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Dog fight

March 21, 2009

Re "Rescued dog dogma," Opinion, March 15

Having spent 25 years immersed in the dog world as an animal shelter volunteer coordinator and president of the nonprofit humane group Volunteer Services to Animals, and working to train and place many rescues of all breeds, I can tell you that Judith Lewis is right on target. She too has seen it all and realizes that the bottom line is proper temperament.

My current dog is a Doberman that came from a good breeder of the sort Lewis describes. Gunner is a neutered champion and is a working therapy dog with an exemplary temperament.

The animal-loving public needs to realize that both well-bred dogs and rescues can be wonderful pets.

Sandy Driscoll

Los Angeles

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Bravo to The Times for publishing an article that explains the importance of being careful in your search for a dog to join your family.

Rarely is an article published these days that is not from the animal-rights-extremist, rescue-only view. Not all families are up to the challenge of raising some shelter dogs.

Responsible breeders are a valuable resource in this society. Having a dog with a known background for health and temperament is important for many people.

Diane Jones

Santa Barbara

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Lewis makes generalizations to accommodate her love of pure breeds.

She states that "there will never be enough humans to save every abandoned dog." About 4 million puppy-mill dogs are bred and 5 million dogs are destroyed in shelters every year, according to the Best Friends Animal Society. Putting an end to puppy mills could quickly lower the homeless dog problem.

Her argument that good breeders' dogs never appear in shelters doesn't hold up. I've seen a "lost" and never claimed Great Dane.

People change their minds about caring for a pet, not because of the breed but because of behavior they have failed to address.

Bad behavior comes from lack of proper training, not lack of papers.

Valerie Bromberg

Laguna Hills

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