Pet Shop Protesters Shot

by Mary Haight on October 12, 2009

Shots were fired into a crowd of peaceful protesters hitting three people who had gathered on Saturday in front of the Aquarium and Pet Center, a Santa Monica pet shop confirmed to receive shipments from a midwest puppy mill.

Carole Davis of the Companion Animal Protection Society reports from the scene:

(Source: News Editor, K9 Magazine)

There’s a lot of money at stake in this industry, finally under serious attack for its cruel treatment of the animals it exploits. Profit margins are high and dogs that cost pet shops around $400 are sold to patrons for thousands of dollars. 

I’m sure shops will feel threatened, but this is really an opportunity to get out in front of the problem, repurpose their business model, and show some concern for customers. Fear and loathing are not the building blocks in any strong neighborhood business I’ve seen…well, not outside the mafia.

Pet shops can all make money with the whole community behind them, rather than trying to fight the community whose trust and custom they are trying to win.  It’s just good business. Pet shop owners need to know people don’t support this cruelty and won’t buy from shops that do. Best Friends and HSUS both support the idea that pet shops should work with shelters and rescues to provide dogs to the public, and it’s already working in several states.

Department of Agriculture transport reports show the truth of who gets their dogs from where.  Major players like Petland get more than 95% of their dogs from puppy mills, and not from reputable breeders, often a sales line employed by pet shops. The fact is, no reputable breeder sells through pet shops or on the internet. 

If you buy animals from pet shops, you support the continued animal cruelty we’ve seen from coast-to-coast.  It’s an equation protesters are trying to imprint in the puppy-buying-pet-shop-frequenting public mind, and this will take some time. It’s not a frivolous pursuit, it’s a major pathway out of the muck and mire of puppy mills to a viable no-kill nation.

 The 2007 undercover video taken by HSUS at a dog auction in Ohio was a wake up call. Animal welfare does not enter into the picture for dealers.  Dogs are a commodity they are selling, no kindness–or even water–is provided.  Here’s the video report on dog auctions for puppy mills .

One more thing…

A friend sent me this link to a really fun story I had missed in the LATimes blog about Romeothecat in the US and FrugalDougal in the UK, pets on Twitter raising funds for pets in need. Enjoy!


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