I had rescued a five month old pup from the local humane society about a year ago and not too long ago I purchased my first purebred from a good breeder. The five month old rescue was potty trained, had good puppy manners and never jumped up on my boyfriend's older parents. My purebred pup was a completely different experience. The purebred chewed and was difficult to potty-train, refused to listen to commands up until recently, and still whines constantly in his kennel.
When you buy a purebred, you're paying for what you want, just like anything else out there. What you get out of it is a wonderful relationship between good friends, but the fact of the matter is, you're less likely to dump a dog that you've spent a lot of money on.
The main reasons why dogs are in shelters is because people can't afford them, because they weren't informed about the dog, and in worst case scenarios, they are abused. If you can afford a big expense like a purebred dog, then you'll be able to give it the care it needs. Not only that, but you know what health defects to expect and can expect to pay for them down the road. If you get a free puppy, or a $50 dog from the shelter you 'might' be saving a life. What if you can't cover the vet costs? What if you can't cover the items that get broken because of the dog? What if you can't control the dog and can't afford proper training? What if the dog gets terribly ill? What happens when he gets old, can you afford to really take care of it if it becomes disabled?
Now, I'm not saying it's a poor decision to rescue a dog. I'm not saying that at all. It all boils down to getting what you pay for. You spend a little on a dog without knowing anything about it. What saddens me is that shelter workers are usually volunteers and know very little about the specific breeds that might be mixed, or owning dogs all together, and can't give people the information they need to make an informed purchase. So, the uninformed consumer makes a purchase on a low-priced animal. Wonderful! Their son now has they puppy they wanted, except that now, the uninformed consumer has a new expense to pay. They didn't know the dog had to be wormed, get puppy shots, or even needed a special food it might need for an illness or allergy that developed.
All of a sudden, this low-cost dog is costing a lot more, and before you know it, their son stops taking care of it. Now they have twice the work and three times the cost. Now that the dog is getting older, it's having temperament issues that are causing it to act inappropriately with your living style. Realizing this wasn't a sound investment, they turn the dog in to a humane society and as an older dog, it has a lower chance of finding a home that would really take care of it. It's a sad story and it happens all the time.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, the reason why dogs are in shelters aren’t because of good breeders. It's because of pure ignorance. Good breeders will make sure that if a dog isn't of breeding stock, they will get them fixed and find a home for them with a strict screening process. If they can't find a home, they keep the damn dog. Backyard breeders will hand out intact animals like crazy, not caring for the standard or those who are going to purchase the dogs, because they just want the money.
Those who give away dogs for free because they didn't expect the litter, couldn't afford it, or didn't want the dogs are just adding to the problem if they don't get them fixed before handing them out. If they are too young, instead of giving the dogs away, why don't you charge them for the cost of the spay/neuter so you know they can afford it when the time comes?
It's the useless dribble of saying things like 'it's the breeders fault that dogs die' is the reason why the problem isn't being fixed. You rarely find a purebred dog in a shelter, so if you can explain to me how it's the breeder’s fault, I would be amazed. You always find designer dogs, or mixed breeds, because these people didn't expect the cost and didn't expect the responsibility. Wouldn't that be the fault of pet owners and not breeders? Wouldn't that be the fault of ignorance and misinformation? So why are people always blaming the educated person, when they don't even understand why the dogs are there in the first place?
If every single dog owner who had an unexpected litter treated them like a purebred breeder treats their dogs, then shelters would be scrambling to find anything and everything they could to keep themselves in business.
And another little known fact about the USA. In the USA, we are importing homeless animals to keep up with the adoption demand. So, let that sit in your mind a bit before you naively throw blame around. Shelters are a business, just like hospitals. The only difference is they don't have a specialized product that only they offer and they don't have a certification stating that they could charge you more for their product, or they would.