I don’t pay my annual licensing fees, and I don’t donate to Mira.

April 5, 2012 ginginbonbon

I remember doing some research on the Mira Foundation when my dog, a shelter mutt with no special training other than what I learned from the internet and reading books, was doing zootherapy with children. She is fantastic with people, a real natural. And ok, she is special, but you know, they all are. (tldr; that is my point.) Mira, on the other hand, is intent on breeding their own animals or at the very least, only putting purebred dogs of a few select breeds to work.

While Mira does not claim to be any kind of animal welfare organization, I find their position surprising. Given the business they’re in, I’m sure they’re well aware of the transformative power of dogs. Domestic dogs can do some pretty incredible things. They change and enrich people’s lives. They are beautiful, honest, happy creatures that deserve much better than the short, miserable lives afforded to most of them the world over as well as in our own country.

Dogs bred by Mira have no trouble finding loving, stable homes, this is true. Thousands of people get on waiting lists in the hopes of acquiring just such a dog, one that didn’t make the cut to assist a person with a disability. But a lot of these homes would be perfect for a shelter dog, too, maybe it wouldn’t be a Labernese or whatever, but still a dog that is really just as good for your average family. (It’s true. Take a purebred puppy, for instance, acquired from a breeder at an age when you can’t even really tell what the temperament will be like at maturity, not that would-be dog owners know jack about that sort of thing, or care. A person would have a very difficult time, to say the least, convincing me that that puppy is somehow a better option, like a smarter purchase for them or some shit. Dogs are living, sentient, intelligent beings, not manufactured goods. I can’t understand how people who pretend to care about animals in any capacity can breed them, and/or, in most cases, $upport breeding operations, no matter how “ethical,” when so many die simply for lack of a home. Let me reiterate: they are put to death, in droves, because there is nowhere for them to go.) It is well known that mixed breed dogs live longer and have fewer health problems than purebreds, and they can be very bright. The expected lifespan of a Bernese Mountain Dog is a whopping 6 to 8 years.

Basically, Mira insists on trying to accomplish through breeding what could be done by applying some elbow grease to what is currently an out of control fucked up situation. In trying to establish a Labernese breed standard for themselves, they reject dogs with the wrong colouring, for fuck’s sake. Shelters and rescues are literally overflowing with sound animals with strong working abilities, trust. With these dogs, you also wouldn’t have to wait for months, providing costly care for a puppy, to know if they will be able to do the job as a young adult, and then of course bury them at the ripe old age of seven. And on and on it goes, litter after litter after litter. It’s ridiculous.

I know you can hardly post a negative opinion of animal breeding in certain corners of the internet without a bunch of people jumping all over you for being just so MEAN and don’t you know responsible breeders do it for the love etc. I’m sure it’s real rewarding to be so devoted to a breed and all, but when you’re done being super defensive via walls of text, kindly join us back here on planet Earth. Spend a day with the dogs at a shelter, or better yet, get to know tons of them by volunteering regularly or fostering. You’ll see, NOTHING is worth that kind of suffering. The idea that you must breed and breed and breed to get the dog you want, or to get some kind of idiot-proof working dog (as if that’s how it works, and as if all that breeding itself comes at no cost), that is just plain wrong.

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