Redundancy Alert! Pet Stores = Puppy Mills = DUH
The fall out over the puppy mill bust in Quebec, Canada has led to a ton of hand wringing and hyperbole in media circles. CBC reports that Quebec is ‘the puppy mill capital of North America’, a fact that would come as welcome news to Pennsylvania and Kansas, two states that have been tied neck and neck for that title for the past decade.
In the middle of the article comes a quote from the executive director of ANIMA-Québec, the government-funded group responsible for enforcing animal-rights laws, saying that the best way to avoid buying a puppy mill puppy is to “ask the owner of the pet shop where he is … [getting] his animals [from]”.
That sound? That’s my head hitting my freakin’ desk.
Where’s the insightful advice about how to choose an ethical breeder? Where’s the oft repeated, always on the mark advice about never buying a puppy from a pet store? Where’s the check list of things for the public to look for when purchasing a puppy from any source? Who pays your salary, ANIMA-QUEBEC?
I’ve said this before (as have many others before me, Gina Spadafori of Pet Connection the most frequently and eloquently), but let me say it once again –
The best way to avoid buying a puppy mill bred puppy is to NOT BUY A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE. Any pet store.
Yes – Even the pretty ones and the clean ones and the ones with cute names.
Yes – Even the pricey ones in Manhattan or Beverly Hills.
Yes – Even the ones who claim that they buy their puppies from ‘caring breeders’.
Yes – Even the ones who say all their puppies are ‘registered’.
Every pet store, everyplace, that sells live puppies gets their puppies from puppy mills.
Every. Single. One.
And pet stores? They lie. They’ll be HAPPY to tell you all about the caring, loving, clean breeders who they buy their puppies from. They’re lying. They’re liars. They LIE. Pound that fact into your heads. If you buy a puppy anyway, because you ‘really believe them’, then you’re either a sucker or a heartless jerk who really doesn’t care what happens to your puppy’s relatives.
And no, I won’t sugar coat that for you so you can feel better about your over priced impulse buy. I won’t tell you that you’re still a good person who just didn’t know any better, because unless you live under a rock? No excuse. No excuse for saying “but I didn’t know”. Yeah, you did. You knew, but you wanted that puppy, right now, with no waiting, and billed to your credit card, and because of that, your puppy’s mommy just pumped out one more litter onto cold chicken wire with no vet care, substandard food, and a good chance that she’ll die during labour.
Congratulations, your karma just tanked.
Some people, of course, just refuse to accept that a clean, well lit pet store could possibly lie – after all, look how expensive their puppies are, and doesn’t expensive equal better?
For ‘fun’, I just called Canada’s version of Petland, PJ’s Pets. Specifically, I called their most ‘upscale’ location, in Yorkdale Mall, and asked if they had French Bulldogs for sale.
The conversation went like this:
PJ’s “Puppy Sale” Department Rep: “We have three available right now – 3 black ones. They’re really adorable”.
Me, ignoring fact that Frenchies don’t come in black: “Can you tell me how much?”
PJ’s: “They’re on sale right now – regular $3899, on sale for $3499”.
Me: “Are they Canadian bred?”
PJ’s: “Umm, no. No, these ones aren’t. They’re not from Quebec, definitely” (nervous sounding giggle)
Me: “OK, can you tell me where they’re from them? Are they registered? Do they have ‘papers’?”
PJ’s: “Oh, yeah, yes. They have papers for sure”.
Me: “But can you tell me where they were bred?”
PJ’s: “Let me check. OK, these ones are from the US. They have US papers. Continental Kennel Association (sic). That means they can be registered here”. (I assume she meant Continental Kennel Club, and she’s completely wrong – American bred dogs can only be registered in Canada if they have AKC issued registration papers).
Obviously, this is a quality, reliable source of information about French Bulldogs. How could you not trust them with a $3500 purchase?
But, just in case there is still anyone left who claims “But the pet store my puppy came from is different“, here’s the video story from the HSUS on their year long investigation into the link between Petland and Puppy Mills. Make sure to pay special attention to the parts where Petland employees claim that all their puppies come from great breeders.
It just boggles my mind, that with all the info available in the media – online, that people still buy dogs from pet stores, flea markets etc. It makes me sick.
Just another example that people want instant gratification no matter what the consequence.Sad
Of course pet stores are going to lie and say they buy from reputable breeders. But anyone who knows anything about reputable breeders knows that they would never sell their beautiful puppies or kittens or other baby animals to a pet store!
I second what Jennifer said, it’s amazing that with all the information available and all the media coverage this issue has received over the past year or so, people are still gullible enough to believe it. Either that, or they want what they want now, so they will believe what they want to believe.
RHz’s last blog post..His name should have been Kamikaze
Okay, my mom and dad breed both frenchies and pugs, and sometimes they have no other choice but to sell those puppies to a pet store. I can guarantee you that you could eat off the floor in their kennel, and each of the adult dogs is spoiled rotten. Both of my parents lose sleep to make sure the puppies and mamas are okay. It makes me really mad when people make generalized statements about puppies going to pet stores. Do your research before buying the puppy, and be a RESPONSIBLE pet owner. My parents have had a REPUTABLE dog breeding business for well over twenty years, and their customers come back for more. You all have to remember that puppies come from somewhere, and that not all breeders are “puppy mills”.
sometimes they have no other choice but to sell those puppies to a pet store.
Tracey, with all respect there is never, ever ‘no other choice’ but to sell to a pet store. The choice is simple – if we don’t have enough homes waiting, we simply do not breed that litter. We don’t breed it regardless, and then shrug and say “Well, no one wants them – I guess I’d better sell them to a pet store”.
Your parents could well have made sure that their kennel was clean, and that their puppies and mothers were cared for – but what guarantee did they have of either once those puppies had left? They had no control over where the pups went, how clean their environment was, or how carefully they were placed. To any responsible breeder, that would simply be unacceptable.
No responsible breeder is EVER going to allow a second party to handle the sales of their dogs – not to mention the stress of transit, of over crowding, of illness due to puppies sold too young. It simply isn’t going to happen, because no one would be willing to take that chance.
Anyone ‘doing their research about buying a puppy’ is quickly going to learn that the ONLY responsible method of purchasing a puppy is directly from the breeder – not from a secondary party or pet store.
In this day and age, there is simply no more room for live animal sales in pet stores. It’s a dinosaur on its way to extinction.
Stay away from PuppiesEverything.ca – the “Pet Store” in Stratford on Corcoran Street.The owner will proudly take you on tours of their makeshift “pet store” and quarantine area. They are low-life hicks who think they’re in the animal business. They lie to their customers and let the dogs die from malnutrition/ being taken from their mothers too soon, and that’s only what happened to me after I put a downpaymen on a dog and went back to get it. The owner’s wife is aggressive and violent and says the Perth SPCA “Are her best friends” where complaints being filed are concerned. Don’t buy their animals and for God’s sake, breeders, sell them privately and humanely! They’re famous for taking your *downpayment* and then accepting higher prices from other buyers. Suddenly, your dog is “dead” when you go in to get it!
If you go into these places and the animals look unhealthy, SPCA says to call them, that they aren’t allowed to go in without *cause*. But if SPCA is the “best friend” of the perpetrators, then don’t expect anyone to look after the animals’ health and welfare!