How much evil can be bought?

Before we buy a purebred dog, especially if it is imported from abroad, it is a good idea to know the difficult implications. Attorney Idan Abuhav writes about this painful phenomenon

The gates of immigration to Israel are open to all those who want to import dogs and cats, most of them purebreds, which are sold for thousands of dollars and are used as business in every way, exactly that!. Only here we are not talking about a product, but about thousands of animals, mainly dogs, who will eventually be abandoned and, the best solution of all, arrive at the various voluntary agencies and societies for helping animals. Anyone who buys a purebred dog, should know what happens to the dog from the time it is separated from its mother (too early sometimes) until it arrives in your home. Maybe it is worthwhile to think twice about paying a fortune for a purebred dog that is shipped by airplane to Israel, or instead adopt one of the many abandoned dogs who are crying out for an adoptive home, waiting in our Society.

A simple glance at the “second-hand”-websites reveals that many puppies of purebreds are for sale. Is any test being done about the quality of the adoption and the ability to deal with the care of the dog? As it seems, the only thing that is important to the owners of the puppies is the readiness for you to come up with the money and, also, when you have a number of small puppies in your house, at some stage you simply want to part with them, even at a price lower than “market price”.

At the websites of many importers it is possible to purchase puppies exactly the same way as you purchase any other product on the internet, by credit card. This leads to the fact that the buyer does not know what he is buying – both in the aspect of the personality of the dog and in the aspect of its health – not to mention that the whole process of checking vaccinations is problematic.

In contrast to people for whom dogs are no more than a business, the important parameter that is checked out in every responsible society, in every organization for animal welfare that has self respect, is the character, the personality, of the prospective buyer of the animal. Even if the seller of the animal is a righteous and trustworthy person, does he make an effort to receive some more details from or about the would-be purchaser? Perhaps we are speaking of a person buying a dog who does not relate to dogs; maybe he is buying a dog that is not appropriate for him or his family. The non-compatibility will lead most of the time to the abandonment of the dog or its abuse.

Another common method of purchasing a dog is to request of someone who is going abroad to also buy you a dog. Just like that! The result is that most likely the puppy is bought by someone who has no full understanding if the dog may be appropriate to their future owners. This same willing-to-please-you person could buy you a dog which is very young (“so cute”) or who does not take a certain dog because of its external appearance, which sometimes is misleading. The puppy comes to its new owners, and from this time on the road to troubles and problems is often short.

According to testimony of many buyers, often dogs are taken from their mothers before they reach the age of adoption. According to Dr. Ayah Peri of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, taking a puppy from its mother before it reaches the age of 8 weeks can cause trauma. In addition to this, the puppies that are taken from their mothers go through many hands, and since they are not vaccinated they are very sensitive to various diseases and dangers such as Parvo and Rabies. In the absence of veterinary supervision this can cause their death. And here a situation is created where the buyer, through no fault of his own, is abetting terrible suffering, or worse, to puppies by putting money into this economic (business) sector.

The Ministry of Agriculture determined a number of parameters for importing dogs that are based on regulation for importing animals. What happens to the dogs that do not stand up to the standards of the Ministry? Unfortunately these dogs are sentenced to death in Israel or are sent back to the countries from where they came, even when it is not certain if there is someone waiting to accept them back. An example of this are the Afghan puppies last year that stayed at the airport in Israel for a number of days in difficult conditions and afterwards those who were still alive were supposed to return to the airport in Bangkok.

Cooperating with cruel dog sellers
The essence of this kind of purchasing is cooperating with the sellers, whose actions and motives are not those that are for the good of the dog. Often a puppy is sold when it is ill, due to lack of proper care in the hands of the seller. The result is that the seller receives his money and uses it to order additional puppies and import them, while the desperate buyer many times has to invest thousands of shekels in veterinary care for the dog, in the best case scenario, or is in pain due to the loss upon the death of the puppy, in the worst case.

Abuse does not start in Israel. In Eastern Europe and in the Far East there is no real supervision of the breeding of dogs. The dogs come consistently from countries where people have trouble supporting themselves and it is reasonable to assume that the puppies are brought up in disgraceful conditions. Any injection of money to this industry will constitute a continuation of the situation.

These breeding-conditions, in the end, create problem dogs that are growing up with an injured personality, and it is very hard to train them.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, Tel Aviv-Yafo, receives on a constant base many dogs whose owners do not want them after they have discovered that they are not suitable for apartment houses, or they cannot be trained. For dogs of this type, in spite of their beauty, it is very hard to find a new warm home.

The situation is illogical. On one hand the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel works shoulder to shoulder with the Agriculture Ministry in the halls of the Knesset in order to promote the amendment to the Law for [the Prevention of] Cruelty to Animals that would guarantee a subsidy from the state for the neutering and castration of dogs and cats. On the other hand, the same Ministry, which is fighting for the budgeting of the law, enables this industry to worsen the situation of dogs in Israel, which as is known suffers from a great surplus number of dogs as opposed to those being adopted – both by bringing in more dogs into the country and also by not castrating or neutering these dogs (because they are a business-commodity). Thus a situation is created that the descendents of the imported dogs and cats end up as residents of the shelters of the societies and provide an additional financial burden on the philanthropic organizations that are already collapsing under the expenses they have to make for saving animals.

The solution should be permission to import animals only to someone who will conform to strict regulations, and a simple solution will be the obligation to neuter or castrate every dog or cat that comes into the country. This will decrease the suffering that these animals endure and the future suffering of the females whose new owners intend to use to recap their investment in their purchase.