Puppy Mills Promoter “Pet Age” Editor Warning to Pet Industry

by Mary Haight on November 30, 2011

“Stand Up for Pet Sales” is what Karen Long MacLeod titled her editor’s note in Pet Age Magazine.  My mouth opened involuntarily and I heard myself say “oh for godssakes”.  I was at the Backer Christmas Pet Products Show when I read the news. This incident followed on the heels of my post on BTC4Animals asking Petland to stop selling pets, spurred on by Petland USA’s absurd voicemail to concerned animal lovers warning of an animal rights conspiracy to rid homes everywhere of pets. I had mentioned this incident briefly, buried in one of the posts about the petition against Petland USA, but it deserves it’s own airing. Pet Age’s editorial is devoid of any thought to the conditions under which breeder dogs suffer every day in commercial puppy mills.

“Two years ago we warned you that pet sales – and puppy sales in particular – were under unprecedented attack” MacLeod continues. Citing the fact that 13 towns in 8 States had banned pet sales, and that the pace of legislation was gaining speed, HSUS, ASPCA and PeTA were offered up as the organizations behind the plot.  No mention of the hundreds of thousands of animal lovers who don’t want dogs or cats to be raised like agricultural products.  No mention, in fact, of puppy mills!

The main thrust of MacLeod’s argument was that these bans not only cripple stores that sell pets, but will “cripple all pet retail outlets, and all the vendors who supply them” reasoning “after all, it’s pretty hard to sell kibble and collars to someone who can’t get the dog he wants, or pellets and filters to someone who doesn’t have fish.” The editor needs an editor.

Puppy Mills Champions

This was the backdrop to a push for membership in the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), working for legislative and regulatory issues favorable to puppy mills everywhere.  In the same issue, Lone Star Pet Supply (TX) and Coastal Pet Products (OH) announced they were subsidizing retailers’ PIJAC dues and asked other vendors to join them.  They got into the act after the Texas legislature passed House Bill 1451 the “Dog or Cat Breeders Act”, one that PIJAC claims severely restricts commercial breeding operations – better known as puppy mills. It was a stunning defeat for PIJAC in a State known for a hands-off approach to business. PIJAC says they were underfunded and did not have enough funds to squash legislation.

The disturbing refrain here is money is needed to “effectively advocate for responsible pet ownership and the continued availability of pets.”  Can they possibly believe their own public relations?  How many retailers actually consider this conspiracy theory of taking away people’s right to have pets to be true?  Apparently 104 of them who signed up during the month of August according to an article on page 6. And apparently none of them see anything wrong with puppy mills.

A Bold Response

There is one company I know who drew a line, wrote a letter to the Editor of Pet Age and pulled all her advertising dollars – Lucy Postins, founder and owner of The Honest Kitchen.  As you may know, The Honest Kitchen has always taken a strong stance against puppy mills and therefore pet shop sales.  If you haven’t already read it, the text from Pet Age and Postins’ response to Pet Age Magazine’s attempt to garner industry support for puppy mills is one you shouldn’t miss – promise!

How many others voiced disapproval of Pet Age? And I would be interested to hear about those 104 retailers who joined PIJAC because of the call to defend pet sales or the legislation hampering commercial puppy mill operations in Texas, wouldn’t you?

12 comments
Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

We love The Honest Kitchen - I wish all pet supply companies were as well informed, right-minded, and outspoken.

Jennifer
Jennifer

We are huge fans of Honest Kitchen and are so proud of them for pulling their advertising dollars. Thank you for sharing this information.

Pup Fan
Pup Fan

Businesses like the Honest Kitchen deserve our patronage. Good for them.

Alva @ PawsTexas
Alva @ PawsTexas

With hope that as more awareness is created, the demand for pets from puppy mills will diminish. I shared this quote on the Pawsitively Texas Facebook page yesterday, because the list of opponents shocked me. The quote, by Nathan Winograd, is in regards to new legislation in Texas and includes a surprising (to me) list of organizations that oppose the new law allowing for sentimental value of a pet to be awarded: "A great decision from a TX court of appeals ruling that a family is entitled to sentimental damages when animal control erroneously kills their companion animal is under attack by the TX veterinary medical association, the TX animal control association, the American Kennel Club, Cat Fanciers Association, Animal Health Institute, American Pet Products Association, and Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. The No Kill Advocacy Center will be filing an amicus brief defending the decision. http://www.2ndcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/PDF... www.2ndcoa.courts.state.tx.us " And to Pamela's point in comments above, I'm also seeing a LOT of advertising on FB for another classified ad site that allows pet sales. We have to continue to speak on behalf of the pets and demand change. It's the morally right thing to do and they deserve it so.

spring4th
spring4th

Huge props to The Honest Kitchen for walking away from this magazine! Pet Age Magazine is way off-base, but their opinion doesn't surprise me. I used to work pet retail and a lot of trade magazines are pro-puppy-sales, which is unfortunate. But the tides are turning and they know it...

Pamela
Pamela

Lobbyists are amazing in their ability to spin nearly anything. Have you ever seen the move, Thank You for Smoking? McLeod's editorial belongs right beside some of the spin parodied in that film. BTW, have you noticed Ebay is ramping up their pet sales advertising for the holidays? I'm seeing them on websites everywhere: Pandora, Daily Puppy, Squidoo.

Kenzo_HW
Kenzo_HW

Shocking to read how Pet Age Magazine would use "responsible pet ownership" as a reason to support puppy mills. And brand animal welfare organizations like "anti-pet". That is the world upside done. The Honest Kitchen gives an outstanding example, and show it is possible to make a dollar (and more than that) based on sound core principles. I hope more pet related business will follow their example. And like them, don't do business with pet stores that sell from puppy mills. I applaud them for also deciding to stop advertising through Pet Age Magazine

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  1. […] pet industry to “Stand Up for Pet Sales”.  As I wrote in last year’s post that puppy mills were being promoted by Pet Age , Karen Long MacLeod, the editor, cited the fact that 13 towns in 8 States had banned pet sales, […]

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