Snips And Snails And Puppy Dog Tails

I was having a discussion with a co-worker today.  She's getting a puppy and she's so excited she's already picked out his name.  This sounds rather reasonable (fun even), until we get to the part where she mentions she doesn't know when she'll be picking him up; she's buying her dog from a breeder.  She wants a male dog and there are only females in this litter.  The best male puppy is already spoken for in the next litter, so it's possible she'll have to wait until spring.  I guess those are the joys of buying from a breeder.

Turns out she's not alone.  Our soon-to-be Vice President, Joe Biden, just got himself a German Shepherd puppy from a breeder.  He's got "the pick of the litter."  (Source: CNN.)

I don't understand.  With all the loving animals stranded in shelters, why do we need breeders at all?  Sure there are some breeds that are more "desirable" than others.  I understand that Labs are one of the most family friendly dogs you can get.   If you have to have a particular breed, why not consider a rescue rather than a puppy?  Tens of millions of "pets" are destroyed in the US annually.  Buying an animal seems like a waste to me.


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