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April 14th, 2009
09:19 AM ET

Biden puppy haunts breeder

CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.
CNN's Alina Cho reports on the backlash received by the breeder who sold Vice President Biden his puppy.

From CNN's Melissa Morgenweck

There was no need to ring a doorbell when we pulled up to the Wolf Den kennel in Chester county Pennsylvania. At least a dozen German Shepherds announced our arrival.

Linda Brown greeted us and introduced us to the pack including her favorite, 13 year old Hans. Most of the dogs in this section had once been breeders. Now she keeps them as her personal pets.

They are just one grouping of the approximately 80 adult dogs that she says live on her property. “German Shepherds look into the mirror of your soul. They are intelligent and protective and your animals for life.”

Brown told us that she had been up since 4am helping deliver a litter of puppies. “They like to give birth in the middle of the night when it’s quiet and still.”

As we toured the property Brown recalled the day last December when Vice President Biden came to pick out a dog. “He picked the puppies up and literally kissed them all over. And when he did finally select his puppy he just wouldn’t let him go.”

But Brown says she has paid a big price for the publicity. Soon after the visit she claims she received death threats from animal-rights groups. Dog wardens from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture also made multiple visits to inspect her kennels. (The state told one of our producers that inspections typically take place twice a year.)

Brown was cited for poor record keeping, dirty housekeeping and mistreating her dogs. Last month she was cleared of all citations. “It hurts the depth of your soul that they would even have the nerve to call me and tell me that I’m inhumane with my dogs. My dogs are treated better than most children are treated.”


Filed under: Controversy
soundoff (766 Responses)
  1. Chris

    If you have ever seen what happens at a puppy mill you would understand. Unless you have seen the horror you should not be commenting. People who love animals would not treat them the way these breeders do, and the breeders dare to call us 'activists' like that's a bad thing. Ghandi and Dr King were called 'activists' and also called 'extremists' so fine, name call, but you will not stop us from defending dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  2. maggie

    I cringe when I think about how much biden/bama could have helped the cause for homeless pets. But instead, they purchase dogs, giving undue attention to breeders and pet stores (puppy mills). I really think that this is definite character flaw of both the president and vice president. Kind of depressing. Everyone should visit an animal shelter and see the awesome dogs in cages waiting for someone to take them to a cozy home. Sad.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Swins

    the words "reputable" and breeder do not belong in the same sentence.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  4. Michele

    I have a six year old dog who is spoiled to death, but wanted her to have a companion.. So when I went to a shelter to do the so called "right thing" and adopt a puppy, it never even crossed my mind that we would be "denied" .. But we were, because my husband and I both have a job. My dog is walked daily, and has her own bed in every room of our house and is well trained. They said it was their "quirky" rules.We have a huge new home and yard and a kennel that is better than most people live in. So who are these people to tell me I should do the "right" thing and get a dog from a shelter? I tried and wasn't worthy of it. I would definitely buy a dog from a breeder, as I am sure they would care who it went to and would know that we would love and take care of it.. this is America isn't it? It is a shame that this lady is made to feel like this – as it was a shame that I could not give this shelter puppy an excellent home because of their quirky rules.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Eric

    To all the self righteous "dog breeding is bad blah blah blah" folks, there are plenty of children in need of good homes in this world but I bet that didnt stop you fools from breeding!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  6. l;kj;ljk

    What a whack job, the children she knows are obviously not well treated.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  7. Puma

    Stop blaming the breeders (entirely) and blame AKC. If you want to show a dog in agility or obedience, then they have to be pure bred! If AKC would allow a mixed breed category, then more people would be willing to get one since all they want is a nice dog to run through agility. (Plus the mixed may be better at it then any pure bred). Write to AKC and complain!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  8. Bonnie Weaver

    We recently adopted a shelter dog and she is the life and love of our home, however, if we had chosen to buy a dog from a reputable dealer that is certainly no ones business. Groups like Peta and Wild Horse Rescue people, grizzly bear and wolf groups need to put their money where there out of line thinking takes them. In our state horses starve to death because people can not afford to feed them yet there is no options for these people. Bureau of Land Management pays millions of dollars a year to feed and house wild horses that no one will adopt. These organizations need to pay for the long term care of horses, grizzlies, wolves and all other programs they support. Stop letting these groups have their way with our tax dollars. If you want to save all the shelter dogs and cats in the world just get your checkbook out!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  9. kathy

    I always have mutts from the pound. However I believe people have a right to whatever breed they want. It is sad that there are so many dogs without a home so I only hope that people neuter and one day the problem will not be so big. My current mutt is the best 50 bucks I ever spent. She makes me laugh every day.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  10. Brad

    Breeders disgust me, too. Rescue an animal. We have way too many already. There is no reason anyone needs to go pay $800 for a damn puppy with papers. Absurd.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  11. Pillow

    I do agree 80 dogs is more then a bit much. However, I am sure I read that these dogs were past breeding dogs. At least she did not neuter them and send them off to pound then because they lost their purpose. As far as Obama and Biden, REALLY? Who cares what pets they have and where they got them from, I want to know how the are going to house and feed the homeless, what are they going to do about the ecomony?
    As far as all the homeless pets, well I wonder how many of you that are so righteous have pets or have had pets who have had litters and never spayed or neutered your animal? That is why there is an over abundance of animals, the owners need to go and get their animals spayed and neutered. I have a rescued German Shepherd, fixed, a rescued mixed breed itty bitty dog, fixed, and a maltese, fixed, my two cats fixed! I rescued three of my animals and purchased one and one was free as a kitten. I am probably over board with my animals now, but they are loved, love me back and are very well cared for. So all of you out there who are into this righteous behavior look in the mirror for a moment. Instead of going on and on about breeders, why not go out and do some good in your own community, raise money to have animals spayed and neutered in your local shelters and with local families.
    But you know what they say about opinions? Opinions are like behinds, we all have one!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  12. Amy

    Good for VP Biden. He can purchase a dog if he chooses. He can adopt one too. It is his choice. Too bad all you animal rights people are not as concerned about human rights. There are actual people/children starving or living in tyranny all over the world. Imagine if you put a bit of energy into stopping the murder of unborn children in this country instead of dogs. Oh, that's right it is not murder it is a choice – your body.

    Well, it's my choice to purchase a dog and that makes me evil. It is your choice to kill an unborn child, but that is Ok? I mentioned the abortion angle because of all the fanatical animal rights people I have met – ALL have been pro-choice

    April 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  13. Angela

    Without breeders certain breeds would go extinct. The problem at shelters is not that there are necessarily too many breeders, it's that humans are diposing of animals carelessly, or not neutering/spaying their pets. The real people to blame are not breeders (although puppy mills are unmistakenly disgusting), its those who discard them to the streets, or breed them "just for money". A breeder should be in the business of keeping a certain breed alive and up to it's breed standard. Those breeders are necessary. If all breeding stopped, and all dogs were spayed/nuetered, there would be no dogs left in 15 yrs. I don't breed, I got my dog at a shelter, but I understand the necessity of some breeders. We can be too quick to throw around blame and accusations, and hate.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  14. greg

    I have had both shelter dogs and breeder dogs. I bought the dogs directly from the breeder – not a store. I will not get a shelter dog again. Sorry. We did our best, but they never became part of our family, and eventually we had it put down after biting my kids – unprovoked. I looked at shelter dogs and the amount they were charging was about $50 less than purchasing our new puppy. I am not taking a chance on a shelter dog for that little difference. Fine people who don't get their dog fixed to pay for the care and fees related to adopting the unwanted pups they produce.
    Greg

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  15. VermontJoe

    The problem is the breeding and not nearly as much how they treat the dogs they are breeding.

