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Posts Tagged ‘buy a puppy’

How much is that doggie in your browser? You’d be surprised.

February 4, 2013 21 comments

I thought I would start you off with a few numbers today.

361,527

That’s the total number of ads for puppy sales that appeared on just nine (9) high-volume puppy sale websites (yes on the internet) on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.

I’ll give you another number.

733, 131

The number of individual puppies that appeared for sale in ads on those same nine high-volume puppy sale websites that same day.

And yet, one more number for you.

62%

The very conservative number of puppies estimated to have come from puppy mills that appeared on those sites (in online ads) that same day. (If this number were to be extrapolated to the number of puppies appearing in these online ads over 365 days that would be 81,813,560 puppies a year.)

So where did these numbers come from? A report issued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2012. They generated these numbers by studying nine online sites known for their high-volume sale of puppies.  The methodology was the same one used by IFAW in their 2008 investigation into the online sales of endangered species products.

You can read the full report here, and I encourage you to do so, but I wanted thought I would share some of the highlights of the report with you today.

As you think about the push against pet stores who sell puppies from puppy mills, I want you to keep in mind where the real high-volume sales are occurring these days. It’s not in a bricks and mortar mom-and-pop pet shops, but online, where puppy millers are NOT subject to USDA inspection.

So let’s get to it. So what were the nine online sites included in the IFAW study?

Six high-volume puppy sale sites:

  • Animaroo – based out of Missouri, that has over 300,000 monthly visitors
  • DogsNow – a California-based business that is a service of EquineNow.com
  • NextDayPets* – a Maryland-based business that has over 3,000,000 (3 million) visitors per month
  • PuppyFind* – based out of Arizona and has over 300,000 visitors per day
  • PuppyTrader – based out of Pennsylvania and serves U.S. and Canadian visitors
  • Terrific Pets – a North Carolina based business and operates as a platform for buyers and sellars

*These two websites are being used by a Wisconsin-based “animal shelter” to sell the puppies they are breeding to “raise money for their no-kill shelter”. I wrote about it last week.

And, three general buyer-seller platforms engaged in puppy sales:

  • Craigslist – A California-based business that operates as a free online version of a newspaper classified ads
  • eBay Classifieds – a subsidiary of eBay based out of California and operates as an online classifieds platform
  • Oodle – a California-based business that provides a “friendly local marketplace to buy, sell and trade”

Keep in mind that these are only the nine high-volume sites. There are many other medium or small sites in existence today that were not included, and more are being created every day.

IFAW referenced an HSUS three-month study into a “single online seller who advertised puppy mill dogs on nearly 800 Web domains designed to appear like local breeders selling online.” The online puppy sale industry is big bucks and puppy mills are in the thick of it.

On this one day, Wednesday, July 18, 2012, IFAW pulled a percentage of ads from these sites and analyzed them based on a pre-defined set of criteria (see page 5 pf the report for the criteria list).

Here is a summary of their findings revealed the following results (based on that one day):

Percentage of ads that came from “likely puppy mills”

Projected number of puppies advertised per site on day of investigation:

Are you shocked yet? I was too when I first read the report. I thought I had a pretty good idea of the number of puppy mills turning to online sales. I had no idea.

Now I know why so many Minnesota large-scale breeders have chosen to let their USDA licenses to lapse. Now I know why so many are turning to selling their puppies online. It’s big business. It’s money-making business. It’s also unregulated – no inspections, no criminal violations, no worries. Going online offers puppy mills all the secrecy they desire with no repercussions. Scary huh?
Puppy mill kennels

What you don’t see when you buy your puppy online

November 26, 2012 24 comments

Thanks to the media, celebrities, and numerous animal advocates, the message about pet stores, and the puppy mill dogs that supply them, is starting to reach people. More and more pet stores are being shut down or have stopped selling puppies. It’s encouraging to see the tides of change coming.

However, there is another front in the fight against puppy mills that people don’t often think about – the internet. 

The internet is a relatively new marketplace for puppy mill owners, but they love it.

  • It’s an easy way to sell their puppies. Create a website, tell a great story about how much you lovingly care for your puppies, post a few cute puppy pictures, and you’re in business.
  • It also increases a puppy miller’s profit margins – no middle man to take a cut of the profits. They just ship the puppy directly to you.
  • The other attractive feature in using the internet is that it’s safer than selling your puppies to pet stores. Online sellers of animals are not subject to  USDA inspections. No licensing. No inspections. It’s a relatively safe way to hide those skeletons while preying upon the unwitting puppy lover.

