Solutions found in saving lives

Chronicle reporter Niomi Pearson writes a column about adopting a dog.

Chronicle reporter Niomi Pearson cuddles with her new dog

Chronicle reporter Niomi Pearson cuddles with her new dog

As a reporter, my job allows me to meet a lot of interesting people. Some of their stories are sad, some make you well up with community pride, and some stories stick with you forever.

This story is going to change my life.

Meet Wilbur. He is a two-year-old chihuahua mix rescued from a kill shelter in California, and as of Friday, he is the newest member of my home.

As reported in our feature on a local dog rescue (Page 3), the state has a major issue with toy breeds, chihuahuas in particular.

Thousands of these dogs are being put to sleep because of careless over-breeding.

Wilbur would have been no exception, had it not been for the effort of volunteers who transported him the 1,000 or more miles to Ladysmith, where he got a second chance with Paws Without Borders.

But whether you live in San Jose, California, Winnipeg, Manitoba, or Ladysmith, pet overpopulation will continue to be a global issue until society as a whole steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for the lives we create.

I am not referring to the ‘good’ pet owners nor the ‘responsible breeders’ who  produce just enough litters to keep their genetic lines intact.

Every litter produced by a ‘backyard breeder,’ a puppy mill or by any unspayed animal takes away homes from the hundreds of animals sitting in our SPCA shelters and in pounds across North America.

I realize this is far easier said than done. For anyone who is involved with animal advocacy, overpopulation is a huge issue that only seems to worsen with time and drains the few resources available. We can only imagine what our SPCA employees go through on a daily basis.

To anyone who is considering bringing a fourlegged friend into their home, I would urge you to look into adoption from our local SPCA and shelters first.

There is far more reward in saving a life than creating it.