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I, like many others, believe there is a big difference between ethical and unethical breeders.

But some animal rights activists claim this distinction is false, and that all breeders – no matter how well they treat their dogs or choose their owners – have blood on their hands.

Their ‘adopt not shop’ argument is well summarised by PETA, who explain that there is “no such things a responsible breeder” because:

“All breeders fuel the animal overpopulation crisis, and every time someone purchases a puppy or a kitten instead of adopting from an animal shelter, homeless animals lose their chance of finding a home—and will be euthanized.”

In this series of articles, I will explain my response to these claims as they apply in Australia, beginning with the question: do we have a ‘dog overpopulation’ crisis?