What most people don’t realize is that puppy millers are some of the best grifters out there. They know how to build trust, tug on your heart-strings, and reassure you they are on the up-and-up, all in one phone conversation or email exchange.

The sweet stories they are telling you online is not what’s really going on behind the scenes – animal cruelty, abuse, starvation, minimal, if any, medical care, and no socialization for the dogs.

Using the internet allows them to fool you into thinking they are a wonderful family who breeds dogs because they love them so much. Of course, they will be sure to let you know all of their breeding dogs are “family dogs” and live inside with them as a member of their family. How sweet. How could you not trust someone like that?

It’s so easy for them to fool people.

One example came to light recently that I thought was worth sharing.

Example: Pedigree Pets

Such a cute picture of a sweet little puppy isn’t it? Such a beautiful website. Simple, but how can you resist that puppy?
Pedigree Pets-1

What a sweet little family. You can tell they care so much for their dogs and puppies. It’s so sweet that their grandchildren play with the puppies. And, I love how they “deliver each and every one of the puppies themselves.” I wonder how they do it with such loving care?

Pedigree Pets-2

 

Oh wait. What happened here? A raid? 241 dogs seized? What happened to that nice little family with the grandchildren that loved to play with all their cute puppies? The puppies they personally delivered by hand?

Examiner article-Pedigree Pets

I know it’s hard to believe, but that cute little family story puppy millers put on their website is just that, a story. Or, as I like to say… B.S. According to the sheriff, veterinarians and the Ohio SPCA, the dogs were starving, had no water and were in bad shape. At least those are the allegations. The owners plead Not Guilty today, so we will have to wait to see how many of the 723 charges they will  be convicted on. I’ll leave you to check out the video of the raid on Pet-Abuse.com and make your own judgement.

Here is an excerpt of the story from Examiner.com:

Pedigree Pets was raided on Saturday, November 17, 2012 after an investigation by Deputy Cami Frey. Dogs and puppies were found living in horrid conditions and many were found to be ill, injured and emaciated. Several of the dogs had to be treated for wounds and infections.

The local sheriff that was involved in the raid on Pedigree Pets says it best…

“Online puppy mills are notorious for depicting their kennels as being wonderful places. In reality, they are massively breeding and housing dogs in cages and hutches for their entire lives”.

Don’t be fooled by those cute little websites featuring cute little puppies with fanciful stories of their wonderful families and family life. Buying a puppy online is just as bad as buying from a pet store.

Please Don’t Shop (not online or in a pet store), Adopt.

My sincere thanks to the Ohio SPCA for their hard work in saving these dogs and in seeing to their immediate care. Pedigree Pet’s breeding dogs, and their puppies, are now in the care of 22 wonderful Ohio rescues. The money it costs to care for all these dogs is not a minimal amount. Many puppy mill dogs are sick, undernourished, full of worms and have eye and dental issues. This case is no different. I am listing all of the rescues here. If you an donate to help with the care for these puppy mill dogs, please do so. It takes a village to help these dogs. One dollar is more than nothing. Please give what you can.

Peace for Paws (on Facebook)

Central Ohio Pomeranian Rescue (on Facebook)

WolfSpirits Toy Breed Puppy Mill Rescue (on Facebook)

Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (on Facebook)

Mid-Ohio Animal Welfare League (on Facebook)

Dachshund Rescue of Ohio

Great Lakes Westie Rescue (on Facebook)

Star-Mar Rescue

SICSA (Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals)

Columbus Cockers (on Facebook)

Central Ohio Dog Rescue League (on Facebook)

Marilyn’s Voice (on Facebook)

Paws Ohio (on Facebook)

Stormy’s Place (on Facebook)

Lost and Found K9 Rescue (on Facebook)

Thirdtyme Rescue (on Facebook)

Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue (on Facebook)

Measles Animal Haven (on Facebook)

Silky Rescue (on Facebook)

Lucky Star (on Facebook)

Colony Cats (on Facebook)

Ohio Basset Rescue (on Facebook)

Permission to share this photo was granted by the Ohio SPCA.

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