Posts Tagged ‘animal rescue groups’

Could You Support a Pet Store Who Adopts and Sells Pets?

October 26, 2011 11 comments

Would you support a pet store that sells puppies and kitties from puppy mills?

What about a pet store that used to sell puppies and kitties but now only adopts dogs and cats from local rescues and animal shelters?

What about a pet store that sells puppies and kitties from puppy mills AND adopts animals out from a local rescue groups or animal shelters?

This is the discussion that is going on over at Animal Cafe and Dancing Dog Blog and Will My Dog Hate Me?.

Petland USA from a corporate standpoint, still sells puppies and kitties from puppy mills. You can read more about their history here (feel free to also sign the petition to ask them to stop). But, a few Petland franchisees are starting to implement a new business model, one that focuses on pet adoption and less on selling puppies. Some have chosen to stop selling puppies altogether while others are transitioning to pet adoption. I encourage you to listen to the full 24 minute interview with Mary Haight (from Dancing Dog Blog), Alan Caplan (a Petland Franchise Owner), and Pamela Hoebeck (Pet Match, a rescue group) to learn more about this controversial issue.

As anyone involved in animal welfare knows, there is rarely a black and white solution to pet over population and many other animal welfare issues in general. But Mary, Edie and Animal Cafe raise some serious questions for all of us to consider.

Is it okay for a rescue or shelter to support an organization that sells puppies and kitties when it also adopts animals to loving homes?

What if that organization is looking to get out of the puppy- and kitty-selling business, but needs time to transition the business AND needs local support from rescues and shelters to make that transition a viable one?

Do we as animal welfare advocates miss the chance at a possible solution because we are too stringent in our requirements? Do we need to look at this issue in a more balanced way?

And what about the cats and dogs sitting in a shelter now? Or the ones waiting in a foster home, just waiting for a chance at a new life? Do we deny them this chance because we need to stand on principle? Do we allow them to be euthanized instead, just so we can say that we took the high road and didn’t support Petland or another pet store?

These are all the questions running through my mind tonight. To be honest, I am conflicted. As an animal advocate, who happens to have pretty strong views on puppy mills, the thought of supporting a store still selling puppies from puppy mills is abhorrent to me. But, when that same pet store is also adopting dogs into good homes, well, that is quite a dilemma. Can I support such a move? And, what would it take to do so? It’s something I’m going to need to ponder a bit more.

What do you think?

I encourage you to comment on Mary Haight’s blog post at Dancing Dog Blog, Edie Jarolim’s blog post at Will My Dog Hate Me? and/or Animal Cafe.

Animal Rescue Groups: Are They Changing With the Times?

August 26, 2010 5 comments

Last month, I posted A Letter From A Shelter Manager and received a much bigger response than I ever expected. Many people commented on the dogs they had adopted from a shelter or a rescue. Or, how they would be adopting a dog in the future.

A few people wrote me or commented on the fact that they had tried to rescue a dog only to be turned away because no one would be home all day with the dog or they didn’t have a yard. Then, this last Monday during our #dogtalk discussion on Tweetchat (about the BlogPaws Conference in Denver) someone mentioned that they had been turned away from adopting a dog because the rescue wouldn’t let someone adopt a dog if they didn’t have a backyard – even though a dog park was down the street.

I want to acknowledge up front that I know many amazing rescue groups. They do the hard work of rescuing, spaying and neutering and preparing a dog or cat for a new home. I have met many rescue folks on Twitter and even locally, here in Minnesota. But, I hear these stories and wonder why some rescue groups are being so stringent when the economy is changing the housing environment. Are they changing with the times?

Just last week, Time Magazine pondered home ownership and whether home ownership even makes economic sense. An article in the Wall Street Journal (written by Thomas J Sugrue, Historian at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on American urban history) suggested that the new American Dream should be renting. And, in The Washington Post was the announcement that three U.S. Senators “are pushing an amendment that would wind down the government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Are rescues taking a second look at their guidelines and wondering how they will fit into the changing landscape? In an age when home ownership seems to be on the wane, should they refuse to adopt a dog to someone without a yard? In these economic times, when both parents often work either out of necessity, should they refuse to adopt a dog to a home where someone is not home all day? Obviously, I’m not the one to decide, but I do wonder if they are asking themselves these questions as well. After all, if the economists and historians and politicians are questioning who should own a home, shouldn’t rescues be asking whether a home with a yard is a valid guideline anymore?

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