Aug 14, 2016 3:57 PM GMT
NYT: By Name Withheld, I got my wonderful, loving dog from a reputable breeder about eight years ago, but sometimes I feel guilty that I didn’t adopt a shelter dog instead. When I consider that her life span is already more than half over, I suspect that I will eventually get another dog. When I do, I’m sure I will go to a breeder again. (I won’t get into the reasons for this, although there are many.) Is this ethical? Is it relevant that I have taken in strays in the past and given them a loving home for the rest of their lives? Is it relevant that I have never abandoned or failed to neuter or spay a pet? Is it relevant that, given a choice between a shelter dog and no dog, I would choose no dog at all? What if I give money to shelters for neutering stray dogs? What if I give money for education to prevent people from adopting puppies without properly training or socializing them, thus preventing those dogs from ending up in shelters? How much money must I give to justify getting a dog from a breeder? Or should breeders donate a certain amount for each puppy sold either to shelters or to education programs? Is such a trade-off ethical?