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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Want a dog? Go to a shelter or a rescue group, not a breeder

Puppies available for adoption
A litter of Jack Russell terrier mix puppies at a shelter in Michigan City, Ind., in 2016.
(Jessica O’Brien / Associated Press)

To the editor: The article on families that pay hundreds of dollars for puppies of a specific breed that turn out to be so sick they soon die was both heartbreaking and infuriating.

It is well past time for Americans to stop buying animals from breeders, even ethical ones. Breeding perpetuates the problem of pet overpopulation.

About 1.5 million dogs and cats were euthanized last year because of a lack of shelter space and people willing to adopt. An added component of this crisis is too many owners do not spay or neuter their animals.

You want a great pet? Adopt one from a shelter. You want a purebred animal and can’t find one at a shelter? Search online for rescue groups that are breed-specific. If you find an abandoned animal, consider making it yours, as my husband and I did with the best dog ever who was with us for almost 16 years.

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Any of these approaches is a win-win for people and animals, and they are less expensive than buying from breeders.

Marilyn Shultz, San Clemente


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