care. Even making care more affordable so that families with the love to give can be responsible pet owners too.

I think that THAT would be a much better cause than advocating against breeders or kennels. I'm just thinking out loud of course.

Your puppies are beautiful, you have good reason to be proud!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Dog breeder sounds good to me. I always thought that was the opposite of a puppy mill.

Lovin Mama said...

Dog breeder and hobby breeder sound ok to me, too. When I was a kid, my parents always bought our pets from individual breeders. It was nice to go to their house and see where our new puppy lived. Your dogs are beautiful!

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

PETA is not a popular organization in the home of The Mighty HUNTER. Whodathunk?

How about Corgie or Dog Reproduction Specialist?

Puppy Pimp? (sorry, I know)

A friend's email signature is a Dr Seuss quote:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Andrea said...

We are like you, but with horses. Sigh.....I think you should be called a dog breeder. We went all the way to Canada to buy our last dog. I like the dog breeder. I think as a buyer we need to educate ourselves to know who is a good dog breeder, quality, and to know which ones are just in it for the money.

You do a fantastic job with your dogs. Those little corgis melt my heart. I have always wanted one, day.......

Karen Deborah said...

you have nothing to be ashamed of and PETA is cracked.

Flea said...


Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else in saying that you certainly have nothing to be ashamed of! I have only seen pictures of your dogs and can tell that they are happy, loved, exceptionally well cared for, and so darn cute! I would hope that anyone interested in buying a dog would come to your house and see the same thing. I am sure I have mentioned before that we had very, very bad luck getting a shelter dog - I will never do it again, and hope that when the day comes that we are looking for another member of our family, we are able to find a breeder like you.

Burgh Baby said...

It's more than just PETA, it's all the bad kennels who will do anything to make a buck. They really do bring everyone else down with them.

(Although, PETA does suck. No doubt about that.)

Aimee said...

I second the term Dog Reproduction Specialist ;)

I would say just point people to this here blog, and when they see the posts of how you take excellent care of these dogs, they'll know you are a world away from unscrupulous puppy mills.

I'm no dog expert, but I always got the impression that it was better to go to a dog breeder than any kind of pet store or place like that.

mom to 2 kids and 2 dogs said...

Hmmm I am by no means a PETA person I like meat WAY too much to go that extreame.. nor am I an animal activist.. but I am a huge lover of dogs.

I guess for me a "reputable breeder" is this:
-One who is breeding to BETTER that specific breed (conformation, health, temperment etc). They don't just throw 2 dogs of the same breed together and say get busy and make me some money.. as you know it is not that simple and lineage plays a big role as well as temperment.

-Their pets are health tested against any genetic defects (example: with labradors hips... pug eyes etc.) and has a health history and reason of death for ancesorts (no cancer in the blood line) to me this is VERY important when I am choosing a breeder, because if I am going to invest that ammount of time, energy and money into a full bred dog I want to have some assurances that in 3 years I am not going to have a medical disaster on my hands.

-All puppies are being sold on spay/neuter contracts.. meaning all puppies must be spayed and neutered (this is important to help keep the pet population down as well as for the health of the animal. Spayed and neutered animals are at less risk of certain cancers and other diseases).

-Another quality that is very IMPORTANT with any breeder is a contract that says if for any reason you can not keep the dog/puppy that you will return it to the kennel (no money returned) so the kennel owner can rehome it. This ensures the kennel owner that NONE of their puppies are being put in shelters and euthanized(most reputable breeders are also small rescues).

I have a Purebred Pomeranian and I have a corgi/lab/shepherd mix rescued from a farmer who was going to kill him and his brother as puppies (his brother passed away in '07 to cancer which is why health is important to me). So I am not some nutjob that thinks peolple should only adopt animals from shelters/rescues (good luck getting a small dog from any rescue if you have children under age 10).

I also want to say that I am fully aware of the over population of pets in our country and what irresponsible breeding* does... I volunteer with my local humane society and with our county "high kill" shelter.. It breaks my heart the number of 16-18 week old puppies brought in by so called breeders who bred their dogs and the puppies did not sell (obviously they wer not committed to those puppies). When you sit in on the euthanization of a litter of perfectly healthy puppies because there were no homes available for them and the shelter is packed full of dogs without homes your perception really changes (I am at my limit for how many dogs I can have in my city).

*irresponsible breeder to me equals someone who lets their dog roam and it gets pregnant or one who is intentionally mix breeding like "puggle" or a "Chi-poo" or just breeds their dog with their "friends" dog of the same breed because a little of puppies would be cute/fun.

I do not think you are an irresponsible breeder... the only thing I sometimes wonder about is why the variety of dogs, insted of sticking with just one breed? But I don't think I would ever get the same breed twice. I want to enjoy ALL of them and see the temperment differences between them.. which is why I bet you have more than one breed ;-)... Plus you post pictures of your puppies and they are adorable little things.. and you have bottle fed how many puppies now? non reputable breeders do not spend the time that you do with your dogs.

