Giving Pet Shops and Puppy Mills the Boot

by Mary Haight on July 13, 2010

Saturday night I checked out a tweet from blogging pal Jim McBean linking to an Examiner article about banning pet shops, and later stumbled on a post from Scratchings and Sniffings on the same subject. Both posts dismissed the idea, one as if it were a Machiavellian government plot, and the other as a silly way to get rid of puppy mills. 

The Examiner piece was against any change in the current system of puppy mills producing pets to order as if they were widgets. The post was titled “Squashing Children’s Dreams”, stating the case for pet shops and how they would have to close their businesses. I can only assume then that compassion stops at the door of business, and the manufacturing of puppies and kittens to order is a practice not inherently abhorrent to the author.  

I could be cheeky and say “oh, boo-hoo”, lost businesses, given the horror stories of what happens to pets in pet shops – not to mention the puppy mill source of 97% of those pets – but I won’t.  Instead I’ll ask the author to please, when taking a report wholesale from a news organization, please take time to fact check. All news, with the possible exception of PBS, has a bias. (I remember when it was all just news…sigh.) This is not a story about Big Government taking away your rights to buy your children pets – it’s about doing the right thing for animals, and the families who take them into their homes.

Scratchings and Sniffings was clear they were against puppy mills, but dismissed the idea of no more pet shops ostensibly because the “boutique” pet shelters would hurt “real” shelters. Ok, what? Let me hit the brakes for a minute.

I understand the sentiment coming from Scratchings and Sniffings, and appreciate their general frustration with slim support for shelters. It will never be a perfect world. I may be misreading their argument, but they seem to be rooting for the status quo for shelters. No change needed.  I take the opposing side of this argument.

How does a boutique pet shop adopting out shelter dogs take business from “real” shelters? (And does this imply that a “real” shelter is an unpopular destination already and will be made even more so with the advent of the so-called boutique shelter?) What the new pet shops are doing is taking pets from shelters and getting them adopted in another venue. One that people are accustomed to visiting. Some people won’t go out of their neighborhood to get a pet from a shelter. So the pets and the shelter must accommodate that. This is a great way to meet the need without the cost of changing locations. Yes, owners of pet shops take a hit financially, but by adding new labor-based services (grooming, dog sitting by the hour) profits can be replaced with some creative experimentation.

There’s nothing so wonderful about the state of many shelters today that crys to be preserved. But to do nothing about pet shops?  How could that be considered a small, a silly thing?  If we are to be a humane nation, no stone can be left unturned. (And pet shops as they operate now are a big piece of the problem.) That’s really the point. There is no one way this will be achieved – there’s an arsenal of ideas and actions that work in concert to get this job done. Giving pet shops the boot does deal a fatal blow to puppy mills over time. The court of public opinion once made clearly aware can help get this job done.

Best Friends transports animals to shift populations from one region that doesn’t want them, to another where demand is high. Shifting animals from one location to another works nationally and locally. Look up their pup my ride program. These programs are very productive.

Sunday morning the news was splashed from Baltimore to LA – the San Francisco City Council tabled the motion to ban pet shops until all the hubbub dies down, and will bring it up again next month. I’ll be back with more then!

While I think I can safely say most if not all of you are negative on puppy mills, what are your thoughts on pet shops? Do you remember buying a pet when you were young? When did mass production of puppies and kittens become acceptable – a new normal? And were we all asleep at the wheel?? There were 17 million pets being killed in shelters just a few decades ago. We’re down to somewhere between 4 and 5 million now.  Do you think that 5 years to no-kill is possible?

Enhanced by Zemanta
44 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Lorie Huston
Lorie Huston

Hi, Mary. Great post here. I totally agree with you on all points. I have continued the conversation on my blog at http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/2010/07/17... and have featured your article there. Thanks for taking the time to address this very important issue.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Thanks so much, Lorie! I checked out your post - which was great BTW, especially in giving the people who don't know what the fuss is all about the background on puppy mills and the state of the pets they produce for pet shops - and appreciate your added expertise and experience as a Vet as well as in your role as a National Examiner on pet health. Glad you picked this post for your weekly Spotlight - you're so right this issue needs more discussion and work, not the least reason being so shelters don't feel it's a program that won't work for them.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

