Abandoned Pugs in Nanaimo, BC Puzzle Authorities

Abandoned Pugs Found Near British Columbia MallA strange spate of Pug abandonments have been taking place across a picturesque town on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.  Nanaimo, BC shelter worker Helen Roberts says that in more than 20 years of experience, she’s never seen anything like it.

The abandonment took place over the course of the month of December, and all the dogs involved were young, intact female Pugs with a variety of health problems. Authorities are now speculating that this was a case of a puppy mill dumping off breeding stock that they had no further use for.

The first two pugs were found wandering near Nanaimo’s Country Club Center mall, the first on December 13th, the second on December 29th. A third pug was discovered at the same location at a later, unspecified date in December. The fourth pug was found near another Nanaimo mall, The North Town Center, also on December 29th. All of the found dogs were dirty, malnourished, parasite infested and in need of attention.

It’s baffling that anyone with enough knowledge to breed and raise pugs would be unaware that there are a myriad of homes in Canada waiting to take in unwanted adults, even those with health issues. British Columbia has a well organized Pug Club and rescue group, who I’m sure would have been happy to help. Instead, someone dumped these girls unceremoniously in the snow, in the coldest month of the year, and left them to fend for themselves.

Two of the dogs have found new homes through the Nanaimo and District SPCA, one has been adopted by the person who found it, and the final Puglette is awaiting a new home at Walker’s Animal Rescue in Nanaimo. Let’s hope that the new lives they’ve found are better than the ones they’ve left behind them.

Full story here.

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.

Thursday 13 – The Bad Breeder's List of Excuses, Part 2

This list originally appeared back on the rec.pets.dogs mailing list, around 2001 or so. It was written by Denna Pace. It might be old, but still holds true today.

Since there are 26 items on the list – the first thirteen were posted last week. Interspersed on the list are images of puppy mill/BYB bred Frenchies currently needing homes, fosters or donations.

The Backyard Breeders’ and Puppy Millers’ Big Book of Old Excuses
© Denna Pace 2001

14. If this is your first attempt at breeding, make sure to remind everyone that you HAVE to breed your dog because how else are you going to learn how to breed?

15. Assure everyone that your dog does not need to be shown because you were assured by someone at Petsmart/the park/the vet’s office/a friend that your dog is a perfect example of the breed.

16. Always remember that “rare” colors, oversized or undersized dogs, and mixes of popular breeds are great selling points. Anyone who doesn’t think so is obviously not in tune with their customers’ wishes.

17. Claim that your dogs are better because they are not inbred, as inbreeding obviously produces sick/stupid/deformed dogs. If breeding crosses [as in “Frenchstons,” “PugaFrenchs,” etc.] dogs or other mutts, always point to “hybrid vigor” as proof of your dogs’ superiority.

18. Remind everyone that you do not need a waiting list because your puppies are cute.

19. Assure everyone that your puppies will not end up in shelters or rescue because they are cute.

FBRN Foster Dog Nina
, a French Bulldog Rescue Network foster dog, and typical ‘cute’ back yard bred puppy that would ‘never’ end up in rescue.

20. Claim that YOUR breed never ends up in shelters in your area, therefore your puppies will never end up in shelters.

21. If asked why you think your dogs are breeding quality, point out that they “have papers.” Extra points awarded for using the phrase “AKC Certified.” Double points if those papers come from the Continental Kennel Club.

22. If you sell a sick puppy, always blame the owners for making it sick. If the owners are clearly not responsible, blame their vet. (see #11)

23. If presented with irrefutable evidence proving you wrong on any excuses you have used, pretend your server did not receive the post/e-mail.

24. Claim that none of the rules of ethical breeding apply to you because you only intend to have one litter and therefore aren’t a “real” breeder.

25. If all else fails, tell everyone who criticizes you to “get a life.”

26. If that doesn’t work, tell them that you’re a Christian, and that you breed dogs because Jesus wants you to. Accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a God hating Jew. Then tell them “God Bless”, just to teach ’em who’s boss.

TX Dot, a French Bulldog Rescue Network foster dog. Dot’s former ‘owner’ handed her leash over to a vet tech, and told her to ‘find her a home, or put her to sleep’, then walked away. Dot had been used as breeding bitch her whole life.

Thursday 13 – The Bad Breeder's List of Excuses

This list originally appeared back on the rec.pets.dogs mailing list, around 2001 or so. It was written by Denna Pace. It might be old, but still holds true today.

Since there are 26 items on the list, I’ll post the rest for next week. Interspersed on the list are images of puppy mill/BYB bred Frenchies currently needing homes, fosters or donations.

The Backyard Breeders’ and Puppy Millers’ Big Book of Old Excuses
© Denna Pace 2001

FBRN Posey
Posey, FBRN Foster dog. Posey is like this because “A “breeder” let her demodectic mange get out of hand and surrendered her to a shelter. At the time of surrender Posy was described as “six pounds, 13 ounces; inflamed, hairless and infected.”

1. When called on bad breeding practices, ALWAYS claim that you are merely an innocent posting as a favor to a friend or family member.

2. Point out that everybody you know breeds this way, therefore it must be okay.

3. Claim that “snobby show breeders” are only criticizing you because they want to corner the market on puppy profit.

4. Claim that a Champion in the pedigree is just as good as 56 Champions in the pedigree. Not that it matters, because you doubt that there is such a thing as a dog with 56 champions in the pedigree.

5. Claim that you are just trying to produce good pets, therefore good pets are all you need for breeding.

6. When asked about health testing, enthusiastically point out that your bitch had a health checkup before breeding.

Fluffy, French Bulldog Village Foster Kid
French Bulldog Village K-Kid ‘Fluffy’. She “arrived in rescue unable to defecate naturally, struggling and straining to relieve herself. We discovered that her rectum had been sewn shut to prevent recurrent bouts of diarrhea! “

7. Be sure to mention that you do not need to run such health tests as OFA, CERF, thyroid, cardiac, patellae, etc., because your dogs look healthy and had no visible problems at their last vet checkup.

8. Point out that these tests cost too much and would cut into your profit margin. Be sure to champion the right of poor people to breed dogs.

9. Confidently assure worried rescuers that no puppy you produce, or any of their puppies or grand puppies or great-grandpuppies will end up in shelters because you have a bunch of friends who have told you that they’d like a pup from your bitch.

10. Point out that you don’t need Championships or working titles on your dogs because you are breeding for temperament and your dog is really sweet.

11. Silence those annoying people who ask about your health guarantee by assuring them that buyers can return any sick puppies and you will replace it with another pup as long as it got sick within a certain amount of time of sale and as long as you don’t think the buyer did something to make the puppy sick.

12. If your breed or line is rare (or you have a “rare” color, or believe your breed or color is rare), be sure to remind everyone that you do not need to show, temperament test, or health test your breeding stock because you are doing the world a service by continuing this “rare” breed/color/line.

13. No matter what anyone else says, claim that you obviously know what you are doing because you’ve been breeding for a long time. Point to the hundreds of puppies you’ve pumped out over the years as proof.

 French Bulldog Village K Kid Lucy
Lucy, another French Bulldog Village K Kid. Lucy spent her entire life being used as a brood bitch. She weighed less than 15 pounds when she came into rescue.