    1 – Gazillions of animals are killed "humanely" every year because they can't get homes.

    2 – Women should wonder how their lives would be if they were kept and made to carry, give birth to, and give away their young over and over again. Aside from the whole "giving away" part, the physical toll the body takes when it repeatedly gives birth is obvious and these animals have no choice.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Shell

    I am a huge animal lover. Not just dogs, but all animals. Peta does do great things but, and can also hurt the reputable people who do breed. There are good breeders out there. Don't be so quick to judge.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  17. it's a free country

    The fallacy of the PC idiot:

    Hey, if you are buying a pure-bred, you are sentencing a shelter dog to death!

    is the same as:

    Hey, if you don't buy a dog at all, you are sentencing a shelter dog to death!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  18. Brigitte

    People are always asking me what kind of dog I have – he is so beautiful, funny and extremely protective – eveyone wants "one just like him". Imagine their suprise when I say he was thrown in a dumpster as a puppy and then rescued by the ASPCA. He's an adopted mongrel......and while I do find some purebreds to be nice dogs (temperment, confirmation, etc.), I've never had a purebred (we had several when I was growing up) that compared to my mutt (we refer to him as our 'couture' dog). Funny – so many people tell us that they wish we hadn't had him neutered so he could be bred......they just don't get it, do they? Real dog (or cat or horse or anything else) lovers love what a dog brings into your life. (And if you must have a purebred, you should still check out breed rescue and the shelters – they are full of labradors who 'got too big', boxers who 'play too much' and other half-grown dogs that were given up for acting like....dogs. Honestly – we really don't deserve them.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  19. Linda

    I love animals, but the animal rights people need to back off. It is NOT always possible to adopt a suitable pet from a shelter or rescue group. I had promised my 8-year-old a dog for his birthday. We visited shelters first, but the only dogs available were too large and aggressive-looking to have around my young children. We next tried to adopt from a rescue group after researching and selecting a breed that we felt would be happy with our family. The rescue group stalled us for months. Finally, about six months after my child's birthday, we got a dog from a backyard breeder. It had complete veterinary records, was in excellent health, and the breeder gave us special food and a detailed list of instructions to care for it. It was already used to children, as it had been treated as a family pet in her home. I would have loved to have saved a dog, but could not endanger my young children to do so, and the rescue group just wouldn't work with me. I still have the corgi we adopted – she is seven years old and in excellent health and has been joined by a Jack Russell we DID rescue four years ago. The Russell had been abused and was a fear-biter, but with love and patience has turned into an excellent family pet.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  20. Gayle

    I grew up on a farm in the country where against our will, people used to just drop off their unwanted dogs. There was no "pound" in our area. We adopted a few and tried to give the rest away, but could not afford to keep them all, so we ended up shooting several of them. We had those we kept, fixed, so that the problem would not be exacerbated, but felt bad about those that we could not keep. Even so, I find it odd, that so many people should be telling someone else what kind of dog they should or should not have, because of the potential death of a dog. Instead of denigrating breeders why don't you go to the source of the problem and criticize/castigate those that abandon their pets, or don't have them spayed/neutered.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  21. Renee

    This is a free country....we have the right to agree or disagree using this forum...we have the right to bear arms or choose not to...we have the right to get a dog from the pound or from a breeder. It should be nobody's business. If there are too many dogs in the pound it's because there are too many irresponsible pet owners who don't spay and neuter. The first thing I did with my purebred lab was to spay her. It's all about responsibility!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  22. Kevin

    For every human baby born, a starving orphan in a developing country dies. This is the logic being used against puppy breeders. I'm all for animal rights, but for some reason activists tend to approach the subject with a frightening dose of ignorance and self delusion. There is nothing wrong with humanely breeding healthy bloodlines, even for commercial profit. There is certainly something wrong with irresponsible pet owners who decide they no longer want to or can take care of a pet they had previously committed themselves to.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  23. Joe

    I flip houses and use 2 purebred dobermans as watch dogs at night. These dogs were bred and trained for this from a early age. How exactly could I find a dog like this at the pound? I would never trust some mutt in any newly renovated house of mine.

    PETA is nuts. Their kill rate for animals they take in is something like 400% higher than the average shelter. Sea Kittens? Human milk in ice cream? If you give money to these people then you are the real person gettin abused.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  24. lms

    With everything going on in the US and abroad...I could care less about the president and vice president's choice in a pet. I think our attention should be elsewhere. A dog is a dog.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  25. rich

    they just want some publicity, thats all. shame they have to demean and insult, let alone someone as reputable as the VP to do so. just shows you how the media is slanting things these days.

    anyone with an atempt to collect or possibility to harass, through physical violence or otherwise these days is seen as a valid debt collector demeaning everyone else, whether the 'collector' has a right to do so or not.

    this applies not only to a bill collector, but anyone is general who wants to put someone else down, even if it is a personal reason. There is MEDIA law against such acts. I should know.

    seems a lot of people are getting improperly 'defamed characters' lately because of this. it goes to show you exactly how much one-sided bigotry exists in america. we were supposed to have put a stop to this many years ago. this hatred for our fellow citizens HAS GOT to STOP.

    to me it sounds like america has mad cow disease. weird, because i dont seem to be affected by this 'hoopla'. I know others that, like me see this going on and are taking a stand against it, even if it seems an uphill battle.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  26. Karen

    Did you know that President Obama PROMISED the Humane Society of the United States that he would adopt a shelter dog? I am an Obama supporter, but I'm ashamed of him for breaking that promise. Give me a week (or less) and I could find a purebred, unwanted German Shepherd that someone once just couldn't live without, but now doesn't have time for/can't afford/doesn't have the room for/recently had a baby/ blah, blah, blah. There are other ways to obtain a purebred dog without going to a breeder.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  27. pat

    If it were not for breeding, there would be no dogs except the wolf.
    This in fact is the goal of PETA.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  28. Tom

    The reality is this:

    If we stop the breeders and then there are no more unwanted pets, the poor people who put those unwanted animals out of their misery and the poor souls who produce the chemicals to do so will be out of jobs.
    In the face of this recession/depression we need those jobs. Additionally dog is considered good eats in part of the world, it may come to pass here too.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  29. PETA is evil

    Follow this link for a real eye opener into how much peta REALLY cares about animals:

    http://www.petakillsanimals.com

    CNN probably doesn't have the cahones to post this though...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  30. Myeshia

    The breeder should not be upset by any means. Those who sent death threats need to open their minds. She did a good thing! Claudine made an excellent about how breeders keep the integrity of the breed and ethical treatments. There is nothing wrong with wanting a pure bred dog!! Yes their are so many animals in shelters that need homes too. While we're talking homes being needed, there are children that need homes too! Should we adopt dogs or children? PETA, you do good work, but what about our children? Shouldn't we perhaps put our funding toward taking care of the potential dog owners?? I'm just sayin'...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  31. m.