491 breeding pairs???? OMG! Agree, obviously:), that pet stores are a problem in more ways than one - psychologically reframes pets as commodities - but half a million puppies sold in shops in the US every year and what's the avg pricepoint? 1000-1350? But it's the lives that are important here. And that whole thing about puppy mills dumping pets in Puerto Rico. Ugh! Thanks for adding to the conversation here, Mel:)

Mel
Mel

BY the way, I beg to differ with Dr Doolittle. I was able to track puppy mill puppies from one puppy mill in southern MN to a pet store in St Croix Wisconsin and one in southern MN and one in northern MN and one in Iowa... They're making some big bucks selling out of pet stores. Don't you think they aren't. I've seen the shipping manifests on this one - it has 491 breeding pairs BTW. I'm not saying they aren't making money by selling out of pickup trucks, but pet stores are making them big money too.

Mel
Mel

I'm all for giving pet stores (who sell puppies in their windows) the boot. There are several rescue organizations who rescue dogs and cats from shelters and then get them adopted out at places like Petsmart and Petco, etc. Saying that that a boutique shop that is adopting out dogs is putting shelters out of business is also ridiculous. Seriously? Isn't the whole point to get away from having to euthanize 3-4 million cats and dogs every year? If we're all working towards the same goal then how is that wrong? I too wish all news organizations would do their homework. I just spent a few weeks (along with several other people) educating a local radio station that because a facility is "clean" doesn't mean it's not a puppy mill. Perhaps a definition of what is and is not a puppy mill is needed to help them better understand what they are supporting and promoting. I'm all for the boot.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Mel! On having to educate a radio station re what constitutes a puppy mill, I was commenting somewhere that I had engaged in a discussion with a guy who was a puppy mill and who didn't think he was here on the blog (I should go back and find that just to refresh my memory - more than a year ago I think.). He was honestly trying to understand why I would slap such a nasty moniker on his family business. I had to say that just because he kept things clean and the dogs were fed and had clean water did not disqualify him from the title. It must be perplexing to some of the commercial puppy farms that they are lumped with the horrors of the filthy backroad places where you can nearly smell disease and death from ten feet away. They don't get that keeping dogs penned is a bad practice, no walks is a bad practice, constantly pregnant is a bad practice.

drdoolittle2800
drdoolittle2800

I liked this blog and discussion thread so much I went onto Youtube, did one search and found this very encouraging video of how rescuers can work with a pet shop to stop selling animals. They now work with local shelters/rescue groups and adopt out animals. Here's proof it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64K2RDJkaKY&fe...

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Wow - thanks for adding to the conversation here! And it's so late I'll wait til tomorrow to respond to some main issues, but that was a good news video you provided - I'd heard about that shop, but had not seen the report, so thanks again! See you later.

