Those damn backyard breeders!
Each year, the local animal shelter is at capacity earlier and earlier in the year. No more dreading the Spring and Summer seasons as these are traditionally the busiest. Now, the shelter is full in February. I hear from people that other rescues are full too and are struggling to find good homes for their dogs. Put simply, there are not enough homes for all the animals that need placed.
Why are there so many dogs in need earlier in the year? Let's start at the beginning. There are several sources for people to purchase a pup but for this particular discussion, I want to highlight the horrible affects of backyard breeders.
The resolution to creating space in shelters while simultaneously finding a home for each animal is not free adoptions nor greatly reduced adoption fees at large one-stop shop adoption events. Price should never be a motivating factor for adopting. The resolution to finding space in shelters is to cut off the source of pet overpopulation. Why place a Band-aid on a gaping and bleeding hole? Yes, the shelter may have saved ten dogs just in the knick of time but this scenario keeps repeating itself. It's only a matter of time before they are full once again.
The public has been trained that if they wait long enough, the reoccurring free adoption promotion will resurface. Why pay the regular $60 fee when they can take advantage of free or reduced adoption fees almost on a continual basis?
Backyard breeders in Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana are not monitored nor regulated. There are no ordinances that discourage a breeder from breeding the same dog over and over and over. They are not required to hold any type of license. They don't need a specially zoned location to breed. They can simply work from home. The female dogs are the one who do all the work. They ensure the income continues because there will always be another customer.
Those who want a pup will buy from a breeder regardless of their reputation. All they care about is getting a cute pup. They don't consider how they absolutely contribute to shelter dogs never finding homes. They don't realize the larger image and the impact they have buying from "backyard breeders".
Why would someone adopt a dog from a reputable rescue when they can get a puppy without questions or an application? The backyard breeders know they have a clientele base that will never end. Someone ALWAYS wants a pup.
I pray I see the day that Indianapolis enacts enforceable spay/neuter laws with a focus on regulation of breeders. The City clearly has a serious issue with pet overpopulation. Always depending on rescues and reduced adoption fees to create more space is a futile quick fix. If regulation of backyard breeders came to fruition, at least a tourniquet could be applied to the profuse bleeding of more and more dogs brought into this world. But for now, as it has been year after year, homeless shelter dogs are waiting for their rescue organization or free-adoption seeking adopter.