1. Contact local media and talk about responsible dog/cat-owning. Explain what this means and what owning a dog/cat should be like. And that this means not letting the dog run wild to mate whenever.
2. You can press the point that pure-bred dogs generally have more responsible breeders that hopefully dont just want to sell, but rather find life-long homes for their puppies. Pressing for the castration of all dogs would only stop serious breeders...not the rest.
3. You can perhaps arrange local pet-days at schools, talking and showing what responsible ownership is all about. Children may hopefully give a feed-back to their parents.
4. You can arrange puppy-buying evenings at a local club or where ever. These are run by the swedish kennelclub + training schools over here and are brillant places to educate would-be-buyers. These can be free of charge and will give you a way in (hopefully before another cute puppy is bought at the spur of the moment and then no thought given to what happens if a bitch is in season).
5. Work activly against impulse-buyers. Advertise! The RSPCA (I think) had a great campaign some years back: A dog is for life and not just for Christmas! I believe they had billboards showing heaps of dead dogs to go with it.
6. Stop being so soft (cowardly?) about things. Show the public what happens to the impulse-bought puppies and kittens! Show the heaps of unwanted and discarded pets! You need stong images to get people to react. You may think this would work against you, but I dont think so. It rather shows that you (group of serious breeders) are taking the problem very seriously and are trying to avoid the loads of unwanted pets.
7. Have you still got puppies sold in petshops? Try to get a ban on this!
The problem (as I see it from this distance) are the (mainly) cross-bred dogs readily available from non-responsible "breeders". This is what you have to fight!
Yes, education is the way to go and I do believe the shock of showing a pile of discarded dogs and cats might make a impact. Years ago I saw on a TV channel from Los Angeles a live program from a humane society and they were actually showing dogs and cats being taken from their cages and put to sleep. It broke my heart to see the adorable animals being put down and then thrown in to a huge pile. I still get tears thinking about it.
Thanks for your input, I'll pass it along. Does your country have huge amounts of animals being put to sleep daily like America does? Is this a problem all around the world?
We do have unwanted animals put to sleep, but we also have a fairly well educated lot of buyers. So not that many unwanted dogs...with us the problem is more on the cat-side.
But the papers are full of advice on how to do it properly...and what to think of before buying a dog/cat. The kennelclub is also very active and works towards the same goal.
May I make another one of my sweeping statements?
Generally I feel that most americans find it difficult to accept other than happy Hollywood-endings. If the public was shown more often what was realy going on, like the program you mentioned, perhaps things would look differant. America IS a great place, but it certainly is not the greatest in ALL aspects.
Ginger, I have actually missed our heated discussions...and nothing doing here it seems, we are agreeing! :-)
Changing peoples point of view takes time.
But it is strange that you are so set on neutering in the US when most of Europe can cope fairly well with un-neutered dogs.
And neutering at the age of 8 - 12 weeks, well I am pleased your son is not buying a puppy there!
As for Paris Hilton, she has not only influenced the choice of dogs in the US but also very much so in Europe. We may all sneer at her and things she is reputed to have said...but the trend is clear...small dogs are almost a must for any trendy person here as well.
I marveled at a shop in New York in the 80's that was selling evening-gear for dogs and wedding-outfits and god knows what, and I thought: ONLY in America.
Now (unfortunatly) we can buy the same stuff at every petstore here.
I wrote about the Paris Hilton dog-in-bag-trend in the kennelclub. mag. here.
Like how to be one of the crowd even if you happen to have one of those untrendy big breeds...illustration attached...
(We are certainly going off the subject here)
Yeah you guys, knock it off, being all chummy and stuff. Get back on the subject, I need ammunition to fight MSN here in my town.
The powers to be told me to come up with good ideas to fight the over population of dogs and cats and they'll back off MSN. They said to convince them we can control the breeding without altering all the animals.
Loma, this (proposed) law can not be applied to breeders, can it? I mean if it was followed it would mean the end of all dogs bred in your town. This can not be a serious suggestion, can it? How is it ment to apply?
Yes, they mean for it to apply to all dog owners. I tried to explain to them that would mean in the future there would be NO dogs for anyone. For sure it would mean people would be forced to buy from puppy mills and pet stores and we know those are not the best animals.
They just looked at me as if I were being ridiculous. The humane society in our town is run by a board of none dog show, non breeders, and they have limited knowledge, so I was hoping I could help broaden their view points.