drdoolittle2800
drdoolittle2800

(Conclusion)... Afraid of aggression? Well first, most animals with behavior problems are killed. For the few that get a chance at redemption, why not stop trying to deal with them in an environment that is, at its best, not conducive to rehab work? Does your famous shelter hire trainers to work with the dogs in the shelters, Mary? Why not use those trainers to train serious fosters to do this important work in their homes? It's a better environment and a much better use of the trainers. The military has for decades called this "force mulitipliers," the use of one to train many. By fosters, please know I mean serious people who want to do more than just provide room and board for Muffy or Princess. There have been mediocre attempts at creativity, but all fall short of success. Check out Rich Avanzino's SF SPCA, Scotlund Haisley's Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL), and Ed "I'm In The Money" Sayres' ASPCA. All have undergone renovations and created pretty little apartments for two, but still fail to honor the notion that dogs and cats are social animals. Even Mike Fry's Animal Ark in Hastings, Minnesota - the leading advocate of No-Kill sheltering - has gone to this limited boutique housing instead of all the way to communal housing. This is not unfamiliar turf. For goodness sake, rescuers around the country have been doing this for years. I and some of my rescuer friends have housed together as many as ten unruly large dogs in our homes. We know what it takes. What's wrong with these shelter experts? It's all about marketing, and specifically merchandising. Don't treat these sentient beings as products, but learn from successful businesses. On a final note, if we think sheltering is working, why does the leading defender of the status quo, Wayne 'Vick's Da Man' Pacelle's Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states that as few as 15% of the animals finding homes this year will come from shelters? What a pitiful market share. Shame on shelters! Shelter directors across the country need to learn what "market penetration" means. Oh yeah, one last thing: Brent, great discussion with Mary. Puppy mills don't make their money off retail sales in pet stores. Nope, not at all - a mere drop in the bucket. Their big outlet is from the back of pick ups and beat up old station wagons down south on country roads. They peddle those beautiful little animals by the thousands every weekend. We can easily work with retailers to be part of the solution - we just need to try. Petland is an example of defiance upon whom we can take more drastic action, like a boycott. And it's working! Mary, great work. Now please spread the word. You're in a great position to be able to help lead us into a new era of animal welfare. Shelters have to change or independent rescue groups will take over. Brick-and-mortar retailers fought the internet for years until the smart ones got on board and learned to sell competitively on the internet. Yeah, some obstinate retailers died but that shouold be a real motivator for the others to learn this new way. We The People aren't going to tolerate for much longer this antiquated way that is killing so many of our family companion every year. Thanks for putting it on the line for our furry friends.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Well, I don't know if you are referring to SPCA San Fran or Best Friends, which are actually famous, or the shelter I'm with (Lake Shore) which is not, but *my* shelter to me means Lake Shore and yes, we do have trainers we hire, and yes they do go to foster's and adopter's homes to help the animals and the people when needed. While I agree foster homes are the ideal setting, the keyword is ideal. There are not enough really serious foster homes. There are people who have the occasional space in time where they can take in a furry visitor and make him or her feel at home until the kinks are worked out, whatever they are. And that is wonderful too. Serious fosters are rare birds in my limited experience - it would be quite a gift to find a conduit in to such folks.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Just one more note on this point - I understand the power of the internet to sell millions, but I have to say that with 500,000 dog sales per year in the US out of pet shops, I don't think it's an issue to be swept aside in favor of the bullseye, which is going to be a very long political battle. I believe we have to work on many fronts at once, effectively putting a noose around the neck of the puppy mill industry, and I think the pet shops are the low hanging fruit that we can pick off now, town by town, and build toward majority consensus on State legislation, while we as individuals and groups work on the internet problem. And Best Friends are working with rescues and volunteers giving them tools, ideas and a how-to. how not to approach the pet shop owner. They are the leaders in this field and have begun a multi-city offensive, so check out the links in the post (way up there somewhere:), see what you think.

Thomas Cole
Thomas Cole

Mary, I want to say thank you for moderating such a valuable conversation. For all who read this, an "article" on Examiner.com was referenced. You all should know that hack of a writer removed all of the comments and replaced them with her own excuse-filled explanation (cover up). I left another comment just now. Let's see how long it remains. She needs to stick with her topic area of children. There are experts who can come behind and fix her glaring errors! Mary, what seems common through this thread is the premise that the current shelter model is not working well and needs to be improved. I disagree wholeheartedly. I recommend we get rid of "sheltering" now, today! I think we desperately need one large shelter to have the guts to convert from this prison-like format to a true adoption center. And not in name only like San Francisco's SPCA called 'Maddies Adoption Center.' It's mostly about good marketing, but also a little about what's best for the animals. For 100+ years we have crammed animals into small individual cages in rows. Some really creative souls have come along and doubled up the animals in the prison cells (e.g. Rich Avanzino in SF). 100 years and we're still fighting nature: if these animals are truly social animals as every expert agrees, why then do we house them in these solitary confinement cells? The term that 'shelter experts' all use is Kennel Crazy to describe what happens to even balanced animals in a short time. 100 years and we still use this same outdated, backwards method. Why hasn't any large shelter in this country gone to open "communal" housing? The open-admission Animal Humane Society shelters in Minnesota say it is because of their fear of disease transmission. Why then do they have 4 prison cells at the end of the isolation ward (they call it the dog kennel) each marked "Kennel Cough" and accessible to the public? And with no hand cleaner around. Yet they'd have you believe their facility is state of the science. Clean, well-lit, air exchangers, daily walks in the yard, etc. but make no mistake, that is a prison for those animals. A trip to our Stillwater maximum-security prison looks eerily similar! (Continued)...

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Thomas, and welcome! Interesting note about that Examiner deleting the unfavorable comments - well...guess she's not interested in conversation. Re open communal housing for groups of dogs - I've only seen this in sanctuaries where a number of dogs are matched for temperament in the same very large outdoor enclosure. Don't know how that would be replicated in cities, but yes, available space and the difficulty of containing disease are good reasons. Managing packs of dogs is another. Doesn't mean it's not possible. A viable system that would accommodate the tens of thousands of animals that are moved through big cities shelters would have to be designed.