    Again, PETA is mentioned nowhere in this article.

    I am interested in animal rights, hand out literature and follow a diet that backs me up.

    BUT

    I think that PETA sucks. I think everyone here agrees with that. They dont represent everyone who believes in animal rights.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  32. Greg

    To say everyone who buys from a breeder should be ashamed of themselves since they did not buy from a rescue is wrong. I commend the work all of our animal shelters do, and I encourage animal adoptions. In the end, it is that persons choice where they get their pet from. Some people, myself included, and uneasy about buying a pet from a shelter. I have no way to know what kind of upbringing that pet has gotten. I will not risk the safety of my family and friends to a dog I have not trained or can personally vouch for how it was raised.
    I will also never buy from a pet store, or from a breeder who I have not personally met, interviewed, and can see how the animals are bred, housed and maintained.

    Animal rights groups need to take a smarter approcah to changing the perceived injustices around animal treatment, because there are many to deal with. Keep to trying to shut down true puppy mills and raise the standards to make sure all pets are treated humainly.
    Good, responsible breeders should not be vilified by the public for providing a service people find valuable.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  33. X'ad

    I have spent a considerable fraction of my income for years contributing to rescues and shelters, but think responsible breeders are also an asset (unlike puppy mills with their disgusting conditions and extreme cruelty).

    I'd be interested to know how many of the shrieking critics on here actually contribute or volunteer at rescues and shelters. I'd be willing to bet a bunch that there are a lot of hysterical trolls on here whose interest in limited to shooting off their mouths (well, keyboards....)

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  34. Jack

    "Who cares is a dog is purebread? (come on – that would be called incest if it were humans doing that!)"

    I guess Pam doesn't know anything about genetics. Pure breeds aren't breed with their own blood line. Just like any other species, incest breeding weakens the blood line making the species more prone to inheriting genes that are mutated, causing disease, malformations, etc. It's ok Pam, you shouldn't feel too bad that my purebreed lab is more intelligent than you. Afterall, you're probably the result of incest breeding in West Virginia, or perhaps Kentucky. BOOYA!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  35. Scott

    I guess I should feel guilty for having my own kids since there are so many babies that are in the need of adoption? Or would it not be fair to compare humane euthanization of stray pets to a life of hell and little chance to babies that grow up without families. There is much to be done in this world, focus your energies on something productive. Being angry and reputable breeders because others people irresponsibility with their own pets is a bit misguided.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  36. smk

    "JD" when people are charged and tried for murder when they kill a living breathing child then I will support your arguement. Abortion is legal, and I will continue to fight for a womans right to choose. It may not be my choice for myself but I will not take away that right from my daughters, or your daughters for that matter.

    A child is never as popular to support than when it is the womb. Once a kid is born, they can go thru all kinds of hell and abuse and the pro life people don't raise a hand to help them. Where does that fit in with your pro life view?

    April 14, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  37. Jen

    dog breeders also result in millions of in thousands of animals being put into local kill shelters. I work at a shelter where 1 out of every four of our dogs are pure bred. If you love a breed you do not have to make money off of the puppies. Stop pretending like these people do this out of hte goodness of their hearts. If they loved animals they would adopt all of the pure breds out of local shelters.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  38. AJ

    Response to: "I’m confused as to why there’s even a demand for “purebreds”. "

    I wanted a purebred because:
    – I wanted to know what size the dog would grow to be.
    – I wanted to know what temperament to expect, and choose a temperament that fit what I desired in a pet.
    – I wanted to know grooming requirements.
    – I wanted to know if the dog was at higher risk for certain health problems, and what exactly those health problems would be. Some breeds and more sensitive to various medications than other breeds as well, if someone doesn't want to deal with that sensitivity, they shouldn't get a breed that has it. (For example, collies owners avoid using ivermectin, which is common in heartworm preventatives, because collies are notoriously sensitive to it.)
    – I do agility with one of my dogs, so I want a sound dog. It's important to me that my dogs come from parents and grandparents that have been screened for things like luxating patellas so that there's a smaller risk that the dog I acquire may have that problem. Bad knees + jumping = not good for the dog.

    Not everyone wants a mutt. Dogs are not just the same inside with a different shell on the outside. Even with small companion breeds, there's huge differences. For example: a yorkie and a toy poodle, while both being about the same size, are completely different dogs! They act very differently from each other.

    Many people still actually USE their dogs for things like herding and hunting. They will be much more successful if they have a dog that was actually bred to do the job. Which do you think will herd sheep better: a Border Collie or a Greyhound? Which do you think will retrieve birds better: a Lab or a Pekingese?

    Less dogs would end up in shelters if
    (a) People RESEARCHED prior to getting a dog. Many shelter dogs were impulse buys. Over 50% of dogs in shelters are between 6 months and 3 years old. About 40% of dogs in shelters were owned for between 7 months and 1 year before being given up. And 96% of dogs in shelters have had no obedience training.
    (b) People got a dog that fit their lifestyle, not just get a dog based on looks. Sure, that Belgian Malinois is beautiful, but it's WAY too much dog for most people.
    (c) People didn't buy from petstores or backyard breeders. A shelter, breed rescue group, or reputable breeder is the way to go. The latter three will screen the home to make sure the people know what having a dog entails and the the breed and the individual dog is a good fit. If they don't think it will be successful, they don't sell the dog to them. Versus petstores and backyard breeders who have the "take the money and run" approach.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  39. dogs4ever

    Some of the comments on this list really show the stupidity and blind hate people have for breeders. I am a breeder, and a good one at that. Dogs are my life. They are my family's life. Now don't get me wrong, we do not breed a LOT dogs. In fact, we do a single litter every couple of years. We do it because we love the breed.

    We DO NOT do it for the money. Over the last 5 years I have invested over $50,000 of my own money in the care, feeding, showing, testing of ALL of my dogs. Anyone with even the most basic of math skills can figure out I do not MAKE ANY MONEY and in fact I operate at a huge loss. The dogs get as good or better care than most humans EVER will. They are also loved like no other. They live like Kings and Queens in my house. If people would learn to treat each other and their kids as well as my dogs are treated, a lot of the problems in this world would go away..

    When my dogs need something, they get it.. Regardless of cost. IF I see a puppy to someone, I will ONLY sell to people I know either personally or through a close friend. The reason is simple, I care about the dogs and I want to track them through their life. To be there for them and their new owner when needed. And I use an iron clad contract that give me the right to take back the animal at any time if I feel they are not being treated well. The new owners are not permitted to sell or give away the dogs without going through me so I can check the new owners out and get a new contract. (No I don't make any money off of that). The pups that leave my house are guaranteed a good home forever with me and my family. (That’s part of the reason we do not breed frequently)

    I will only allow a single female to be bred twice in her lifetime. If they are not going to be bred and are not going to be show, then I spay / neuter them by choice.

    Now, I am sure some people will look at this and say that I am an unusual case and that most breeders are not like me. Well, I know a LOT of breeders and MOST of the ones I know are like me for the most part.

    Now that I got that off my chest, let me flip the coin.. There ARE really bad breeders in this world. The kind that you see on the news that only care about the money and not the animals. Horrible conditions abound. Breeding the females CONSTANTLY and without care. Keeping dogs caged ALL day and night. I despise this type of "breeder". Actually they are not breeders at all. They are what you would correctly term as a "back yard puppy mill". A "back yard breeder" is actually a term that was adapted from "hobby breeder". (I am a hobby breeder).

    When I find someone like that I try to educate them. But more importantly, whenever I hear of someone looking to get a dog, I educate them on how to not buy from one of those breeders and how to spot them. Furthermore, I heavily encourage people to adopt from shelters. If someone wants a specific breed, they can go to the breed rescue groups and save an unwanted dog. In the rare cases I have had someone ask about getting a dog from me, I ALWAYS, ask them why they want my breed of dog (Collies) specifically and then I give them a list of some semi-local collie rescues. If they are not dead set on a certain breed, I tell them to go to the local shelter and adopt. It's the best way.

    I try to educate everyone I know and talk to about ways to get good dogs from other than a breeder. But if they REALLY want one of my dogs, AND they can pass ALL of my criteria, I MIGHT sell them a dog.

    What gets me is how all the haters out there automatically assume that if someone breeds a dog, they are an evil animal abuser out to only make money and make the problems worse. The fact is that these types of people are so blinded by their own stupidity and hate and PETA / HSUS propaganda that they think ALL breeders are the same. And they will stop at NOTHING to hurt a breeder. They will lie, cheat, make anon calls to authorities, and even directly attack the breeder, their home, family and even the dogs.

    People need to stop and think before they act and or open their mouth to spill hatred about something they actually know relatively little about. If you think PETA and the HSUS are actually protecting animals, then you are a serious part of the problem. WAKE UP.

    Oh and by the way, yes millions of cats and dogs (and other animals for that matter) are put down in shelters every year. But guess what... In some areas, a VERY large number of those animals are actually imported. Either from other States, counties, cities and even countries. Yes you read that right. For instance a great deal of the animals in the southwest US are bred in Mexico. And if you think US puppy mills are bad, you should see the ones in Mexico...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  40. Amy

    reposting what Rhonda said...."Reputable dog breeders spend thousands of dollars on pre- breeding test on their dogs-hips, eyes, genetics and are treated better than most children in our country.
    On ANY DAY- you can catch a GREAT WELL KNOWN breeder who has been up all night delivering puppies, hasn’t had a shower for 2 days, and not everything is it’s usually bleached down normal state. Dogs from these breeders try to preserve the integrity of the breed, sell dogs with contracts that state if the dog is being mistreated- THEY can take the dog back- and they care about every puppy that is blessed on their kennel.
    SHAME ON PEOPLE FOR NOT KNOWING ABOUT THE SPORT OF CONFIRMATION, OBEDIENCE, AGILITY and the other programs sponsored by the AKC. And GOD bless our breed rescue programs out there- that do the same. A Mutt is not for everyone- and DESIGNER DOGS ARE MUTTS- just with a higher price and a backyard breeder who hasn’t spent the time and money invested in the quality of their dogs"

    i've grown up in a home of a reputable breeder who competed in confirmation and so on.... believe me there was NEVER any money to be made. i grew up poor most of my life. our dogs recieved the best care and still recieve the best care. when someone simply did not want their dog anymore because of divorce or what have you, who took the dog back? my parents, because guess what, it was written into the CONTRACT that they were to bring the dog back for any reason no questions asked if they did not/could not have it.

    you wanna buy a dog from my family? prepare to go thru the most intensive interview you've ever been thru. i also worked at the local animal shelter for 3 years and took care of all the unwanted abandoned dogs and cats. you could be in and out of that shelter in an hour with your new pet and really not know a thing.

    dont even get me started on "no kill" shelters.....

    shame on the obamas for accepting a dog as gift. and shame on any of you for wanting to give a pet as a gift, they are not gifts, they are parts of your family. even hunting dogs are respected family members.

    so please take the time to understand a true akc reputable breeder and your average backyard puppy mill.

    look into breed clubs, hell, ask to see their annual budget and take a look at how much money is being spent on rescue. did you know that breed clubs go to auctions of puppy mills just to buy any of their own breed? take a notice of how much of the budget is being spent on health education for the breed, and health testing. how much money is being donated for heath research. PAY ATTENTION TO THAT.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  41. KJ

    For those of you that talk about getting a pet from a pound vs a breeder. It is your choice...... I never understand why people feel the need to judge others to their opinions. I have 2 beautiful dogs from breeders and I will not give them up for anything. So don't put people like me in a stereotype just cause I bought my dogs from a breeder. I have nothing against dogs from the pound, but how many pure breeds do you see in pounds????? why don't you talk to the people that let their mutts breed mutts.......

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  42. Mutt like me

    A Dog Pimp is a Dog Pimp no matter how clean or dirty the brothel is...
    One can argue how much they love the breed but then one could also argue that this pimp considers another breed or mutt a lesser being. In human terms that is, I believe, called racism. I will admit it may be a stretch but if Racist Dog Pimps want to tout the good they do for their chosen race of Dog, I guess all we can do is keep as good an eye on them as possible until the laws change which makes this type of prostitution illegal. I thought we had proven that the concept of a master race was a bad idea and that the Mutt in all of us is what ultimately blurs the lines or our differences and brings us all together. The Human experiment is just that, as should the Canine experiment...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  43. Seamus O'Riley

    So what, breeding should be abolished? Think, for a moment, of all the people who would lose their jobs. Of course people should adopt from shelters, but you militants need to understand that breeding will continue existing even after your feelings have been hurt and you start hurling death threats at people for doing their jobs.
    Harness that rage toward something practical, like getting dogs adopted. Here's the thing, Biden is not going to apologize and return the dog just because you are angry. Stop wasting time.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  44. I am appalled

    at the hatred and mean spiritedness the comments on this show. People doing something they love is a freedom we all enjoy. If they enjoy breeding dogs and treat them well that is their business. Blame people for the evils they do in discarding animals do not blame those who love and care for their animals.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  45. James

    Aren't there a bunch of sea kittens still in need to protection? And isn't PETA busy supporting the latest tour of the Rescue Shelter Boys?

    But, seriously, how is a person wanting a specific breed any different than a person wanting to have their own child instead of adopting? I think as long as breeders are responsible and mistreat their animals and don't overbreed and end up putting dogs down because they can't place them all, then the real blame lies with owners who don't get their pets spayed or neutered or who take on the responsibility of a pet and then don't live up to it byeither taking it to a "shelter" or abandoning it. Those people are some sick puppies.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  46. Sydney

    You people are so high and mighty. How could you possibly judge this breeder from one CNN article? Have you been there? As for Biden, Jesus let the guy pick whatever dog he wants. This coming from a animal rescuer.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  47. it's a free country

    I am so sick of politically correct people forcing a shelter dog down my throat.

    Reasons I may not want a shelter dog:
    1) Was abused and has issues around small children.
    2) Behavior of an unknown mix might be an unknown variable.
    3) Has physical problems that would be difficult to pay for.

    Then, of course, there is the matter of whether you like the dog. Why should I get a dog I won't be crazy about, if what I want is a certain pure-bred?

    It is not my fault that there are millions of people who don't know how to properly love their dog and hold on to them. I know parents that buy their children a dog, and once puppy phase has passed, interest with their pet wanes greatly. Why should I pick up after their mistake?

    The politically correct idiots need an injection of reality on this issue...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  48. Adrian

    I am so sick of these idiots that keep saying adopt a shelter dog why would anyone see or need a breeder...are you that ignorant of the myriad of possible needs that a dog owner may be looking for? Maybe a hunting dog or a hypoallergenic dog. I tryed for 18 months to find a cockerpoo female to replace the dog I had lost to age. was on every shelters fax and call list for 50 miles and got not even a blip. I called each one at least monthly to check on there incoming and in house dogs and remind them of my intrest.

    Why would i want just that type of dog? Well I wanted a female as I have had the best luck bonding with me female dogs. A cocker/poo as they are hypo-all and just the right size for a condo but not to small to play and have fun with hiking ect.

    Stop imposing your beliefs on others or we'll unleash the muslims on you and then you will understand what it is like to be told what to think and do.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  49. Leon

    And if President Obama or Vice-President Biden would have gotten their dogs from the pound, the same people who are saying that that's what should have been done would then be saying it was all a publicity stunt. You haters need to get a life...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  50. Chris

    Some people here are just plain old 'creepy'. Get a life and stop hovering over other peoples decision about where they get their dogs or cats. Its none of your business, when it really comes down to it. Get your dog from where ever you want to get it from. Its your choice. Animal activists like PETA can suck it. Where is PETP (people for the ethical treatment of people)? In American, animals are treated better than people. Get your priorities straight. Regardless of where the animal comes from, its here and its alive and probably could use an owner.

    You extremist animal activists just set off nothing but nasty feelings in me towards you.

    BTW, Pres. Obama may have bought a dog from a breeder, but they had specific needs and they made a generous donation to the shelter in D.C. and they were reportedly very happy about the donation. So SHUT UP!

    Bring out the weepy violin sounds when you hear them whine and cry about how hard and nasty the world is to animals.
    The world is a hard and nasty place and it will never change, get out of your neo-hippy fantasy land and face that fact.

    Kudos to anyone that provides ANY animal a good home.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  51. greybee

    Ms. Brown seems like a very intelligent lady with a world class reputation for breeding fine dogs.. One can only feel sorry for her that by providing the Bidens with a wonderful puppy she has subjected herself to the scorn and hate of the PETA fanatics and associated nut cases.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  52. Kent

    It's amazing that people constantly harp on getting a breed from the shelter. I support no kill shelters, and indeed, my wife got a dog from a shelter, and my German Shepherd came from shepherd rescue. However, coming from the shelter, my wife's lab was severely abused, and it's taken almost a year to where he'll come anywhere near me. Also, think about it, their history, their linage, their personalities, you won't know anything about it. He's turned out to be the hardest dog I've ever tried to train, and my mom has been training German Shepherds for 40 years (me for the past 6, once I got my own 2 shepherds, with one just passing away recently from lymphoma). I can understand going to breeders...especially with dogs who were OVERBRED in the 80s like German Shepherds. You want them to be certified to not have a lineage of hip problems, spinal problems, heart defects, etc, which overbreeding in the US caused. Both my shepherds were from a European lineage, and thus don't have the major health problems that plague American lineage shepherds. So, stop BASHING breeders and listen to what a lot of other posters have said.. they're keeping the integrity of the breed, and the traits they're known for. And some people are actually allergic to classes of dogs (like me, hounds.. the oil in their hair sends my allergies off), and going to a shelter, you NEVER know what you're going to end up getting. So think, and stop spouting off non-sense. Oh, and how are you going to get any dogs at all if all you do is adopt from a shelter with neutered/spayed dogs? Think about your lines before bashing breeders who care about their dogs.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  53. Just Joe

    Thank you all for infringing upon the rights of others. Some people prefer to have a dog with a known pedigree. That's their choice.

    Other people prefer to select a dog from a shelter. That's their choice.

    As long as the dogs are not mistreated (including at the shelter) so what?

    But for most of the posters an individual's right to choose is wrong. Once again the only right way is their way.

    I get irritated by the many people who think they have a right to choose for me.

    Go take a hike Fascits!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Jan Anderson

    any person with 80 dogs is NOT a reputable breeder. This is a puppy mill, pure and simple. A reputable breeder has just a few, top-quality dogs and doesn't breed very often...a reputable breeder produces show-quality dogs. A person with 80 dogs is obviously breeding for quantity, not quality. There's no way this woman can be treating 80 dogs as her personal pets....not enough time in the day.
    Shame on her. Shame on Joe Biden for buying a dog from a puppy mill. If you want a German Shepherd, google "German Shepherd rescue"....you'll get hundreds of hits.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  55. JDavie

    It's obvious that some people are missing the point on both sides of the issue. It is easy to deem someone going to a breeder for a specific breed of dog as selfish; however, many people going to breeders, recognized by the AKC, are in it for the life of the dog. Specific breeds have different temperments and many families with kids, or in certain living conditions, search the different breeds looking for the dog that will best suit the family and enjoy it's life as their pet. As inhumane as you want to make it, it is not practical to demand that these people adopt from the shelter. Many of the animals you see at the shelter have been returned as many as 5 times. Should we chance the dog to being returned once again or face being put down? How dare we suggest that everyone adopt! Adopting is a HUGE responsibility! Many of these dogs come from questionable backgrounds and have been through trauma. It takes a SPECIAL BREED of humans to adopt and give these poor dogs the change in life they deserve. I will not carelessly tell some guy I don't know to adopt and endanger a dog that has already been through enough torment. For those not suited for the unconditional love of a questionable pet then indeed, go for the pet that suits you. Find the reputable breeder that will help you find the puppy you will want to keep in your family for as long as it lives.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  56. Mike

    Thanks for your note Miranda. I've had both dogs from a shelter and dogs from breeders. I like having the choice to pick. When I purchased my German Sheppard from a breeder for my young kids I wanted a dog that had spent his early weeks with his/her mother and didn't have any emotional issues like many from the shelter. You don't know what issues they may have faced. On the other hand I've had dogs from the shelter and they do require a little more time to adjust and they turned out fine. I just didn't want to chance having a larger dog around my kids that was emotionally unstable.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  57. Amanda

    Dont say dog breeders are all good (im not saying the one where obama got his dog is bad) there are many puppy mills that leave the dogs in far less than acceptable conditions and the mothers are just treated as breeding bitches
    its not right.
    Im sure the place they got their dog was fine because Obama probably would have said something about how the place was being run and how the dogs were being treated.
    Most puppy mills and breeders are bad.
    and people who breed and breed and breed animals need to think twice about the number of times they make their dogs get pregnent it may cause heath issues

    Now excuse me i must get back to school

    April 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  58. Chris

    If someone wants a shelter dog, then they should go to a shelter and adopt. If a person would prefer a purebred animal, then that is their right as well. It's a personal choice, and no-one has the right to dictate to anyone else where/how they get their new pet.

    Something that seems to be missed in all of the various rants about only getting shelter pets: If we did not have breeders protecting/producing their individual breeds, eventually all dogs would be so cross-bred that the individual lines would no longer exist.

