Uggh. Oprah. Gack. But I’m a blogger, and the one thing a blogger can’t do is boycott a hot topic. So, like it or not, I have to blog about Oprah Winfrey.
At least the Oprah hot topic is animals! That’s good. But specifically it’s puppymills. That’s bad.
So, like any good blogger, I’ve been taking the pulse of the populace reacting to the Oprah puppymill show. It sure got people worked up.
In fact, many people are saying they want to go right out and adopt a rescue dog!
Now maybe it’s the ginko biloba talking, but that sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Ah, I’m seeing spots. SPOTS! That’s it!
101 Dalmations. Snow Dogs. Men in Black. Cujo. Turner and Hooch. Lassie. Oprah’s 101 Rescues.
Now I remember. A movie comes out, a dog is featured. Everyone wants to run right out and buy one JUST like it. And there is a great moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth about how the breed will be ruined, the cute puppy stage will wear off and the shelters will fill up. People who shouldn’t own dogs will buy these popular ones from unscrupulous breeders and (horrors) breed them.
Well, you heard it here. Ms. X says Oprah’s 101 Rescues will have the same result.
Everybody and their brother suddenly wants a rescue dog. Where there is demand, there will be supply. New rescue groups will crop up over night, and every dog they can get their hands on will suddenly become “puppymill rescues”. They’ll charge exhorbant rates (have to rehabilitate the puppymill rescues you know) and those with power will step up raids on breeders on the vaguest of trumped up charges. While the raids and confiscations increase, follow-through prosecutions will drop. “Rescuers” just want the dogs, they won’t want to cut into their, um, donations, with the cost of prosecutions. Live to raid another day.
And that’s just the beginning. Eventually the stateside rescue groups will run out of small cute, furry dogs, and they will do more “rescues” overseas. This will of course result in an increase in the number foreign puppymills, all too happy to churn out their own indigenous street dogs to satisfy the American Rescue market. These foreign imports bring disease and a host of problems.
Rescue dogs may not suffer from cute puppy-ness that wears off (well, neither did Cujo), but that won’t stop the returns. Already, a large number of dogs in shelters are in for their second (or more) tour of duty. [The reason of course is bad owners, who don’t learn how to train or solve behavior problems]. These numbers will only go up.
So many dogs will be pushed into the shelter/ rescue system because of this, that in a few short years, the then remaining rescues (the startups will fold as quickly as they came) will be bursting at the seams as demand dries and the returns start showing up.
So yeah, thanks Oprah. Thanks for shoving yet another breed of dog – the Rescue – into the face of consuming crazed public, desperate for another emotional feel-good fix.