But getting on the board so I can fight the MSN ordinance before it gets going is not going to be easy. They apparantley don't feel confortable having me on the board since I have different ideas. Not a progressive board in that area.
That's why I'm curious as to what other countries do to curtail the over population of dogs in their shelters.
I still think it would be best to somehow create a public opinion through the press. I am certain that if you got in contact with the local press/TV/Radio they would find it an interesting subject to write about or discuss.
By applying this rule to ALL dogs, it means that eventually the locally bred dog-population dies out and at the same time you are reducing the gene-pool by each town that follows suite. So eventually you will end up without working-dogs as well. Actually it is so totally insane I find it hard to believe that anyone can think this idea up in the first place.
As to your last question Loma, that goes once again back to educating the would-be buyers just as I wrote in the beginning.
If other countries can somehow inform people of the responsibilities of owning pets, how come you can not?
Ginger, I know we have been on to this subject before, but I find all this totally amazing and STILL feel that if this got written about it would have a huge impact.
I can not see that ALL press is swallowing this!
(However much they may have the same owner.)
It must be obvious that spaying animals that are roaming the street (like street-dogs in certain countries) is a totally differant issue to being forced to neuter your pet.
I think the reason we dont have this type of campaign is that we dont have the street-dog-problem and that the general public is perhaps more aware of what responsibilities you have owning a pet. The advantage of being a small country populationwise I suppose.
Also the kennelclub is very informative about the good effects of having for instance a dog.
We are having more problems with allergic people (or those claiming to be allergic against dogs) and wanting them banned from more and more places.
This normally does not include guide-dogs = a total contradiction in my eyes.
I just can not see that with all the so called "freedom" in the US, anyone can actually TELL you what to do in an case like this.
Pay more money for un-neutered pets, yes I can go along with that.
But anything else...?
I refuse to register my dog with the city for exactly this reason. Yes, I vaccinate him. Yes I keep him contained. But I will not get a city license so that when Chicago passes mandatory spay/neuter ( and I honestly think it will come up as an issue), I do not want the city having my info so they can track and send animal control up to my door.
I stopped going to the "doggie beach" for the sole reason the city required unnecessary vaccinations ( I follow Dr. Dodd's protocol) and higher fees just so you could use the public park to have your dog on. The next thing is to ban un-neutered dogs ( which they are talking about ).
Look what happened in Denver. I refuse to even fly through it for the simple reason that they put down thousands of pit bulls for the sole reason of their breed.
I staunchly oppose the single influence for this hysteria - the media. "if it bleeds, it leads" is the most destructive thing that happened to news since yellow press. I am sorry, but today's news look more like an episode of "Santa Barbara" then a legitimate news source. Sit and count how many times the reporters try to make someone cry on camera. :o\
People are so easily influenced by whatever it has been said on tv. This includes propaganda about ever rising euthanasia rates in shelters. The first day I walked to my ex-vet's office, the first thing he said to me holding 8 week old lego was " you are going to neuter him, aren't you? You know that the City of Chicago put down more than 40 thousand pets last year? " And this would repeat every time I would walk into his office.
No need to mention I did not stay with him.
I refuse to put the dog through an unnecessary surgical procedures and endanger his health just for the convenience and because it is " a thing to do".
But that is just me - I realize that the average dog owner (at least around here) has absolutely no idea about dog behaviour, training and body language. Nor would they care to learn. All they want to have is the latest "puggle" "labradoodle" they paid over $1,500 for and can show to their friends, take for a walk around the block and walk on the beach so they can pick someone up.
I often get evil eyes and confused looks when asked if lego is fixed. Usually it is just assumed that the dog is fixed just because it is a grown dog. Nobody ever questions the reasons for NOT getting your dog fixed. There are no loose dogs in the streets in the city. I have not seen a loose cat in ages..
I realize I have an unpopular stand toward the spaying/ neutering here. I think it depends on the place where you live as well. In Bosnia all the free roaming dogs should be fixed instead of forming packs of loose dogs and then attacking people , mating on children's playgrounds and parks, and then consequently being shot by the 12 gauge shotgun on the street by an amateur hunter who is paid by the city for each dog tail he brings back. Welcome to Wild West....
All I am trying to say is spaying is not a fix-all and that the education should be primary goal. Not all answers are the easy ones...