Kyla Duffy
Kyla Duffy

I love you, I love you, I love you! This is one of the first posts I've seen that make sense on this topic. I can't believe how the media is taking the "squashing children's dreams" stance all over the place. Not selling live animals at pet stores is only squashing the dreams of the children of unscrupulous puppy millers who profit off suffering. Passing these laws would benefit shelters and rescues immensely, and as much as I wouldn't ever buy a dog from a reputable breeder, it will help their business too. Even the completely heartless should understand that this is not just an animal rights issue - it's a consumer protection issue because many unsuspecting people buy sick dogs at pet shops because they don't know any better. Aargh. This topic makes me so angry.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Kyla, and welcome! I think everything we can manage to accomplish in this area will help. There are thousands of pet stores that are supplied by the likes of the Hunte Corporation and other major commercial puppy farmers who dump animals as far away as Puerto Rico, according to tracebacks to the US. This has got to stop. Regardless of what the Petlands of the world might do if we manage to drum them out of malls in Everytown USA, at least we can work to get rid of the daily reminders that help keep the idea in people's minds that puppies and kittens are commodities. And yes, this is a consumer issue, too. I don't know anyone who would choose to pay more than a thousand dollars for a dog and then find they will be paying thousands more during the lifetime of the pooch due to health issues. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation:)

veryvizsla
veryvizsla

I think that banning sales of puppies and kittens in pet shops is like trying to hold back a flood with a teacup. In the Greater Toronto Area, I can name only two chain stores and two private stores that sell puppies while the rest DO NOT. So where are all these dogs coming from? Mostly classified ads in news papers and online. I think the key is to educate the public, but that's a tough sell, too. Most people are more interested in obtaining a puppy than finding out where it comes from.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi, Karen! I'm afraid you're right - that's the trouble with being too far on the inside of an issue or industry - hard to take the temperature of the avg (whatever that means) person who gets a dog or cat. Reminds me of the fur issue which took years to connect with initially a minority of people. People don't want to know where somethng comes from, the just want that something, for the most part. Yes, I mentioned education as being key here, along with changing the image of shelter pets - not less valuable, cheap alternative... Thanks for piping up:)

Brent
Brent

3) Someone was denied from adopting a retired greyhound because he owned unaltered dogs. He hunts, and has a few beagles that he occassional breeds because they're great hunting dogs from a good line. He wanted the greyhound to be a family pet to hang out indoors with them and sleep on their bed. Denied. 4) Someone else admitted to not giving heartworm treatment monthly to their elderly dog (which he did under his vets advice, during the winter, to not overly poison his elderly dog). His dog died at an old age of 15 years, but was denied because he admitted to following his vet's advice. Shelters and rescues cannot continue to make it a near-impossible task to adopt a pet and not expect people to go elsewhere....they HAVE to start making the process somewhat easier. And yes, I agree that people answer surveys differently that what REALLY triggers why they do things.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

You'll get no argument from me on this point - shelters who make it ridiculously difficult for perfectly good families to adopt have got to shape up and stop acting as if they have a hoarding problem. I know the types you are talking about - often they are the places that should retire..

Brent
Brent

But shelters do need to compete with this to some degree. In the past 2 years, I have personally met and know people who have been denied adoptions here in KC for the following reasons: 1) One lived in a condo, and thus, didn't have a fenced in yard. But was an active runner and was planning on running with their dog 3x daily. But no fence, no dog. 2) Someone lived on 40 acres, wanted an outside "farm dog" that would sleep in a nice horse barn with a lot of straw and a heated water bowl. I would sleep in that barn. But was denied because they wouldn't allow outdoor dogs.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

This is such old thinking I am surprised but not shocked that it's still hanging around, And yet this may be indicative of a shelter being isolated from the industry at large. When I started on the board of the Lake Shore's no klll shelter nearly 13 years ago, this kind of thinking was prevalent. It was all about the welfare of and responsbility to the animals. But there were always exceptions. Of course things have changed over time, at least here - doesn't sound so progressive where you are.

