By: Paulette Dean, Executive Director, Danville Humane Society
Last October, a seven pound, three month-old puppy came to the shelter as a stray. He had been found wandering on South Main Street. The shelter manager picked him up, brought him into my office, and all I can say is that love happened. I resisted adopting him for a while, but, in the end, my resistance was no match for his soulful eyes, cuter than anything looks, and winning personality.
Wally has a long body, short legs, and maybe poodle hair, but maybe not. He looks like a wirehaired dachshund poodle mix. He is what we call a “mixed breed.” That is what he is called, except by breeders who would call him a “designer dog.”
Wally’s adoption fee was $75; however, if he had been in a pet store, he would have cost a few hundred dollars. There are all kinds of different dogs being bred now. Labradoodles are Lab/poodle mixes, puggles are beagle/pug mixes, and the list goes on and on.
The fact remains the same – there are too many dogs being bred. Some animal shelters charge more for purebred dogs, but our philosophy is that all dogs deserve the same chance, and papers showing the bloodline of a dog mean nothing.
Spring and summer remain the busy times for most animal shelters; in the past six weeks, we have received almost 500 dogs and cats. Nationwide, about 25 percent of the animals received at a shelter are purebred dogs. With those statistics, why on earth would anyone want to suddenly mix two breeds of dogs?
I call my Wally a wirehaired dachshund poodle mix. I just cannot bring myself to call him a doxiepoo. To me, he is a perfect blend of looks, temperament, and personality. I hope that he and I have long years together, but I cannot help feeling sad that he was probably intentionally bred as a designer dog. The breeding has to stop.