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Santa, Baby, Hurry to the Shelter Tonight

Written by PETA | March 23, 2011

According to hilarious spoof news source The Onion, the first signs of spring are flowers blooming, longer days returning, and animal shelters euthanizing the last of the “Christmas puppies.”

In a recent article, The Onion “interviews” puppy mill patrons who grew tired of caring for their dogs once they outgrew their puppy cuteness: “‘Two years ago we bought Lisa a puppy for Christmas,’ says Jason Hutton of San Diego, who quietly abandoned his daughter’s Lhasa apso by the side of a road when he grew weary of family arguments over whose turn it was to feed it. ‘And there came a point where it just wasn’t a puppy anymore, you know?'”

For kids who discover a puppy under the tree alongside Xbox games and Barbie dolls, the novelty often wears off faster than you can say “jingle bells,” and the dog is discarded like last year’s ZhuZhu pet. The Onion‘s tongue is firmly planted in its cheek, of course, but it’s as correct about this scenario as pet stores are about estimating their holiday profits while they play an endless loop of Burl Ives classics.

Written by Michelle Sherrow


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  • Jesse says:

    Angi, that is my view as well. But Foxie makes a good point too. None of those 3 puppies (shelter, breeder, puppy mill) deserves to die. One puppy has just as much right to life as the other two. Either way, I view it as a win-win situation. If you adopt a dog, you are saving a dog from a shelter situation. If you buy a dog, you may not be directly saving him from the shelter, but you are keeping him from ending up in the hands of someone who could potentially abandon him at one. My main point is that breeders are not the problem. Responsible breeders only have a few litters per year and have a take back policy on the puppy if the owner cannot keep the puppy for its entire lifetime. They breed for the purpose of preserving the dignity of the breed. Irresponsible breeders are the ones who inbreed, and just don’t give a shit as long as they make a buck. They are also the owners who say “I just wanted my dog to be able to be a mother at least once” or “I wanted my children to experience the miracle of birth”. Puppy mills fall under the category of irresponsible breeders. They are breeding for profit, not for the love of a particular breed. Responsible breeders breed to create as perfect a dog as possible. They breed for conformation, health, and temperament. Anyways, back to the matter at hand. Christmas puppies are not a bad thing. I got my Smooth Collie as a Christmas present 8 years ago this upcoming December. I will also be getting a Bluetick Coonhound puppy (born next week!) for a belated Valentine’s Day present from my husband. The difference: I love dogs and cannot imagine not having one (or two) in my life. I know how much work goes into a dog and I am willing to do that. I sacrifice vacations and long morning to night trips to the city because I do not yet trust my neighbors enough to care for my dogs while I am away quite yet (We are a Navy family and just moved here). I understand that when I have kids and I decide to get THEM a Christmas puppy, I will be doing most of the care because kids cannot be trusted with the entire life of an animal. I also understand that the puppy will one day become a dog. It will not always be that cute bundle of fur it was when you got it. When the families who eventually abandon them get their kids a Christmas puppy, they either forget or do not understand the huge adjustments you must make in order to own a dog. The time that must go into training and exercising, the affection they crave, the fact that they are indeed susceptible to illnesses. Those are the things that must be remembered when considering a puppy at ANY time of year. I encourage people to buy their families Christmas puppies IF they are 110% confident that they and the family understand these things that I have mentioned. If they think it will be a breeze and that “it will teach the kids responsibility” then maybe they should get their family a goldfish instead.

  • Foxie says:

    Angi, thats such a hard dillema. I only adopt animals from shelters and promote spaying&neutering all the time. If nobody buys pet shop puppies what would happen to them? Well I’d guess that if absolutely nobody was buying them the pet shop wouldnt spend money obtaining them from puppy mills, and the puppies would be sent to the local shelter, killed, or sent back to the puppy mill and less would be bred because there wouldnt be such a high demand for them. Its sad but buying them just tells the shops and mills that you want their business. Such a sad complicated world we live in 🙁

  • Angi says:

    I am confused, if I buy a dog from a pet store (which I never have) I am killing shelter dogs, but if I don’t what happens to them when everyone buys shelter dogs? This pet store shoppers kill shelter dogs is kind of twisted, I mean I understand the issue of puppy mills, but do they deserve to die? Does it matter how the animal is born? Neither deserve to die and it isn’t because of the other it is because of people who don’t have the sense to pay attention to population and overbreed unnesisarily. I agree puppy mills should be shut down but those animals should not be lost because humans are stupid!

  • amelia says:

    They couch it in humor and that’s great: brings people to a slow realization that this is a HIDEOUS problem. thanks, Peta, I can use this with people who otherwise don’t listen.