Champion of My Heart
Champion of My Heart

It's such a complicated issue. I oppose both puppy mills and the pet stores who sell their wares. And, yet, I sincerely question some of the odd things I see happening in the animal rescue world. I did some undercover and investigative work a couple years ago into a puppy-only rescue group. They always and only had puppies under a certain age. Their weekend adoption events get mobbed. I mean mobbed, like a Black Friday sale. As pups get older, they're prices get lowered (as if they were perishable fruit). I clocked one adoption event held at a BIG name big box pet store, and a puppy came out the door every 7 minutes. That's a sale, kids ... not an adoption, in my world. When I went digging around into tax records and non-profit filings, I found some sketchy and worrisome things .... including that the "rescue" group founders ran puppy mills and that the rural rescue location was indeed a former puppy mill site. I could not prove they were breeding these "mutts," but I also could not confirm they came from the other shelters in other states like they claim. I called every shelter or rescue group I could find in several states, and only a few told me they sent a few pups to this group. Where did the others come from? Call me old-fashioned, but the true humane movement, the real animal sheltering community, does MORE than handle the low-hanging fruit. Can shelters do a better job of marketing themselves and pets and make the adoption process more friendly? You bet, but they also must take on the hard work in our communities. Not just make an easy "sale."

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Wow, great story Roxanne, thanks for sharing this! Nice assignment, too. Shelter's have had a lingering reputation for being unhelpful and unwelcoming but for so many it's just not true. And you are right that it's not just the easy adoptions shelters are concerned with, but the older dogs, dogs with physical and or mental deficencies who are still adoptable, dogs who just don't "sell" themselves well but who would blossom in a home environment. It's as much about people and their relationship with their dogs as it is about the animals. The petline calls for help with a dog who s suddenly snappy, suspected abuse down the street that needs a humane investgator, the elderly with feral cats out back and cat shelters can't come out to help. There's a lot of admin work to do and talk time on the phones trying to keep the bond btw animal and human from breaking. You're right, Roxanne, it's a far more encompassing pursuit than adopting animals.

Brent
Brent

All of these things are, right now COMPLETELY fixable right now with better shelter operations. But without fixing the adoption/shelter experience, even without pet stores, people will continue to find other ways to get puppy mill dogs -- either by buying online, or buying through brokers online. It's still super-easy to buy dogs and cats this way. Banning pet stores is, in my opinion, just a smokescreen that will keep shelters from improving the customer service/adoption experience and until they do that, people will continue to look elsewhere for pets.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

But, and you knew there was one coming, who's to enforce these changes? Banning pet sales and opting for adoption is a nebulous "do what's right" plea that will ring true to some, yet unless and until shelter pets are seen as having value even spruced up shelters with people who actually break a smile can't overcome this stigma. Monied shelters can spend big on a purpose-built shelter. PAWS here in Chicago spent $10 million on building a shelter that houses maybe 40 animals if they double up. There may be room for more, but I didn't see it. It's a great space, with professional people who are paid real salaries. That is not the norm in the industry. I know as far back as when Ledy van Kavage was with ASPCA as the regional shelter rep, they were pushing and cajoling shelters to be professional. There will aways be people who will not comply and they deserve to fail - the animals can be taken by other shelters. But this is an excuse that will live forever. I think what you said about convenience is as close to the truth as status may be. Thanks for joining in - I think opposing views are very important!

Brent
Brent

You don't necessarily have to enforce changes. Sure, some shelters won't "do it right". But let's take PAWS for instance. Provide a very adoption-friendly shelter, with a great professional staff, and they can move a lot of animals. Now, create an open access law (similar to Hayden's Law, or the poorly named Oreo's law) and let PAWS adopt animals all day long and continue to pull animals from the local shelter. It doesn't take too many well-located shelters doing it right and a complete open access law, to make a huge impact. But, As Champion of My Heart Noted, it won't all be easy sales....

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Paws is set up to take animals from animal care and control and adopt them out. As far as I know, they stll rarely take from the public and when they do the fee is several hundred dollars for intake. ACC in Chicago sends out reminders to all shelters and rescues how many animals are available and all shelter reps can go there and pick them up after their stay period is up.