    One last remark in response to those that condemn the profiting off of the reproduction of animals. If you eat meat, eggs, fish, purchase or use any other animal derived product, you're supporting "profit from the reproduction of animals." Unless you are completely vegan, and only purchase/use fully synthetic items, you have no room to judge those whose livelihood depends on the production or output of animals, regardless of the animal in question.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  59. Ryan

    But adopted dogs from the pound aren't CUTE PUPPIES.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  60. Sun

    Where is PETA?? I suggest you do a little more research on PETA. Their headquarters put down a huge number of animals per year...why aren't they being put into homes??? And this is at the headquarters.

    And as to dogs should not be bred....sheesh...same can be said of certain people.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  61. Kaylee

    I hope everyone who is saying how bad this is realizes Obama got a purebred from a breeder as well, going against his promise of a shelter 'mutt like me'.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  62. Guy

    PETA strikes me as just another loud extremist group that has become so militant that they are now the same as the people they supposedly protest against. All of the camera-hungry special-interest organizations look and sound the same to me now. Extremism is ugly in all its forms.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  63. realitycheck

    Hey libtards a breeder is not the same as a puppy mill. Legitimate breeders are a benefit to all breeds.
    How is breeding dogs bad? It is the only way for AKC breeds to continue to thrive. Find some other ridiculous cause to whine over!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  64. janne

    Pam are you a purebread. I would think NOT. I hope that you would think twice before making such accusations. Rescue dogs or shelter dogs are not the type of dog that are in most cases suitable in a home environment, especially if they are not let out for a good walk. My neighbor has 3 large dogs (shelter dogs) and 2 small tiny ones. They are hardly out exercsing those dogs which includes the tiny barking ones. The children must have taught these animals to sing and I have had to call on the Police many times, due to the noise. I have thought many times to throw rat poisoning into their yard to get rid of that noise.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  65. Joe

    80 dogs = puppy mill……..so i guess she takes each one out for a nice walk everyday?
    80 dogs times 20 minutes a day equals 26+ hours a day. Those sure are long days!
    ___________________________

    If you have a big yard and your dog has others to play with you don't need to take it for a walk. I rarely take my dogs for walks since they have a big yard and eachother.

    Why are people hating on dog breeders? You do realize that there are tons of people who don't want adopted dogs right? These are the type of people who take care of their animals and make sure they never go to the pound. Oddly enough it's people who adopt that are most likely (over 300% more) to either abandon or bring their dog back to the shelter. Why do you rarely see pure breds at the pound? Because the people who buy purebreds care and educate themselves enough to be good owners.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  66. JJ

    How come everyone blames the breeder for dogs and cats ending up in shelter. How about placing the blame where it lies, on the owners who are so qiuck to give up their pets when they become an inconvenience. They use all kinds of excuses to give up their pets, allergies, moving to apartment, having a child, no time to take care of them etc.... What a bunch of baloney!!!! I am not a breeder or animal rights activist. PEOPLE if you are not hundred percent committed to the care of an animal do not get one. This is how they end up in shelters. I think breeders are convenient to blame for this. How about getting a list of everyone who has surrendered an animal and jumping down their throats about it.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  67. Todd W

    This is just ridiculous. It is fact that most dogs in shelters are the product of irresponsible dog owners, not reputable breeders. All these people keep talking about all the dogs in shelters and blame breeders for them being there. How about you look at the problem with a little intelligence rather than just emotion?

    Irresponsible dog owners who don't have their pets neutered and let them roam free or mate with other dogs that they own are major part of the problem. Puppy mills who breed for money and not for integrity are another major part of the problem. Reputable breeders contribution to the problem is is very small. Dogs from reputable breeders end up with the most caring and responsible owners a majority of the time. PETA needs to focus on the people who are responsible for putting those dogs in those rescue shelters, not the people they feel are responsible for not getting them out.

    We had a very bad experience with a rescued St. Bernard who nearly ripped the face off of a family friend in a totally unprovoked, unexpected attack. I am sure it had something to do with it's upbringing, but what that upbringing entailed was not revealed to us. Never again......

    April 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  68. Dog Lover

    Walt/Irene/Steve – FYI, this is not Republican harrassment, the state of Pennsylvania is controlled by Democrats. Check your facts.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  69. Christine

    I'm so amazed by the absolute stupidity of people who compare giving birth to your own child to purchasing a dog from a breeder. Wow!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  70. Leon

    The comments "against" what the woman is doing is hilarious to me. There are worse things out there in the world than to worry about one business-minded individual. She breeds dogs and sells them because there is a demand! If all of the self-righteous people who have commented so far cared so much then they would go out to an animal shelter and adopt a homeless anilmal today! Or maybe help a homeless person. Or what about adopting an orphan–the orpanages are pretty full these days...

    Leave the woman alone. She hasn't mistreated the dogs that she has and that's all that truly matters.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  71. animal lover

    People are so crazy. I have a pure bred dog, but I also have a mixed breed and I took in a dog that showed up at my house. There is nothing wrong with pure bred dogs or cats or horsee or cows or etc.....Ya'll need to get a life and quit worrying about where Biden or Obama's dogs come from it does not matter IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  72. Nick

    Yeah these are animals are part of the breeder's family, whom then turn around and sell for hundreds of dollars. great family. i know the condtions with 80 of my family members would just be lovely. breeders are just lookin to make buck plain and simple.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  73. dave mcnich

    Breeders should be examined closely. When Biden went there to get a dog, she should have expected something like this. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to find that Biden himself had something to do with the investigation. If not, where was he when this lady was being treated so badly?

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  74. Emma

    Unlike the majority of people sharing their uneducated opinions, I have actually done rescue work and reside in PA. There is nothing wrong with dog-lovers patronizing breeders. The good breeders do uphold breed standards for the good of the breed. I wonder how many of you commenting, who decry breeders, have ever donated a dime, a minute of your time, a bag of food or towels to a rescue organization. Dog/cat rescue continues to grow in appeal–thank goodness. Please don't villify breeders when there are other viable options. Direct your ire toward your state Dept. of Agriculture, ensuring they enforce laws and shut down puppy mills and dirty pet shops. Support rescue groups who are deep in debt and short -on volunteers and foster homes: they need any help/support you can provide. I welcome the continued discourse and debate.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  75. TurtleGuy

    Rescues 99% of the time require more hands on attention. You have a daily routine that does not get deviated from. You can spend 2hrs a day with the animal making sure it feels loved. Otherwise, the rescue winds up going back, because it won't stop eating furniture or stop messing on the rug. Rescues, unfortunately, are damaged goods that require much, much more patience than the "clean slate" of a purebred from a breeder. Just like a special needs child requires more attention than a "normal" child.

    In a picture perfect world, we would all have that time and patience. But we don't. The VP and Pres wanted companion animals that would fit THEIR PERSONAL life situation.

    Anyone who suggests that these dogs should have been rescues just does not get it. Putting a neglected, nervous animal into a chaotic and unstable family lifestyle is abuse, plain and simple. A rescue dog would have gone through a tortured existence living in the white house.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  76. nanci

    I totally agree with Martin:

    "Very disappointing that Biden and Obama felt the need to buy dogs from a breeder and not save an animal from a shelter or rescue. Purchasing from dog farms like they did sends a bad message to people who want to do the right thing."

