As Elon Musk, Doge memes, Shib coin and Dogecoin (DOGE) drive popularity of the Shiba Inu, experts warn of a silent shiba inu abuse crisis
The whimsical Shiba Inu has thoroughly charmed internet users world-wide, with Dogecoin sat comfortably as the world’s seventh largest cryptocurrency and the infamous Doge NFT selling for an astonishing $4m – both a testament to the breed’s popularity.
But there is a darker side to this story, as an internet meme quickly materialised into a digital asset carrying a whopping $35bn market cap.
While the doge fad has become a source of fun and love for many, the internet spotlight has driven a hidden crisis of poor ownership for the shiba inu.
South African entrepreneur and influencer Elon Musk has even got in on the action helping to increase the Shibas profile as part of his ongoing affiliation with the Dogecoin project.
My Shiba Inu will be named Floki
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2021
Demand for shibas skyrockets
Many people claim to love the Shiba Inu, but few truly embody the devotion to this breed as much as Jeri Burnside.
Jeri has worked with the Shiba for almost 35 years, the impressive woman is a prominent member on the Board of Directors of the National Shiba Club of America, and co-founded both the Shiba Club of Southern California and the Shiba Rescue of Southern California. She’s also the loving owner of two American Kennel Club Champion Shiba Inus.
Following the explosion of interest in the breed following its success, first as an internet meme – and now as the world’s 7th largest cryptocurrency, Jeri has witnessed a surge of enquiries about the intelligent fox-like Shiba.
“All my breeder friends are being inundated with puppy requests and have waiting lists miles long.” She said.
“Ethical breeders who raise Shibas to preserve and improve the breed (and this is true for ethical preservation breeders of any breed) are NEVER happy to see a breed skyrocket in popularity like this.
“Negative consequences of a breed becoming a ‘fad’ are many, and all of which result from indiscriminate volume breeding by backyard breeders and puppy mills.”
Amongst the consequences Jeri described are no screening of new dog buyers to ensure puppies are going to good homes, a lack of health screening for litters bred in backyard puppy farms, and next to no temperament screening as unethical breeders race to meet surging demand.
This is made worse, Jeri argued, by the breed’s primal characteristics developed for Japanese game hunting using wolf genetics.
“Most Shibas will NEVER be 100% trustworthy off-leash; they will likely NOT ever be safe to take to the dog park where they must play nicely with other dogs; they will likely KILL your small pocket pets,” she explained.
“They are NOT a breed for everyone, and when you take on a Shiba you are making a lifetime commitment (and that equates to about 14-16 years for most Shibas).
“These are not the cuddly little stuffed animals they appear to be; they are an intelligent, cunning, self-reliant predator in a small, cute package.”
The breed also suffers a myriad of health issues if bred poorly, most notably eye-sight issues with the Shiba liable to develop glaucoma leading to blindness, some ethical breeders have established a research fund aimed at curing this persistent health issue.
Shiba Inus in crisis
The massive desire for shiba inus by charmed but inexperienced owners unaware of the breed’s temperamental characteristics has led to an absolute crisis in mistreatment, abuse, and abandonment – and Jeri highlights it has fallen to volunteers to help rehome these poor shibas.
“Shiba Rescue organisations are being overwhelmed with poorly bred, unsocialised, untrained Shibas that are given up by their owners who were never prepared to deal with the demands of Shiba ownership,” she revealed.
“Rescue volunteers are just that – volunteers – they are not paid for the essential work they do and when a breed goes “fad”, the rescue’s resources are quickly exhausted.
“Sadly, those most responsible for the burden on the rescues (the puppy-millers) are the ones who NEVER EVER donate to that cause.”
In her work running the Shiba Rescue of Southern California, Jeri has come across many dogs abandoned for bad temperament that she explained were simply shibas being shibas, with the breed inhabiting a rough-and-tumble inquisitive natural state-of-being.
“I took in many Shibas who were simply ‘being Shibas’, and through no fault of their own, were given up by owners who were unprepared or unwilling to learn about how to work with a Shiba,” she explained.
“Nine times out of ten, a Shiba surrendered for ‘temperament issues’ was perfectly normal! It was the temperament of the owner that was unsuitable for the dog, not the other way round.
“Now, with the meme causing the popularity of the breed to expand exponentially, this problem is simply getting worse.”
Shiba Inu: not just for Christmas
With Shiba Inus facing a widespread crisis on the tailend of the internet’s love affair with the doge meme, many are looking at the famously philanthropic DOGE community for a solution – whilst Jeri and Shiba Rescue of Southern California don’t currently accept Dogecoin donations (they do accept USD!) others in the industry have begun adopting so-called ‘dogenations’.
PAWS Chicago, a leading no-kill policy animal shelter and one of the largest in the United States, have adopted a new system for ‘dogenations’ enabling supporters to make donations to the charity using Dogecoin (DOGE).
The 25-year old project has played a big role in bringing no-kill policies to American animal shelters, taking credibility for the 91% decrease in kill policy shelters.
The move is aimed at partnering with the famously charitable DOGE community, CEO Susanna Homan also attested that the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies drove the decision.
“We are a solutions-based, forward-thinking organisation, which is why we are eager to connect with the growing cryptocurrency community, which can help sustain the future of animal welfare in Chicago and save animals’ lives.” She said.
DOGE price action
The past week has seen some exciting price action for Doge coin – which now rests with strong support at a comfortable $0.27 at the time of writing – a 42% increase this month.
Over the course of the past week the cryptocurrency ranged upwards to resistance at $0.33 and now seemingly awaits upwards price pressure with support holding within reasonable volatility range.
August has seen impressive growth from a low of $0.19 to a high of $0.34 this month, representing a 78% explosion as investors flock to stack the shiba inu-inspired coin.
This comes following bullish news from the RobinHood Q2 report which revealed Doge coin comprised 62% of the crypto retail revenues.
Investor support remains strong, and the latest adoption move could well see DOGE push back up towards its all time high of $0.72 in May.
The coin remains up 6,650% this year outperforming almost all other investments available.
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