Brent
Brent

Ok, color me the jerk here, but I disagree with the idea of banning the sale of pets from pet stores. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate puppy mills and the people behind them, but I don't think a pet store ban will do the first thing to stop them. According to a couple of recent surveys, the majority of people right now say they would prefer to adopt their next pet from a shelter. Only about 8% of all owned pets come from pet stores. And yet, the majority of people aren't still aren't getting them from shelters. Why? The most common reasons are that people were looking for a specific breed of dog or cat, the adoption process is too difficult, denied from adopting, lack of convenient shelter hours or locations, shelter was depressing, health problems with shelter animals and poor customer service by the shelter. Meanwhile, the top 2 reasons people said they got pets at pet stores were because it was more convenient and because they could get everything they needed all in one place.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

A reply in two parts:) No, don't think you are a jerk at all! The surveys though - how often do people answer with what they think is politically correct and then do something else entirely? Of course, having preferences for doing something might not mesh with desires, and desires can trump what's preferred. So many compromises, so little time;-D With Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet I wonder if people most certainly found the breed they were looking for, but as you pointed out it wasn't convenient, the people had terrible phone sales skills or the place was unwelcoming allowing the concept to fail. If it's easier to order on the internet, well...they can be lulled by good web design and savvy copy; just whip out the credit card, no questions asked. This is something no shelter can compete with. It's why public education is as vital to shelter market share success, as clean, professionally staffed well lit and designed shelters are. I don't disagree.

Rod@GoPetFriendly
Rod@GoPetFriendly

With few exceptions (Mary, you may be able to think of more than me) economics trumps ethical treatment of animals. Would I like to see an end to puppy stores - yes. (I would also like to see an end to sodas, cigarettes, and guns.) In the meantime, I would be happy with a moratorium on puppy stores until the the number of rescue/shelter dogs is dramatically reduced. Rather than be in competition, think about the cooperation that could exist between puppy stores and shelters if the former knew they could sell pets until the latter saw its population decline. You might see puppy stores and shelters sharing attractive "retail" space (why is it that many shelters are dark and dank). It just seems like so much more could be achieve by collaboration and cooperation than by a one-sided fiat that eliminates puppy stores.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi, Rod:) I think what you suggest is yet another tool to use to push change forward. Here in Oak Park we just stopped a toy dog pet shop from opening. We are a very dog-friendly place and the people with the business thought they hit a vein of gold when they found a retail shop zoned for it on the main street. As I've said elsewhere here, not going to get rid of viable businesses, very tough to convince anyone, especially now, to give up the kind of profits they make in favor losing money but feeling good about your business...most don't feel any twinges at all, hence the concerted protest efforts. Collaboration can be good, but one of the root issues here is the status of "shelter pets" - they are looked down on, they are considered of little value and should be cheap, not like the probably poorly bred often ill conceived tiny teacups that will have a host of skeletal issues later in life that may drive the family into debt. Those the public will pay thousands of dollars for. Of course more could be achieved as you said by cooperation - but look how hard it is to get our Congress to do that. Puppy mills and shelters...huh, not seeing the love!

EdieJ
EdieJ

I think these boutique shelters are similar to the types of showcases that have been done at PetSmart on a more sporadic basis for years. The more outlets for adoption the better! I see Maggie's point about only more desirable animals being highlighted, but the others can still be taken to PetSmart and similar places. I think it's a good way to get the general public accustomed to the idea that shelter animals are desirable -- and that stores shouldn't sell animals, but just make them available for adoption.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Edie:) I know the PetCo program as Lake Shore participants once or twice a month locally, And I think you hit on the value of changing the face of what people see in pet shops that I had mentioned in my reply to Maggie. Change is hard, it's slow, it often comes up against immoveable forces that take decades to crumble. But we need to start pushing the ball forward and I see this as another opportunity to introduce the adult dogs, the goofy looking but endearing types, much as the shelter pet project did with their advertising campaign.

jan
jan

I think it's a mistake to paint with a broad brush all pet stores being evil and all breeders of purebred dogs being evil. The problem with laws such as the San Francisco ban is that people who have businesses run with integrity are often punished while customers can simply go elsewhere to buy what they are looking for. I do like the idea that my local pet shop does of having rescue animals for an adoption fee and I do believe the fee should be high enough that the pets are not an impulse buy.

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Hi Jan! I am one that doesn't believe breeding is evil. I think keeping the breeds we have had historically is not only a good thing, but something that serves the public. Working dogs work, service dogs serve, etc. I loved my Springer Spaniel, given up by a (good) breeder because he was too tall for show, then given up by the people who took him because they were moving (!) He landed with me instead of going to a shelter. The fact is that many of these businesses will go online, where so many already are. There are no laws that govern these internet sales as far as I know, although there has been talk. I don't know that a high fee stops people with credit cards...lots of pet shop pets end up in shelters for health or personality reasons, or the unwillingness to get a trainer. Thanks for stopping by!

Previous post:

Next post: