July 18, 2007

Britney Spears Buys a Dog

Posted in animal advocacy, companion animals at 7:24 pm by nevavegan

Every Single Purchase Of A Companion Animal Means Death. Should I repeat that? Did you hear me?

As many people now know Britney Spears bought a dog. A very expensive dog. This isn’t unusual, many celebrities buy “designer pets,” choosing whatever breed of dog or cat or exotic animal is hip and in style at the moment.

It’s not just celebrities either. Lots of people purchase companion animals from breeders and pet stores. Sometimes there is something in the news about the horrors of puppy mills, enough to get dog lovers riled up for a while. But the larger story seems to be missed.

For every single animal purchased from a breeder, that means that another homeless animal in a shelter dies. For every single animal purchased from a pet store, a puppy mill, or a backyard breeder, that pays more people to enslave and breed animals for profit. More animals will be bred by all kinds of breeders from puppy mills to hobby breeders, because they see a demand for the puppies. However, more will be bred than will ever find homes and the unwanted animals will be dumped into shelters, turned loose to fend for themselves, or even killed. And since many of the animals bred and sold in this manner wind up as “impulse buys” (purchased by people who haven’t fully considered the responsibilities of caring for another living being), many of these animals will wind up in the shelters, where most will die simply for the crime of not having a home.

Each and every time we spend our money is our vote for the kind of world we want to live in. When we buy products produced by child labor, we are voting for child labor. When we buy fair trade items, we are voting for a better world. When we buy and rehab used items we vote for conserving resources. When we buy animals, we are voting to treat them as disposable commodities. When we buy dogs we are sending out our vote that the convenience killing of thousands of unwanted homeless dogs in this country is acceptable to us. We vote to keep doing things the same way and keep hiding the dumpsters full of dead dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, and every imaginable companion animal. Out of sight, out of mind.

When a celebrity spends insane amounts of money to buy a dog, even from a “conscientious breeder” it inspires the puppy mills and backyard breeders to work overtime breeding doppelgangers of the celebrity puppy. Meanwhile the unwanted and forgotten animals in shelters languish and die. So many homeless dogs could have been helped with the $3000 that Spears reportedly paid for her puppy. And that $3000 is a big paycheck to the people who profit from selling, breeding, and mistreating dogs.

There are people who honestly don’t understand the horrible situation “man’s best friend,” and other animals kept as pets and tossed out like trash, face in this country. I assume Spears is one of well-meaning but ignorant people who enable this tragedy to continue.

But I hope that all of you reading will remember: Friends don’t let friends buy dogs. If your pals don’t understand where their money goes and who pays the consequences when they buy a dog, educate them. If they think that shelter dogs are all older or un-trainable, then twist their arms and take them to the shelter to meet all the sweet, well-mannered, beautiful dogs there, literally hours away from death. If they are looking for a certain type of dog, a certain look or temperament, there is a dog in the shelter or a nearby rescue who fits that description.

Don’t tell your friends to go to a responsible breeder. That woman out in the country who only has a litter of pure bred puppies every six years might be really sweet, and she might give you cookies when you visit, but if you buy a dog from her you’re paying her to breed more dogs. That’s inexcusable when we consider all the trusting canines killed simply for being bought by the wrong family, for being banned from the new apartment building, for getting too big (even though that was always his natural adult size), for having the bad luck to come into the home before the human baby, for needing food and care, for just being a dog and loving his family and needing their company, or because the “owners” didn’t spay and neuter and now have unwanted puppies to get rid of.

PS. Also try to educate your friends on adopting an adult or older dog. Many people mistakenly think that they will bond better with a puppy. However, puppies need training and extra care. An adult dog is often the best choice for a busy person who works outside of the home. And trust me, you will bond with an adult dog. No question about it.



  1. natalilly said,

    Have you sent this to Britney, yet? As a person who works in an animal shelter, I vehemently second all that you just said…

  2. bazu said,

    I vehemently third everything you said. I don’t understand dog breeding, period. I don’t care how “responsible” you are- there are animals dying in shelters and on the streets for no reason! There should be a long-term moratorium on breeding until every last shelter animal has been adopted and put out of her pain.
    And Britney… I’ve never seen a better posterchild for the need for a decent education in my life.

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