Please #spayandneuter your dogs

So here’s what happened. I love dogs and I adopted Bandit from a rescue after meeting him at Petsmart.

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It was impulsive, to say the least.

Bandit had been at the shelter for six years (!!) and was quiet and submissive, which is what drew me to him.

Except when he wasn’t quiet and submissive. In certain situations — like when he was in the car and didn’t want to get out, or when he didn’t want to get off the couch or go into his crate — he would growl and try to bite.

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I couldn’t reconcile it with the usual sweet and submissive disposition I saw most of the time. But it was there. He could be aggressive and I couldn’t keep him.

I surrendered him on Tuesday. I felt terrible mostly because I shouldn’t have adopted him in the first place.

So here’s what happened: Bandit was born because some dogs weren’t spayed or neutered. (He’s not an AKC dog and had no history.) Eventually he got picked up by a no-kill shelter which most people think are fantastic — except when a dog has aggression issues and keeping it alive = wasting resources that could be used on adoptable dogs. The shelter was so eager to adopt him out, they didn’t care about his history or do any background on me. (Yes, the shelter sucked.)

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And yes, I was the impulsive sucker who adopted a dog with no history.

As much as I hated having a puppy — they chew, they pee in the house, they are susceptible to viruses — Maizey and other AKC champion-bred dogs have a history. I have her entire line going back 5 generations and her breeder would have taken her back in a heartbeat if I had had any problems with her. (And tried to, but that’s another story.)

But dogs like Bandit, who have no history, are a crapshoot. They might be awesome and well behaved, and you might do well to get them as puppies when they are blank slates (to an extent) but you might not.

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Irresponsible breeding — breeding because you want your kid to see the miracle of life, or you want your dog to have one litter before getting him neutered or her spayed — is the root of the issue, for dogs.

For humans, it’s being a sucker. My friends have suggested I not adopt any more dogs. I can’t make that promise forever — I love dogs, always have and always will. But I can promise the next dog we own will either be from a foster with a history or from a AKC breeder. No more spontaneous impulsive dogs adoptions.

Instead, I’ll donate to a spay and neuter organization if I feel like spending my money well.

Here are two four-star rated charities (from charitynavigator.org) that support spay/neuter efforts:

http://www.petsmartcharities.org/

http://www.snapus.org

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