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Roadside dog sales: Right or wrong?

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010, at 10:11 AM

As warmer weather arrives, it's likely that people selling or giving away dogs and cats will arrive again at Walmart's parking lot.

Shelbyville City Council banned individuals from selling animals in public lots in 2008. That didn't seem to stop anyone last year.

Nashville banned roadside animal sales on Tuesday. Individuals can still do so at their homes, but not in parking lots.

I can see both sides of the issue. Parking lots provide more visibility than most homes do, and what real difference does "location" make? But some of those dogs, frankly, don't look like they're being treated well. And another thought to consider -- the humane groups will agree on this -- is that parking lot transactions don't ensure vaccinations and spay/neuter completion.

Here's another thought:

I've gotten the impression, right or wrong, that some humane group representatives don't want to let dogs be adopted which would be used as hunting dogs. They're concerned that the dogs would be bred and most of the litters abandoned. I see that as sort of a slam on hunters.

If hunting dogs aren't bred, eventually there will be no hunting dogs. Are some of these people actually simply anti-hunting?

And yet another thought:

I know of one Bedford County location where two large dogs are kept in a pen roughly the size of a jail cell, with no grass to speak of. Speaking as one who is for humane treatment of animals and against too much government regulation, should someone with dogs in such a situation be cited under animal abuse laws?


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I am not saying if I am pro or con on giving away or selling animals in parking lots but the first thought that came to mind was that some of the people that cant give away their animals this way will most likely just drop them off on the side of a country road.

-- Posted by AmericanWoman on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 10:34 AM

The idea that hunters breed for one pup and then abandoned the rest is not true. The hunters may keep one pup and sell the others or give them away. People that keep hunting dogs will keep them up to date on shots and when they are hunted the dogs get a large amount of exercise. I do not see many "stray" coon dogs. The large dogs that you are speaking of may get to get out and play. Sometimes there are other things that people need to worry about. If the large dogs look healthy then it is not really a concern. If they look underfed and sick, then there is a problem.

-- Posted by Easton on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 10:39 AM

A good compromise would be regular "adoption fairs" (plus listings of available pets online and through media such as radio,public access television and the paper).

Any transfers of ownership (even without money changing hands) would involve contracts with the individual animals and all humans party to the agreement identified.

When people get their pets' licenses renewed at the time of vaccinations,an additional fee would be levied against animals capable of reproduction.

This would help pay for health care for less well-to-do pets.

Such a tax could be offset by a discount given to pets that are working animals (such as therapy cats) or have had training (such as a Canine Good Citizen designation).

Breeders would have to prove they had the know-how and facilities to be licensed to raise and sell animals.

They would be required to limit the number of litters produced per year or by any one parent.

"Retired" animals once used for breeding,work or sport (and those who didn't make the cut) would be required to have a "golden parachute" of a good forever home-even if they would not be suitable for a role as a pet.

Animals could only be killed under humane conditions and as required for appropriate causes such as medical necessity,food production or to remove a dangerous animal.

Killing a beast for "cosmetic defect" or other dubious reasons would be banned.

As fewer animals were born and as each animal had caring,knowledgeable humans over them at each stage of life,there would be fewer redundant animals around.

The lessons learned in keeping an animal provided with the right sort of food,shelter,medical care and socialization would serve humans well in raising children.

Let's make it easier for people to become the right sort of owners,trainers and breeders and practically impossible to do anything else.

The responsible breeder will gain by having a finite supply of a superior product.

The adoptive family will have a healthier beast and the creatures who join our lives will have a higher standard of living with committed people aware of and sensitive to their needs.

How many neutered,trained,vaccinated and chipped animals pose a problem-even if they get loose?

When they do get in trouble,their families could be located with greater ease and those families would be held accountable for the animal's well-being and any damages they might cause.

Such policies would require a little time,money and effort in the begining but,once implemented,would reduce or eliminate the costs we incur by treating animals as commodities rather than thinking,feeling creatures.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 11:47 AM

"People that keep hunting dogs will keep them up to date on shots and when they are hunted the dogs get a large amount of exercise."

Really? Because one of my dogs is a hunting dog that I got at the Bedford County animal control and she was not treated very well at all by her previous owners. She was definitely abused as she is afraid of literally everything and has many visible scars from when she lived with her former family...I'm hoping that most hunters treat their dogs better than mine was treated.

-- Posted by cfrich on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 1:51 PM

Yes REALLY. There is always a bad apple.Just like all the puppy mills that are found with the small lap dogs. Not all poodles are pampered. But those that HUNT, keep their dogs up to date on shots because they come in contact with wild animals.

-- Posted by Easton on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 3:03 PM

Its better than dumping them out on Whiteside Hill Rd or shooting them

-- Posted by Double Exposure on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 6:05 PM

I would agree that any true hunter is going to care for their dogs. They have an investment and that investment helps them with their hunting, so why starve it to death.

However, there are folks who THINK they want to be hunters or who get a dog and then realize that it is a commitment. They should find a home but instead either neglect it or drop it off.

We have a 6 month (approximated by our vet) coon dog (also identified by our vet, that was dropped off. She is healthy and full off energy (FULL). She just finished her initial shots and is ready for adoption if someone is interested.

We have probably spoiled her by her living in a heated greenhouse but she may be young enough to train. I do not know the "in's and out's" of coon dog training.

Did I mention the price? FREE! You don't even have to pay for her vet bills. Her leaving will just make room for the next drop off that I am sure will soon arrive.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Feb 6, 2010, at 8:38 AM

There is a site that has a section for orphaned or free coon dogs, let me know if you want the site. There are always some young boys that would love to have their own coon dog.

-- Posted by Easton on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 12:56 PM

The problem with street corner/parking lot puppy sales/give away is that often times that puppy grows up to be a dog that nobody wants. There is nothing sweeter that a cuddly little puppy and nothing worse than a big dog tearing up the news paper and pooping in the neighbor's yard. What was cute and cuddly is now a problem. So, what do you do? Well you could take it to the animal shelter but the dog is probably not adoptable and they will end up "putting it to sleep". To save it from being killed you load up the dog and take it for a drive in the country; dump it out on the side of the road and head back home with a certain amount of guilt but the problem is solved. WRONG... now it is someone else's problem. It is far more humane to shoot a dog than to dump it on the side of the road to starve or get run over. People justify dumping their dog on the side of the road by believing that "some farmer will give it a good home". Not going to happen folks... farmers don't want stray dogs chasing and killing their stock. Often times the farmer ends up having to shoot a stray dog that someone dumped on the side of the road to starve. The dog has to kill livestock in order to live and the farmer has to kill the dog to protect his property.

Have your animals spayed or neutered and make the punishment for dumping them harsh enough that people will think twice before doing it.

-- Posted by Farmer Bill on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 10:23 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.