    April 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  77. retta

    I live on a farm and I need two specific breeds of dog for the farm so I have purchased one of each of these for this purpose. A lot of the people leaving comments don't seem to understand that most of the breeds were developed for specific purposes and if the breed is mixed they would lose the traits they were bred for. There are lots of people like me who have like me "working dogs". The dogs are loved and taken care of. I also have two mutts on my farm. One of which is well behaved and the other which is a little aggressive (she is a rescue). She sometimes has to be crated when company comes. I'm working on her manners. She came from an elderly woman who let the dog do anything she wanted with no discipline.

    I do not purchase a dog from a breeder without meeting the breeder and the parents of the puppy. I even have talked to the breeder of the well behaved mutt. I just purchased a 12 day old puppy whose mother had died and am raising it on a bottle. By the way, all of my dogs have been spayed except for the new puppy who will be fixed when he is six months old. I will admit that my husband and I will not take an over six month old rescued dog unless we know a history on it because we have grandchildren and young children as neighbors and we have found that even with lots of love sometimes the damage is so bad that they can become dangerous.

    Instead of slamming the reputable breeders, slam the elected officials who don't make laws requiring all dogs and cats not used in a breeding program to be spayed or neutered.

    I hope VP Biden enjoys his lovely puppy.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  78. Danell

    It always seems to amaze me how people in this great country of ours put the welfare of animals and plant life before our fellow MEN!!! Don't breed any animals. Don't cut down any trees. Don't drill oil anywhere an animal might live but pass a bill that allows you to kill an unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy! Oh and if the baby is born alive don't try to save it's life!! Something doesn't add up here does it???

    April 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  79. Pat

    This discussion borders on the irrational.....breeders should be banned because of indiscriminate breeding caused by irresponisble pet owners? That is a lot like telling parents that they shouldn't have children of their own because there are so many orphans in the world. It is patently ridiculous. The two issues are totally unrelated. The fact that mutts can be as wonderful and loving a pet as any show dog is irrelevant. Mutt advocates should not impose their desire that the breed of the animal shouldn't matter any more than the breeders should impose their values on those who really don't care.

    Pet owners who allow their pets (pure bred or not) to breed indescriminately are the problem. The resulting puppies (and kittens for that matter) have no guaranteed home. The owners have made no plan for their well-being. They are the ones that need censure, not reponsible organizations and should be the focus of the protest.

    Maybe there should be a relatively high fine for any owner who lets an animal who is not fixed out of their immediate control (on a leash or behind a fence) is in order. Many communities have such ordinances, but they are rarely enforced. Any mill who breeds animals in excess of the number that can be sold by the time the animal is 14 weeks old (hard to adopt out as a puppy) should be fined if that animal is not retained as breeding stock. Owners who turn in a litter of puppies to a shelter without getting the parent fixed could also be fined.The fine could then fund those adoption centers if that, rather than snobbery, is the real focus of the concern.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  80. A. Guthrie

    Buying a dog from a breeder is perfectly acceptable! If they can sell the puppies, and they are taking good care of them, then there's no harm! the harm comes when people buy a dog, then decided they "don't like it" or "it's more responsibility then we thought." Not buying from breeders isn't going to help a thing. And promoting that is as bad as sending your pet to an animal shelter.
    I have two beautiful Bengal kittens. On top of two shelter kittens, and I've saved and rescued cats for years, but I made the decision to adopt from a breeder because I knew what I wanted.I have NEVER met a cat as beautiful for as sociable as my Bengals. They are absolutely lovely, and worth every penny I spent on them. I chose to buy from a breeder because I knew what I wanted and DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE. My last two rescue cats had to find new homes because NEITHER of them could adapt to the lifestyle I led.
    It wasn't that I wasn't a good owner, or that they didn't love and respect me, it was that they needed a house with ONE cat. ONE animal. And I have two dogs.
    My Bengals take walks, and ride in the car they know how to open doors and enjoy playing in the shower. More often then not, they have every animal they meet charmed, whether it be cat or dog, and their unique coats alone ingratiate them to humans.
    I bought them for the personality, not because I'm ashamed of owning a rescue cat. the same way I'm looking at buying a Giant Malamute. NOT because I don't want to save an animal, but because I know that breed meshes with my lifestyle.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  81. mark

    dogs should be bred.
    this is troubling on so many levels.
    its the people who do not spay and neuter their dogs and let them loose as strays that should be penalized.
    this is another case where common sense takes a backseat to an emotional reaction.
    the fact is that some people like a mutt and great to to the pound and get a mutt.
    some people like a pure bred dog, they like the way these dogs act according to their breed.
    Peta has again overstepped common sense and taken a step to extremism

    April 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  82. Dave

    Many of these comments here are typical of current ideas in the US now. No one is responsible for their actions. It is always someone else's fault.

    Lets get real. It isn't a breeders fault that there are so many strays and other animals in shelters and pounds. It is the original animal's owners fault. They are the ones you should be focusing on. They are the root of the problem. As soon as the animal is not as great as they originally thought it was going to be or they are tired of caring for it they set it loose or drop it at a shelter.

    Take responsibility for your actions and make others as well.....

    April 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  83. Bravo

    PETA is a radical fringe group and I do not support them. However, I do donate quite a bit of money annually to both the ASPCA and HSUS. I am a card carrying animal lover, and so yes, I do support adoption of shelter dogs. I have two of them.
    However, in the specific instances of Biden and Obama-
    – Obama needed to have a hypo allergenic breed for his oldest daughter. That can be a challenge finding in a shelter.
    – Biden got a German Shepard. My parents also had one, which they got from a reputable breeder. Why? They are a large, potentially aggressive breed and it is simply dangerous to have one without doing your due diligence on their temperment.

    Puppy Mills are a criminal enterprise, and adoption should be the #1 option whenever possible. But c'mon people...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  84. Nancy

    Purebreed dog breeders and their clients are the only people interested in keeping dog breeds alive. With so many combo dogs, I fear even finding a good miniature poodle when my beloved Babette dies. People should reject pet store dogs that come from puppy farms, especially in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan and shipped all over the country. These dogs are kept in terrible conditions and their breeders do not care about producing strong, healthy, intelligent dogs.
    Breeders like this woman and others like her should be honored and praised, not harassed. Shame on Peta and on the local officials.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  85. Tammy

    It is very important that people are aware of the fact that there is nothing wrong with purchasing the specific breed of puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder!!!!

    It's the back yard breeders and those who simpy do not spay or neuter that are keeping our shelter, kennels and rescues full!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  86. Crystal

    The problem is not the so called puppy mills. The problem is the irresponsible people who decide they want a pet without finding information about the breed and what the animal requires. They just look at a pet as another toy and then get tired of it after they no longer want the responsibility. I think people who adopt a pet or buy a pet should be required to pay a fine if the decide they no longer want the animal or try to find it a good home. And I also agree with a lot of people on here who say we turn the eye to bad parents. The reason for so many unwanted animals is due to so many bad "pet" parents. If they decide they do not want the animal any longer they should also sign a statement that they will not try to adopt another pet or buy one within 5 years. Maybe by then they will do more research and really be out to benefit the animal.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  87. R. Tintin

    The current discussion is a great example of how worthless sniping back and forth between extremist on both sides just confuse everyone in the middle. They win few converts to their cause by offering thin, but very loud arguments. Where has the humanity in honest disagreements gone? That's what the story was about...how far left and far right and the far nutty wingers can quickly make any issue (a dog purchase in this case) Custer's last stand at the Big Horn. "OMG, we're all gonna die if we keep (please fill in extreme view here)". I think MountainWhispers.com got it right... Folks, it’s over now. Lots of other actual important issues with which to grapple. Leave the nice lady alone and as America’s been there, done that, grandparents will tell you…Let sleeping dogs lie.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  88. Mike

    I believe the forced breeding of any animal that isn't on the verge of extinction is wrong.

