North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

It’s time to stop buying dogs from breeders

Lolah Slagg
Man’s best friend, dogs, are owned by over 65.1 million households in the United States.

Man’s best friend, dogs, are owned by over 65.1 million households in the United States. They are amazing companions, service animals, and best friends. Many are adopted from shelters, but there are also a great number that are bought from breeders. This is problematic because it leads to lives of pain, unfortunate circumstances, and is a cycle that needs to be stopped. 

Dog breeding can be traced back to when shelters did not exist, at least not in the same way they do today. Dogs were bred for purposes like fighting or protection of livestock. Commonly, dogs would be placed in a makeshift ring and forced to fight to a bloody, violent death, as dog-fighting was a prime source of entertainment. Although breeding goes back many years and has different reasons for doing so, it is equally bad. 

Today, dog breeding is still used for fighting rings, but it is more commonly used to meet certain standards regarding how dogs look and act. Breeding gives people the freedom to essentially create the type of dog they want, allowing for it to be physically and genetically possible. But this freedom, which really should not have been given, has disheartening downsides. Firstly, when people are given the chance to create the dog of their choice, they often create dogs that are not and should not have been possible. Selective breeding often results in genetic health problems. For example, when two short-snouted dogs are bred, it results in breathing problems and respiratory issues, or when dogs like dachshunds, who are very short, are bred with other taller dogs, it often ends in spinal issues and back pain. Not only is it a problem when two dogs with opposite genetic factors are bred together, but it is just as bad when two with the same are bred. When dogs with similar genetic predispositions are bred, those same genetic problems are continued and frequently worsened. English bulldogs, for example, are commonly inbred, which has resulted in severe breathing difficulties and even a reduced ability to walk properly. Many breeders are not professional in what they do and do not do their research, resulting in the perpetuation of genetic health issues. In fact, some breeders even go as far as to purposefully breed dogs with health problems because, in their minds, they believe that it will somehow make the puppies more desirable based on their cuteness or looks. The genetic problems that often follow purposeful breeding worsen the dog’s quality of life, and it is unethical to allow an animal to live that way.

In 2016, I rescued my dog from being put down, and it was one of my best decisions. Although I saved her, she was really the one to save me. 

— Sophomore, Brianna Tatar

In addition, the process by which dogs are bred is inhumane for multiple reasons. The first being that when a dog is bred, it often means they came from a puppy mill. The Humane Society of the United States defined a puppy mill as “an inhumane, commercial dog breeding facility in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits.” 

Puppy mills exploit the dogs they own for monetary gain and take very poor care of them. The dogs live in small cages that are seldom cleaned, feces cover the floor, and veterinary care is almost never given, resulting in serious medical issues or even death after being left untreated. Two million puppies die each year in the United States, thanks to the 10,000 puppy mills that exist in the country. These horrible conditions frequently lead to enduring medical problems and even psychological ones. Not only are the mothers bodies used and abused after sometimes multiple painful births, but they are also rarely adopted, meaning they will continue to be used for breeding purposes until they die. 

 Besides the conditions being unacceptable and inhumane, breeding also contributes to the overpopulation of dogs nationwide. Stray dogs who have either been given away by their owners because of the expensive pet care costs or were simply stray since birth are the main source of overpopulation, but with the addition of breeding, the overall population is expected to go up even more. Also, unlike most shelters, they do not require their puppies to be spayed or neutered, which allows the possibility of reproduction and, in turn, adds to the already immense population. 

 However, continuing the unethical, inhumane cycle of breeding is not the only option when it comes to buying a dog. There are many shelters you can adopt dogs from in the Illinois area. Adopting dogs from non-kill shelters is beneficial for many reasons. The main thing is that when you adopt, you essentially save a life. The majority of dogs in shelters have been saved from an unfavorable situation and now have a chance at life. Offering a dog in a shelter a better home is not only a great thing to do, but it can also make you feel better about yourself. Doing a deed like that is great for your mental health and self-esteem, and dogs have also been proven to reduce stress. Additionally, when you adopt from shelters, you are more likely to receive a healthy dog, while when you buy from breeders, it is not guaranteed. 

 At shelters, there are a variety of breeds and ages that can be suitable for all types of families and people, which is a much better option when looking to own a dog as it is more ethical and humane. You can adopt from local shelters like Wright-Way Animal Shelter, located in Morton Grove,, and Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), located in Skokie,. Students at Niles North even have the opportunity to join clubs like Animal Club, whose main goal is to support local animal shelters by making donations or volunteering. Shelters like those previously mentioned are great options when adopting a cuddly best friend and to help the cause of stopping breeding and leaving its cruel ways in the past.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lolah Slagg
Lolah Slagg, Reporter
Lolah is a sophomore at Niles North and this is her first year on North Star News. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, reading, or hanging out with friends.

Comments (0)

All North Star News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *