1001 DALMATIANS NEED HOMES!
February 10, 1999
to the massive marketing
efforts of Disney and McDonalds back in 1996 and 1997 to sell their
spotted merchandise and the "101 Dalmatians" movie, large numbers of
families also rushed out and purchased Dalmatian puppies from backyard
breeders and pet shops. Since the families did not research the
Dalmatian breed prior to buying one, they did not know what to expect
from their new pet and they did not know how to meet the Dalmatian's
needs. But even worse, the backyard breeders decided cute little
Dalmatian puppies would make them rich and began breeding and breeding
major cause of the Dalmatian
overpopulation problem is the backyard breeders. These greedy,
unscrupulous people outdo even Cruella DeVil in the atrocities they
subject the Dalmatian breed to. Any breedable female Dalmatian unlucky
enough to fall into their hands has been constantly bred to produce
litter after litter so that the backyard breeders can cart the cute
little spotted puppies off to the swap meets, street corners and any
other place they think they can sell them at. The Dalmatian parents of
these puppies were never tested for deafness and the backyard breeders
are so clueless they probably didn't even know the parents were deaf.
Worse, they don't care; their only interest in breeding Dalmatians is
to make money, which violates the prime directive of a responsible
breeder to only breed the best examples of a pure breed to improve the
Angel's leg is horribly
deformed from an
injury suffered as a pup
and never treated,
thanks to a backyard breeder
conditions the backyard
breeder Dalmatians endure are horrible in many cases. They live in
filthy backyards with no love, no attention and no training. They are
fed the cheapest food available and receive little or no veterinary
care. The puppies are never tested for deafness and are usually not
vaccinated. We are seeing a big upsurge in distemper cases among
puppies rescued from shelters or off the streets because of backyard
breeders. It is absolutely criminal that innocent puppies are dying for
lack of vaccinations.
example of cruelty to a
female Dalmatian used for breeding is Angel, a Dalmatian rescued from a
local shelter. When Angel was a young pup and still growing, she
somehow broke her foreleg. The backyard breeder who owned her never
bothered to take her in to a vet for treatment. As a result, her leg is
twisted and deformed. There is nothing that can be done for it now.
Despite her injury, the backyard breeder went ahead and forced her to
bear litters of puppies, how many no one knows, and then dumped her on
the streets to be picked up by animal control.
example of backyard
breeder cruelty is Miata, a deaf female Dalmatian, who was also used to
produce litters of puppies. According to Dr. Strain's research on
canine deafness, if one of the parent animals is deaf, the incidence of
deafness in the litter increases. There are many, many deaf Dalmatian
puppies now in the hands of other backyard breeders or unsuspecting
families because of backyard breeder ignorance and greed. Miata was
found wandering the streets of North Hollywood, starving and still
lactating from the last litter of puppies she'd had. This is the fate
of all too many Dalmatians after the backyard breeders discover they
can no longer make money off the puppies.
they dump the poor mother Dals at
the shelter once all the puppies are sold, knowing that in all
probability that sweet little dog who lined their pockets with money
from puppy sales is going to die there. They just don't give a damn!
Nina's former owner let her get pregnant by a dog of some other breed
and then when the puppies were born, did not give them proper care. The
puppies began dying of parvo so the owner decided to dump Nina at a
shelter with her remaining puppies. The shelter did its best to try to
save them but all the puppies died. Nina was rescued by Save the
Dalmatians and placed in a wonderful new home where she is valued for
breeders don't take the time
to interview the families who want to adopt Dalmatian puppies as any
reputable breeder would. Many families are not appropriate for owning a
Dalmatian but backyard breeders only care if they have the money. When
the puppies are six months to a year old, wild and out of control from
lack of attention and training, the families open the gate and let them
loose or dump them at a shelter. A reputable breeder would have made
sure the family would include the puppy as a family member, train it
and give it proper attention. A reputable breeder also would have
guaranteed that the puppy could be returned to them at any point in its
life so the dog would never have to end up in a shelter. No one should
ever buy a puppy from a backyard breeder; backyard breeders need to be
put out of business.
a result of all the backyard
breeder activity, there are enormous numbers of Dalmatians, between one
and two years of age, flooding into the shelters and rescues of
Southern California. These beautiful dogs are dying in the shelters
because the rescues don't have the space and resources to take them in.
estimate that over 2,173
Dalmatians passed through Southern California's shelters in 1998, most
of them on their way to their deaths. In 1998 our organization was able
to rescue only 69 Dalmatians due to limited space, resources and
volunteers. The shelter estimate for 1999 was even worse, with an
estimated 2,962 Dalmatians passing through the shelters. In 2000,
things began to improve. Only an estimated 1,805 Dalmatians ended up in
So California shelters. The year 2001 saw a further improvement to only
an estimated 1,467 Dals in the shelters.
addition to the problems caused by
backyard breeders, irresponsible owners who do not make a commitment to
keep their Dalmatian for its entire lifetime are helping to fill the
shelters. Yes, the Dalmatian was adorable when it was a puppy but now
it's all grown up and weighs 60 pounds. The kids don't play with the
dog any more and the parents don't want to be bothered with training
the dog. The poor Dalmatian sits in a lonely, empty backyard and cries
or becomes destructive. No problem, the owners just dump the dog at a
shelter. Anyone who cannot make a commitment to keep a pet for its
entire lifetime should not own a pet!
Dalmatians bad dogs? Do they
deserve to be abandoned like this? NO! Dalmatians are sweet, loving
people-oriented dogs. This is what it takes to make a Dalmatian a good
member of the family:
Spay or neuter your Dalmatian.
There are too many and breeding should be left to the experts due to
serious genetic problems like deafness and urinary tract stone-forming.
Also a Dalmatian who is spayed or neutered is a much more pleasant pet.
Train your Dalmatian. Take him/her
to an obedience class. They are smart dogs and can be easily trained if
treats and lavish praise are used.
Exercise your Dalmatian. These
dogs were bred to run 25 miles a day with a horse and carriage so they
need to have lots of exercise every day to keep them out of mischief.
You can exercise a Dalmatian by throwing a ball for 30 minutes, taking
him/her for long walks, going jogging with him/her or having the Dal
run alongside your bicycle. It's good exercise for you too.
Keep your Dalmatian indoors with
the family. Dalmatians adore their families and are very unhappy being
left in a backyard. They also do not have the coat to sleep comfortably
Learn more about your Dalmatian.
Visit the following web sites for more information and for listings of
Dalmatians who need homes:
the Dalmatians and Others
Dalmatian Club of Southern
Dalmatian Club of America
If you are able to provide a homeless Dalmatian with a loving family environment, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free referral. Please don't let any more Dalmatians die!
Terri Haase, President
Save the Dalmatians and Others Canine Rescue, Inc.