    Keeping the breed alive? Pure bloodlines? Listening to you fools, one would get the impression that all dogs would die out if humans didn't intervene (Which is not true at all). People who breed anything (Which isn't on the verge of extinction) are in it for money, they aren't doing the animals any favors by inbreeding them. They are reducing the animals genetic diversity, making them far more susceptible to disease and genetic defects.

    How would you feel if the government stated who YOU could breed with so that bloodlines could be preserved or to preserve a certain set of traits, just because they look good? I bet you would have none of it, you certainly wouldn't consent to INBREEDING (Read: Incest). So why is it "ok" to do the same to animals?!

    As for the person who claimed that people should adopt children instead of having their own children, way to compare apples to oranges. Forcing an animal to inbreed, so you can have an animal that looks "pretty", compared to two individuals choosing each other to reproduce, to pass on their genetics and fulfill their biological desire to reproduce.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  89. Chris

    I keep hearing about the irresponsible breeders, they always have a home for their puppies. The strays are from irrespensible owners who don't have their dogs spayed and neutered, if every dog owner who wasn't going to breed, had their dog fixed there would be very little need for shelters.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  90. Debbie

    It's ridiculous that the President and VP are judged so negatively for not getting their puppies from pounds. This is a free Country, and we all have a choice whether or not to adopt children and/or pets. These two men have done and will continue to do more for our Country than the rest of us put together. Please quit harping on and writing about such trivial things – give it a break for once!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  91. JS

    You've got to be joking. How is this news at all. "Normal" people i.e everyone on here can go to a breeder buy a dog/cat and its NOT on CNN.com the next day. I find it very, very stupid that people choose to bash the President and Vice President for doing what everyone has done at some point in their life. It doesn't matter if it came from a breeder or a freaking pound its a DOG...If breeding was so bad why does American society allow all these women here to "breed"? Take Octomom for example NO ONE made her get fixed, or take her kids to an orphanage to wait for adoption... People such as this are just as bad as the puppy mill. ARRRRRRG I am so mad...

    April 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  92. Max

    Would you please find a more worthy cause. There are so many human beings dying all over the world for lack of food, helthcare, sanitation, shelter; and you are worried about dogs being sold, or living in croded space. Get a life!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  93. Monica

    I really wish we wouldn’t be so quick to judge the President and his wife for the selection of this pure breed puppy. He promised his children a dog and he has kept his promise. One of his daughters has allergies and would not have been able to tolerate a mixed breed puppy with normal doggie dander. Would it have been better for him to select a shelter dog only to have to return it because the child was sick all the time? Really, it would be irresponsible for a shelter to adopt a puppy to that situation. This man was in a no win position with the majority of the public. He decided to step up and be a winner with his kids. As much as some may or may not like it, the first family made the right choice for their situation. Would it not be better for all of us to follow this lead and make the best choice for our own personal situations? The chances of finding a pure breed that meets their needs from a shelter or breed rescue group are not good and often the breed rescue dogs are older and have been in abusive situations. As a parent I would be reluctant to introduce a dog with a questionable background to my children. Some may work for adults, but not kids. Let’s try to be fair in this case.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  94. I hate comments

    I can't seem to help myself. I start reading comments, and find myself wasting so much time in the day trying to make a reasonable impact.

    Comments have gotten to the point where they really are out of hand, so many rude people, so many people willing to place blame at things they have no experience or knowlege of.

    It's not just this story – it is pervasive. People seem to becoming meaner.

    Is the fact that we isolate ourselves in front of our computers, pretending that reading and commenting is social intercourse the thing that is making people meaner?

    April 14, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  95. mommy-2-b

    There is a HUGE difference between a purebred & a mutt. The breeding of dogs less than purebreds should be stopped, I agree. That would solve the problems in shelters. However, there is no problem with keeping the integrity of a breed or with responsible breeders. I hunt & no offense, but no mutt is a better bird dog than my purebred Springers. Take your issues out on people who don't spay & neuter their pets responsibly.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  96. Geoffrey

    It seems to me that the masses on this post are blending dob-breeders with puppy mills. This is a huge distinction.

    My family has been looking for a doberman for close to 10 months at shelters. We have not found a single doberman that is not a minnie. So you all are telling me that I should get something else? That is not right.

    As for those poor dogs in the shelters, you should be blaming the individuals that got those dogs in the first place. Once you get an animal, it is yours for life, not something to discard when you get bored with it.

    I'm actually pissed at the shelter we bought our dal-terrier from. When we got him, I specifically asked the shelter if he was tested for deafness, and those SOB's told me yes. Well it turns out we have a completely deaf ( but very good dog ). So the problem is not just with the breeders.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  97. Erin

    I love dogs just as much as the next person, I consider my dog a part of my family. I took her in off the street as a stray and has been the best dog I could ever ask for. She is now 15 years old and still going strong. I plan to NEVER purchase from a breeder. I'm not saying that all breeders are bad but I have to agree with the fact that there are SOOO many dogs, cats, and other creatures out there waiting for homes that I will always go to the pound. Remember Mutts and older pets need love too!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  98. Crazy

    Killing huge numbers of dogs in shelters is sad, but it is NOT murder.
    Murder is killing another human being (homo sapiens sapiens). Baby humans are being killed daily, and lots of people feel they have that right. What it all boils down to is responsibility. We have lots of dogs in shelters because PEOPLE decided to no longer be responsible for them. Same with abortions.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  99. KC

    I really feel sorry for this woman. This should not be a choice between a shelter dog or no dog. It is also important to maintain the history and genetics of all breeds and that is the function that good breeders serve. Adopting a rescue dog is NOT for everyone. We have rescued 2 German Shepherds from our local sheter over the years and each one had many issues that only experienced dog handlers/owners should deal with. Tragicly many shelter dogs have been badly abused and need training and rehabilitation that many well intentioned people aren't capable of providing or willing to tolerate. Neither of my Shepherds could have been placed in an average home. However each individual has to decide whether they should adopt from a shelter or go to an AKC licenced breeder.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  100. Meg

    The real question is...WHO do you think is raising all these puppy s?? Back yard breeders and puppy mills. Just how many "pure bred" dogs did you all find in your work at the shelters? probably some, but by far the majority came from the above mentioned back yard breeders and puppy mills. SO the next time one of you wants to go buy a dog do your homework. find out if they Show in conformation, do agility or other dog related activities. And get your dog spayed or neutered. Healthier for the dog and less chance of it being stolen by ...you git it yet? back yard breeders and puppy mills.

    April 14, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
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