Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Boycott Petland Stores: Stop Puppymills

ALL dogs in pet stores are puppy mill dogs. ALL. Many pet stores, like Petland, deny this, and will often tell you (as they have me) that they buy from "brokers" if they are even "that" honest.

Well, true enough. The dogs the brokers sell are from puppy mills.

So, why lie? Because the public doesn't like puppy mills, and the more they know about them, the less they like them. This picture tells the story.

Companion dogs are NOT a commodity, though that is how they are regulated through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). And as you might guess, USDA licensing regs, inspections and regulatory actions are a sorry mess. This is one of the best sites on the web on the topic of puppy mills. Best Friends in Utah, probably the foremost rescue in the United States, also has a wonderful section on mills. The photo is, in fact, from the Best Friends site.

Please watch this video. It is not overly graphic, but it is very sad. It was produced by Humane Society of the U.S.

There are many dog lovers on this blog and blogs that I visit every day. There are also some some breeders and showers. They will be the FIRST to tell you they would NEVER sell a dog to a pet store. Why? Because quality breeders never have to. Many highly desired dogs are bought before they are even born; those from champion lines and those who are trialed in field and obedience.

Every dog sold in a pet store has a broker number (a B license number) etc. and EVERY dog is traceable. Don't fall for the AKC bit, either. Being registered in the AKC means exactly zero.

Puppy mill dogs are also sold as family "bred" dogs--backyard breeders. Most know zero about breeding, do not do proper health testing prior to breeding, etc. They view it as a "under the tax radar" profit-making biz. Sure, any two dogs can be bred. But should they? Are they good representatives in breed conformance? Have they had genetic testing for congenital disease typical for that dog breed? Are they behaviorally stable?

We all know what Disney's 101 Dalmatians did to that breed. I owned a dal for almost 18 years. Gorgeous dog. Well conformed. And deaf (which runs in this breed though many breeders bend the truth to breaking in telling potential buyers they have never had a deaf puppy, which is statistically an outright lie). The Taco Bell commercial is responsible for the interest in chihuahuas. Chis and chi mixes are one of the most frequently found dogs at the shelters, and one of the most frequently euthanized. Jack Russel (Parson's) terriers became popular through television's "Frasier". I have a good history with this breed and will be the first to tell you they are NOT a suitable dog for the average family. Just because "Eddy" (a highly trained dog) is adorable on Frasier doesn't make this breed suitable for a family unaware of the needs of this very active breed.

The popularity of Irish Setters in the 70's almost ruined that breed. Everyone wanted one, so they were bred badly by anyone interested in making a buck.

Please let your friends know, if they are looking for a dog, whether purebred or mixed, that there are breed rescues all over the US, and to learn the difference between a well bred dog and a "for profit" badly bred dog. One of the BEST places to learn to understand breeds is by going to a dog show and learning and meeting showers and breeders, or going to field and obedience trials if that is your breed interest.

Puppy mills are sorry places for dogs and they should be closed.