PETA is an organization that has so many contradictions in it, they don't want anyone to have pets for animals... they have issues with my "owning" 2 dogs.

red pen mama said...

I don't think you should let PETA factor into what you call yourself. I know dog breeder sounds good to me! I would buy a dog from a breeder much sooner than I would buy a dog from a pet store.

I think PETA can be a good organization, but unfortunately they end up in the news for suggesting things like the Pet Shop Boys change their names. So, yeah.

Can I just come over with Monkey and cuddle all your puppies? Or maybe just one or two? Those pictures just melt my heart.


SunflowerMom said...

PETA is definitely an extremist group. It's sad how good intentions can get carried so far from what is logically and ethically safe.

I can easily see through your photos and words that you care a great deal for your dogs and puppies. They are born in a loving home.

Becoming Mommy said...

I hate PETA too.
They make my life harder than necessary.

A responsible breeder is a responsible breeder. People who can't tell one when they see it probably shouldn't own a dog.

justmylife said...

PETA has gone over the deep end. But one look at those cute pups, should be enough to show that whatever you choose to call yourself you are doing a great job. I think I would go with breeder, who cares what PETA thinks.

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

I gave up on PETA a long time ago. I was/am a huge animal activist (but that term has been deemed radical). I wasn't radical, I just wanted people to think about the treatment of animals, they are innocent, like children.

I believe in what you do, without breeders like you who would we trust? Who could we trust?

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

I love what you do, too, and I want to cuddle each and every one of them!!! I also, agree 100%. I am a huge proponent of adopting dogs that need homes, but I also respect responsible breeders and people who choose to get the dog that meets their needs, which is much easier at a breeder than at a rescue or shelter where no one really knows the dog you're adopting (unless they've been fostered, of course). PETA and the other groups are actually hurting the fight for responsible breeding because they are fanatical and no one takes their words seriously anymore... and that is too bad. Animals are treated badly in so many ways, and PETA does nothing to actually bring forth change.

Karen said...

mom to 2 kids and 2 dogs - I agree with every point you've made. Is it appropriate to say "I love you" on our first meeting?

designHER Momma said...

I never thought of this aspect of your business. You do amazing, humane work. Sorry you have to deal with crap like this.

If I was in the market for a little pup - I would be barking up your tree for sure.

caramama said...

You be proud! You are wonderful at what you do. Those puppies and dogs are beautiful, and I always love hearing the stories about them. It is completely obvious to anyone who even kind of knows you how much you care about them all. :-)

Karen said...

Alas, Dog Reproduction Specialist is actually a job title. (Ask me how I know.) I don't have the degree on the wall or the initials behind my name, so I can't rightfully call myself that. And yet, to quote my vet, "what I do isn't rocket science. You can do this at home."

My name is Sarah said...

OMG such cute puppies. And such a dilemna. I have never owned a dog in my life. My parents didn't much like them and then I married a man that is allergic to anything with hair on it - good thing though since Sarah has huge respiratory issues. So I really had not heard too much of PETA. Fast forward to when I was the executive director of American Heart in Cleveland. We had a gala every year with a large silent auction which was a huge job and undertaking. When I arrived at the site of the event, there was a protest outside the hotel ballroom. What the heck? They were protesting because we had a fur coat in the silent auction. Ugh. Never thought of that. I went out an calmly tried to discuss it with them and make sure they knew the auction relies totally on donations and it was a donated fur and was to raise money for heart research. They became hysterical. Out of control and irrational. I actually had to get the police involved. It was not a pretty situation. Ever since then, I have had such a negative opinion of them and I can no longer understand what they are pushing for. I think you just have to keep doing what your doing and not worry about them.

Karen said...

I once donated to the Humane Society. That was a bad deal too. The automatically assumed that I was with them on every level. Then the PETA stuff started rolling in. Ya, not liking the fanatical side either.

You should be proud of what you do. I have seldom known someone so dedicated to a puppies well being as you. Hold your head high!

Michelle said...

Oh I'm so anti-PETA, you don't want to get me started! Interestingly I received an email on HSUS today that paints them in the same league as PETA which surprised me.... Are you getting heat from them now, too? Fortunately, this post reminded me to ask you that.

Tanya said...

I love puppies and I think yours are super cute!!
I dislike PETA, they are not very reasonable or logical people. Therefore, I wouldn't listen to people who agree with their idealogy.

Keep doing a good job!

Michelle said...

great, informative post! You should be proud of what you do and not made to feel ashamed of it at all!

I know Kayla would love to have one of your puppies!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

FYI: I love my doggy you helped genetically engineer. Except like today when she got bloody footprints all over my furniture. But, I won't hold that against you - much :)