Over the holidays, a young couple from my neighborhood were walking their new puppy. It was a designer breed. I mean a real designer breed. You know, the PoopieCoccaMaltese or whatever. Now Dick and Jane had lost their lovely golden retriever last spring, I had had many conversations as we met every once in a while when I was walking the dogs and they were what I would describe as ‘dog savvy’ so I was surprise when they had told me the particulars about Lucy.
They went to a breeder who had been pointed out to them as being a puppy mill. Their intention? To save a life.
The people had wanted a pretty penny for Lucy. Dick and Jane balked, but in the end Lucy was bought with a tidy sum. More than what either of them had planned on.
I cringed at the amount and they started laughing. “We know! She’s just a little mixed breed, but we just couldn’t leave her in that dump...She’s so cute, don’t you think?”
Lucy was. And very friendly for a mill puppy. We parted ways after a bit and on they went for their walk. I smiled, knowing Lucy would never be unloved, hungry or cold again. Which brings us to the question.
Is rescuing from a puppy mill the right thing to do?
If we follow the reasoning to do right when we see wrong, we are ethically and morally bound to rescue whoever needs saving. But that is exactly what creates the market for these puppy mills. By saving a life are we supporting the mill?
It is a conundrum. If we save one life from the horror of the puppy mill, are we inadvertently condemning another? One not even born yet? Or the mother that bore her? Truly it is a very difficult decision and one with only one truth. We must protect the ones who cannot protect themselves, which is the decision Dick and Jane had made, knowing full well that the consequences of their act of love could be a death sentence for another.
In the end though, how can one leave knowing they did nothing. We do create the market, but ethically we have only the truth of the situation to determine our actions.
And love is always the right choice.