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By SANDRA ECKSTEIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ron and Ginger Anspaugh's dream dog -- a purebred English springer spaniel -- came from a pound in Jackson, Miss.

Michael and Jody DuShane got their newest pug from a pug rescue group.

Debbie and Gary Kazmier's show-quality black Persian cat was dumped with a cat rescue organization by a breeder who needed to get rid of some stock.

Those are three of an estimated 1.5 million purebred pets taken into shelters each year. That's why advocates for animal rescue recommend people consider animal shelters and rescue groups even if they're looking for a purebred pet. And don't believe that all the animals in shelters are "damaged." Shelter workers say the problem is usually with the owners, not the pets.

" 'We had a baby.' 'We're moving.' 'The kid is allergic.' We hear that every day," said Dorothy Wissler, director of Bartow County Humane Society, which works with the county animal control. "I've had unbelievable purebred dogs come in with their papers and even a receipt showing they paid $700, $800 ,even $1,200, for the dog they're dumping."

Gail Miller, a spokeswoman for the AKC, said people often want registered dogs to have a better idea of size, temperament, length of coat and other details. She said most purebreds that end up in shelters are dogs bought on impulse from backyard breeders who sell in the newspaper, or from pet shops.

But even if the dog has "papers," there's no guarantee it will look like the dogs they see at AKC shows. "Registration doesn't equal show quality dogs," Miller cautioned.

That's why, unless someone is really interested in showing their new pet, a rescued purebred would be just as good -- and much cheaper -- than a dog from a backyard breeder.

"We estimate that 25 to 30 percent of animals in shelters are purebreds," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Humane Society of the United States.

More here.
 

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Recently a friend told me of a purebred basset in the local SPCA. I called the SPCA and told them if they are going to euthanize the dog to give me a call I want to look at it. The lady said they only euthanize dogs that are in real bad health or if they are real mean. He sounded like a real good dog. He's a male basset, 1 year old, he had obedience training, real friendly, etc. For anybody interested he is in the Charleston, SC, SPCA on Leeds Ave.
 
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We adopted both of our purebred dogs from the local humane society--our black lab and then our basset. It is tragic to think that people view these dogs as damaged because although some of them have their issues (no fault of their own, usually thanks to the owners or multiple owners who have given them up), our girls are the best dogs you could have ever wished for. We are grateful that others turned them in so they could be given the home that they both deserve.
 
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