"Save a Lab, have a friend for life!"
Why do Labs Need to be Rescued?
Courtesy of Margie Mullan and Cynthia Round
We are sometimes asked, "Why can't this puppy or dog find a family in Arkansas/Mississippi/Louisiana/Tennessee? What is wrong with him/her?" The answer is that absolutely NOTHING is "wrong" with these lovely dogs. They were simply born in the wrong region! Labradors are not valued in the Southern states for four main reasons:
- Spay/neuter laws are not strictly enforced (and many residents believe a dog loses his/her instinct and aptitude for hunting when they are sterilized.) The number of intact dogs is enormous, and many of them are allowed to run free and mate indiscriminately. These practices produce hundreds of Labradors and LabrAdorables (a breed created when a Labrador and another Adorable dog have a family). Because Labradors are so numerous, dogs are discarded because they have small physical "flaws". Dogs are abandoned because they have a small white spot on their chest (which is allowed under the breed standard) or because their hair is slightly longer than many local dog fanciers prefer. Life in the South is not easy for Labradors who do not meet the strict standards of local "experts".
- Labrador females have large litters (10-12 puppies are not uncommon), and the number of deserving homes in the mid-South's small population is simply not adequate to accommodate all of the puppies.
- Some Southerners hope to supplement their incomes by breeding and selling dogs. These "breeders" essentially operate small-scale puppy mills and refuse to acknowledge that the "demand" for their "product" is very low. For example, one rural Arkansas woman recently decided to supplement her welfare payments by breeding Labradors. She traded some food stamps for the $10 adoption fee charged by the municipal shelter for a female Labrador. This woman already had a male dog chained in her front yard, so she expects this helpless female to produce numerous puppies. Economics 101 teaches that the outlook for profits is dim when "breeding stock" can be purchased for $10 at the local "dog pound", but she expects a good return on her "investment" in this new "business venture".
- Some dogs lack the enthusiasm to plunge into icy waters after a hapless water fowl. The Labrador population booms in southern shelters when the duck hunting season ends as dogs with inadequate hunting skills are "surrendered". Some Labradors do not get the opportunity to save their own lives by hunting. The operators of the small-scale puppy mills "liquidate" the dogs who were not purchased before the duck hunting season ends. Some of these breeders shoot their "excess inventory". Other breeders deliver these innocent dogs to local shelters where they have little chance for adoption (especially if they are black). Other unwanted dogs are simply abandoned in the countryside to fend for themselves.
Please consider one of our wonderful labs as an addition to your family.
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