I am no fan of breeders, I'll admit it. I think there are many disreputable breeders, I think they are increasing a bloated supply of pets, and I think there are many purebreds already available from shelters. Are there good breeders out there that care for their animals and run their business out of pure love of their work and the animals? Sure, but I just don't think it helps the problem of pet overpopulation.
I also know there are people who want to buy from a breeder and no one else. Here's a story from the demand side.
My division director loves Norwegian Forest Cats. She has had two for the past ten years, one she bought and had shipped from a breeder in Utah, the other from a breeder in Virginia. In February she had to put one down because of illness. The other is also quite ill and will probably not last out the year.
Friday she showed me the new kitten she will be purchasing. It's a two-week old kitten from Kansas. The breeder will only ship her when she is old enough to be separated from her mother.
Now, this kitten will have an excellent life with my division director. The woman still gets teary-eyed over a cat she lost 10 years ago to illness and these animals are like her children. But I can't help wishing she'd go to a shelter and save a cat that needs a family and a home. She could try to find a purebred that's been left at a shelter because that frequently happens. It would be so much cheaper than flying a cat in from another state.
From discussions with people who buy from breeders, I understand the reasoning behind getting a purebred dog when it comes to the hunting or working breeds. There are certain characteristics that an owner may practically want.
But a cat?
I'm sorry, every cat I've ever seen pretty much eats, sleeps and uses a litter box. The best mousers are not of any particular breed. I suppose you can get certain temperaments, but still....how different is a mellow pure-bred from a mellow mix?
But of course I didn't tell my deputy director that. I may be passionate, but I'm not stupid!