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The Semantics of Rescue

Trish Allearz

I'd love to get the general opinion on these types of things...

I love Frenchies- I think they are great dogs... Today, I saw a post on Facebook about an auction where a rescue wants to purchase adult dogs from a miller- to rescue the dogs from their horrid conditions. You know how it goes- they are mostly outdoors (which isn't so great for a brachiocephalic- snub nosed- breed) and they are bred over and over and over... So the rescue is asking for donations to save these dogs.

The issue I see is all in semantics. Are they really 'rescuing' these dogs or are they BUYING these dogs from the puppymillers? If they are saving the life of these dogs, aren't they simply permitting the miller to then put other dogs in their spots? But then again- we can't just ignore these dogs in need- can we? Some of them are in pretty horrid conditions. I was reading up on one little girl who was lacking kneecaps, but was bred continuously- it makes one's heart heavy.

And for the sake of tying it into this site- just for those who don't know- these puppymills are 99% USDA compliant. Yep.

What do you think of these types of situations? Do we jump in to help the immediate situation or look at the bigger picture and sit back and not help out? Definitely a damned if you do, damned if you don't type of situation IMHO.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I saw your comments on FB and wished I could have contributed...I completely agree with you Trish. I think by buying those dogs from the puppy mill they are just perpetuating the system... allowing the puppy mill to sell their older dogs so they can replace with younger dogs to keep breeding. It would be different if they were taking on the dogs of a mill that was closing... but this to me is not "rescue". I guess the dog is being rescued but the downside is that they are supporting the mills by doing so :-(

I often hear people say that they "rescued" their cat because the breeder they bought from was so bad and the conditions so awful they just had to buy the kitten and "save" it. They don't see that by doing that they are perpetuating that situation, as sales means that breeder will continue to operate. To me that isn't rescue, it is a purchase and a purchase that encourages bad breeding practices to boot :-(


Staff member
I agree with both of you, but it seems to be a catch-22 at is all so sad...and every time I think of all the small breeders who will have to go out of business if the new USDA rules take effect, it makes me crazy!!!

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Yes, it makes me crazy too to think that they will in effect be encouraging the kitten mills and closing down the small in-home breeding programs :-(

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
Thank you for speaking of this, Trish. I have seen the FB postings myself...and wonder the same's hard not to feel that by rescue "saving" these dogs and pups they are enabling the compliant mills and BYB breeders to proliferate, since purchases create a market for the dogs....and I am pretty sure those Frenchies don't go cheap, even at auction, even older and special needs dogs . And yes, they ARE purchasing them. You know damned well there will be other breeding dogs to take their place....and the cycle never ends.

I don't know what the answer is. This is a tough one....


Staff member
Sounds like a prime situation for the "rescue" group to go in, take videos, send it to the media and post it everywhere they can. The goal should be to shut down the puppy mill as well as rescue the dogs. I would like to take a video of a place like that and shove it right up the arse of the head USDA honcho. What a great campaign it would make for rescues to show a film of a in-home breeding program with happy pups & parents contrasted to the USDA certified mill.