Tonight I have ready some fairly heated exchanges - particularly in relation to the "credentials" of breeders and the pros and cons of bringing more pups into an already overcrowded canine world as is evidenced by the number of "pets" and unwanted litters that are dumped at shelters. As I see it, licensed breeders should be focussing on reproducing the finest fault-free specimens of specific breeds so that these magnificent creatures can be preserved - like all our global wildlife so that extinction is never a consideration. The almighty dollar should not be a driving force. Which leads me to my question. Many people decide they want a pet. First reaction, "what about one of those beautiful ......." Reality sets in - the cost is prohibitive, so this idea is abandoned. Natural reaction to follow is.... "we'll go to the shelter". I'm not sure whether there is a fee charged by shelters in USA but in Australia, our shelters have steeped up the fees - just to make the prospective purchaser think twice (animals used to be all but free (apart from a small donation) but pups cost around AU$150+ now. All animals are de-sexed and must be registered with the City Council upon purchase. Perhaps fly-by-night pet owners could be further deterred by hitting their pockets. I'm sure the impulsive shopper will think twice about forking out a bucket-load on a puppy or a kitten. As a result, this just might lead to a reduction in the number of dumped animals. The less animals out there to reproduce, the less unwanted animals crowding our shelters. I love animals, in particular, dogs, but I cringe every time I think about all the wasted life as a result of insufficient controls. Just my thoughts..... what do you think??