Pups dying of parvo as California pet buyers turn to backyard breeders online in pandemic

This is an article that appeared in our local paper today. At first I thought it mirrored thoughts we'd shared over the summer about anticipated Covid pet problems. But after reading, it shed light on a new issue I was unaware of: legislation in California that will regulate all dog and cat breeding in California. AKC opposes the legislation citing burdensome costs to both breeders and municipalities without doing anything to reign in irresponsible backyard breeders. And I agree with that. I'm curious how others feel about this?

Anyway, Parvo kills pups. All you new pup owners... make sure you're vaccinated!

Pups dying of parvo as California pet buyers turn to backyard breeders online in pandemic

"Euthanizing a tiny, sick puppy is one of the most gut-wrenching things a veterinarian can be called on to do. Yet, within the span of 36 hours recently, emergency vet Joe Simmons euthanized — or witnessed the death — of 13 different animals.

“This past year is some of the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Simmons of Huntington Beach. “It’s hard on the families who adopted these puppies, financially and emotionally, and it takes a high emotional toll on us as vets. The emotional burden is just not sustainable.”

A pandemic-inspired dearth of shelter puppies — combined with people hunkered down at home, eager for canine companionship — has led some to seek pups online, and fraudsters have popped up to meet that demand."

The article is longer, but you'll have to use the link above to read the rest.

@jengosmonkey I wasn't able to read the article (paper is subscription based), but I agree that this is worth a conversation. But which topic.... parvo/shots, backyard breeders, pandemic-inspired adoptions, or..... ?

Puppymills, back yard breeders, puppy farmers - call them what you will - So much demand for puppies or all breeds during the pandemic has created a field day for unscrupulous money making kennels.

Sometimes their advertising is so good, first time puppy buyers can easily mistake them for responsible breeders and this makes it doubly important to get the names of the parents and ask to see their health certificates. With their names, at least you can go to OFA website and check if they have been DNA tested even if no certificates are forthcoming.

And in any case, everyone should make certain their puppies are vaccinated, and DNA tested, just to be sure.

Visit the kennels if it is at all feasible and make sure of standards of cleanliness and conditions pups are reared in. OK, I live in a small country where it is much easier AND we don't at present have puppy farmers but whose to say in the future ?

This is not just a pound of butter you are buying, it is a living, breathing animal you are investing in and hoping for years of pleasure in the company of.

Too late now for this puppy season, I guess but not too late to run health checks on the pups.

@elbrant said in Pups dying of parvo as California pet buyers turn to backyard breeders online in pandemic:

@jengosmonkey I wasn't able to read the article (paper is subscription based), but I agree that this is worth a conversation. But which topic.... parvo/shots, backyard breeders, pandemic-inspired adoptions, or..... ?

Right? There's a lot to unpack from that article. Sorry about the pay wall. Feel free to take this any direction you'd like. For me... I was most interested in the breeding permit that CA is considering. This link will take you to the complete text of the bill - AB-702 Animal breeding: permits

This link will take you to the AKC response to the bill: California: Bill Seeks to Regulate All Dog Breeders

So this is my take... my opinion. I hate it. When I had the chance to look for new Basenjis this last summer, I had the opportunity to speak with several breeders. Years before that I had the chance to speak with rescues. Now no one showed me the books, but no one I spoke to was making any money. Yes they got some money for puppies and less for rescues, but that was to offset the costs. Costs for vets, testing, breeding, equipment, transportation, food, shelter, shows, etc. Each one of those components can be split into a number of additional components. Breeding for basenjis: DNA Fanconi & PRA, hip x-rays, stud fees, lab tests to determine ovulation, sonograms, diet, whelping equipment, vet during delivery if needed, puppy shots/health certificates and I'm certain I've left all kinds of stuff out.

Point is... responsible breeders ARE doing the right thing and most are covering the majority of their own costs. Yes puppy sales offset "some of the costs", but they don't cover the entire cost of a breeding program by a long shot, which is far more extensive than simply having a male and female consummate.

From what little I know... one aspect of a breeding program entails showing dogs and gaining the recognition of fellow breeders that your line is pointed in the right direction in terms of confirmation standards. That seems to be acknowledged through awards and then requests for breeding. There are a ton of costs involved in making that happen.

It also takes time to grow dogs out. Time to see if they if they're of the breeding quality a breeder wants in their line. Time to allow them to mature so they can be bred. They still have to be fed, housed, loved and kept healthy. More costs. And, if a breeder decides to let one go it takes time to find the right home. And be willing to take the dog back if things don't work out.

And I'm only scratching the surface here. Let me see if I can wrap this up. Backyard breeders; although, I REALLY like the name "Greeders" aren't doing any of this. It is all about the money and they'll remain underground, under the radar selling pups for as much as they can, breeding as often as they can and getting rid of the pups as fast as they can. I don't see this bill changing any of that.

Instead I see this bill adding additional costs to a hobby that is already very expensive. If the expense doesn't break the backs of responsible breeders, permitting will. Some municipalities will simply not allow it in order to avoid the cost of enforcement.

I genuinely encourage constructive disagreement.

last edited by JENGOSMonkey

My first basenji I got from a breeder that ended up being super shady, when I got her she was very sick with parvo and I was young and not really educated on basenjis I just came across the puppies and she passed away 5 days after I got her, we tried meds and all that and it was the most heartbreaking experience.

@jengosmonkey I am not about to disagree with you. You have the right of it.

In the days when puppies were much less expensive to buy - but I guess proportionately the same as today. . . We reckoned the 1st pup out paid for the stud fee, the second puppy paid for the Vet, the innoculations - registration etc. 3rd puppy to arrive paid for food, eaten while here and to take to the forever homes for the first week or so.

The 4th to be born, you kept.

Thereafter, if there were five in the litter you got something towards bits and pieces you send away with the puppy to make the transition easier, collar, lead, sweaters, toys, scent blanket etc.

AND THEN ! the 6th would be profit !

Only trouble is, we seldom had more than 4 in the litter, occasionally five and only once six !

@ashleyalanej oh no! What a horrible experience for you! 😢

@ashleyalanej Oh, that's awful. I took my pups to meet my vet a few weeks ago. She was telling me that she's seen a rise in Parvo this year as well. Scary stuff.

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