Saturday, October 20, 2007

Iggy/Ellen bottom line

My daughter, Annie, is a licensed dog trainer and a life-long dog rescue person. Here is her take on the Iggy/Ellen saga:

The thing that disturbs me the very most about the whole Iggy/Ellen saga is that we are not pointing a finger at the real problem with the situation: if Iggy (and his 5 million fellow canines destroyed in shelters every year) had never been bred, he would not have been homeless. Had he not been homeless, we would not have a weeping TV host who thought she was doing a good thing by rescuing a dog. As a rescuer who is on the front lines every day trying to stem the tide of homeless dogs in my community, I am deeply saddened that we as a group and we as a nation have been talking about Iggy and Ellen for more than a week. To me, the rescue lost an incredible public spokeswoman for homeless dogs with this episode with Ellen.

Why not check out the home she wanted for Iggy and if it was good for that dog, adopt the dog to them. If the home was not right, find them a dog that was (unless the home just wasn't up to par). Then all go on Ellen's show as happy partners who can effectively talk about the other 5 million dogs who are being killed year in and year out for lack of a good home, or lack of a bad home, for that matter. Turn Ellen and her rich friends into strong, vocal and effective advocates for all of the Iggys in need. They could have even created an Iggy's Fund and named Ellen the honorary chairwoman and used that many to educate, educate, educate the nation about the vast problem.

I have always, always felt that breeders should have to pay a license fee to breed. And they should pay that fee directly to honorable, registered, non-profit rescue organizations who have nothing to do with the wholesale slaughter that is happening in our shelters. Or to a non-profit spay/neuter clinic. Or to a low income vet clinic. Or even to we trainers who train shelter dogs for a song. Or to a spay/neuter education group.

And before I am beaten up to much for my thoughts on rescue, I have had 6 shelter dogs come through our home in the past 3 weeks. All got spayed/neutered, current on all shots, put on HW and flea prevention, taught basic manners and all will be adopted into appropriate homes. These dogs were chosen for their excellent temperament. There are thousands more like them who will die before me and any other legitimate rescuer can come for them.

I can write volumes about the nice dogs our non-profit has saved from shelters. But we feel we are swimming upstream and not even able to make much of dent. We know we can only make a difference to the individual dog, one dog at a time. If people could not breed with no constraints and with no obligation to the dog world, then my group on thousands like ours would not need to be here.

Spay and neuter your dogs. We will have fewer weeping TV hosts as a result.

Annie Phenix
Bertram, Texas
APDT #72945


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Annie! People want to breed just a certain type of animal, forgetting that there's so many animals out there needing a good home! -- Denise

Dave said...

I totally agree with you, Marina had a golden opportunity to put a positive spotlight on animal rescue. Had she made a compromise she might have been able to bring in more money to her organization, thus she could rescue even more dogs.

Now her funds might dry up and she could be putting at risk the dogs she currently has in her care. I know in one of her interviews, she said she was paying for her dogs care with her own money.


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