Posts Tagged ‘don’t shop adopt’

New reasons not to buy a puppy from a pet store

August 11, 2013 26 comments

Puppy Wearing BowIf you’ve heard anything about the connection between puppy mills and pet stores, then you’ve also likely heard about the dangers of buying a puppy from a pet store.

Past studies and stories have shown that puppies purchased from pet stores are more likely to be sick, infested with parasites, and have physiological issues due to poor breeding and inbreeding – something you often see in puppy mill puppies.

Last week, I read an interesting new study that seems to further expound on the dangers of purchasing a puppy from a pet store. This new study focused not on the health of pet store puppies, but on the behavioral differences between dogs bought as puppies in pet stores and those brought from noncommercial breeders. The results were very interesting.

The study: Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders

Sample size:

  • Dogs obtained from pet stores – 413
  • Dogs obtained from a noncommercial breeder – 5,657

Tools used for study and analysis: C-BARQ (Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire)

Results Summary: Dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores had significantly greater aggression towards human family members, unfamiliar people, and other dogs, had greater fear of other dogs and nonsocial stimuli and greater separation-related problems and house soiling issues.

More specifically, the results showed that pet store dogs were:

  • 3 times as likely to have owner-directed aggression (if sexually intact) as were sexually intact dogs acquired from breeder
  • nearly twice as likely to have dog-directed aggression (i.e., aggression towards unfamiliar dogs)
  • 30% to 60% more likely to have stranger-directed aggression, aggression towards other household dogs, fear of dogs, and nonsocial stimuli,  as well as separation-related problems and touch sensitivity.
  • somewhat more excitable, energetic, and attention-seeking
  • generally less trainable, if they did not participate in working or recreational activities
  • had a range of miscellaneous behavioral problems at significantly higher frequencies than did those acquired from breeders (e.g., escaping from the home, sexual mounting of people and objects, and most forms of house-soiling)

All credit given to the authors of “Differences in behavioral characteristics between dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores and those obtained from noncommercial breeders

I doubt these latest results will stop people from buying that cute puppy in the pet shop window, but I hope it will, at the very least, give them pause to think. Caring for a sick puppy is one thing, but dealing with behavioral issues later? Maybe, just maybe, it’s worth reconsidering that purchase. One can only hope.

The biggest lie pet stores tell you

August 5, 2012 31 comments

The first time I saw Jasper (and his sister) it was in the impound room at our local shelter in Burnsville. I was immediately taken with both of them. They were so adorable!

It was pretty unusual to see a Sheltie at our shelter back then. Not that we didn’t get one in once in a while, but it just wasn’t common. The fact that these two were 8 1/2 months old was even more unusual. Sheltie puppies? No way!

Of course, I didn’t know then how they had come to be there. Not until much later. They had both been “rescued” along with a cat from a pet store in Shakopee. The woman who bought them did so because she was so appalled by the conditions they were in that she couldn’t stand leaving them there. She offered the store owner a low sum of money for both Jasper and Jasmine and a cat, and he took it.

She immediately brought them to our shelter so they could receive treatment and be adopted. I wrote about fostering them in a post back in March 2009.

The reason I share this story with you is to back up a point made in a great blog post I read a while back. It was titled “What Happens to the Puppies?”  In it, Brenda Nelson (the blogger) explored the common myths people have about what happens to pet store puppies.

She starts her post by saying You may have asked yourself “What happens when Pet Stores do not sell the puppies?”, I am going to tell you the true answer, but first let me tell you the wrong answer.

If you haven’t already guessed by that great opening statement, let me tell you now, pet store puppies are not euthanized if no one buys them. They are also not shipped back to the “breeder” (and I use that term loosely). They are not dumped somewhere and left to fend for themselves either.

No. Puppy mill puppies sold in pet stores are left in the pet store window until they sell. Or they are shipped to another store where they may have a better chance of being sold. And there they will sit, waiting for that one person, that special someone, who wants to “save” them.

You see, pet stores rely on people to feel guilty. They rely on someone thinking “If I don’t take this puppy, it will be killed.” They rely on someone falling in love with the puppy before they find out that it is sick and will need expensive medical care. They want you to feel sympathy for that puppy in the window. They want you to feel like you are rescuing the puppy. Because by making the person feel like (the) pets’ life is in danger, pet stores force the person to make a rash decision, “Buy the puppy.”.

This is how puppy mill puppies are sold every day in America’s pet stores. It’s all about lies and fostering misperceptions. Pet stores who sell puppy mill puppies (and 99% of the puppies in pet stores ARE from puppy mills) will do and say anything to get you to buy that puppy in the window. Why? Because they know that once you buy it, you won’t be bringing it back, sick or not sick.

As I told you at the beginning of this piece, Jasper and Jasmine were 8 1/2 months old when I got them. They were puppies, but not young puppies. If they were like most puppy mill puppies, they were probably shipped to this particular pet store at 6-8 weeks old and then sat there for 6-6 1/2 months, waiting for someone to “rescue” them. And, someone did.

Don’t get me wrong. I am glad she saved Jasper, his sister and the cat. They were living in horrible conditions in that pet store.

But, to Brenda’s point, they were not euthanized. They were not returned to the puppy mill owner. They were not dumped somewhere.

No. They were sold at a discounted price to someone willing to buy them to “save” them.

Please don’t buy into the guilt-fest that pet stores give you. Don’t buy a puppy from a pet store and thus force the parents to continue to live a life of torture, neglect and pain. Don’t help perpetuate the puppy mill trade.

Want to rescue a puppy? Adopt. Those are the ones who really WILL BE euthanized if you don’t “rescue” them.

Kudos to The Honest Kitchen for Taking a Stand!

October 10, 2011 13 comments

Today, I want to call out a special pet food company and say KUDOS!

Recently, The Honest Kitchen (the company who my dog’s favorite pet food) shared their thoughts on the puppy mill debate within their own industry. It seems Pet Age Magazine, a trade magazine for pet supply store owners, distributors, etc. had shared an editorial by the magazine’s Editor in Chief as she expressed her dismay with the recent legislation in several states banning the retail sale of pets.

Here is an excerpt from Pet Age Magazine:

“Today, we are sorry to say that the situation is even worse. Measures to ban retail pet sales are not just coming faster, they’re succeeding more often. Thirteen localities in eight states have passed retail pet sales bans, and three have done so in just the last six months.”

You can read The Honest Kitchen’s full response here, but here is an excerpt of their response to Pet Age Magazine:

“My company, The Honest Kitchen, is one of the fastest growing companies in the US pet food industry, even enjoying 25% growth during the recession years. We’ve built a strong ‘indie’ business by sticking strongly to our core values and principles. We have enjoyed this growth despite never having allowed our products to be sold in stores that sell live puppies and kittens. Instead, we work with 2700 pet supply stores who are committed to our ‘no puppy sales’ policy, as well as with more than 200 pre-approved responsible breeders nationwide who have been screened by our company and meet our stringent criteria regarding how their animals live, the number of litters produced each year, and the way perspective new owners are ‘vetted’ before a sale.”

How many companies in the pet industry can claim this?

I am already a big fan of The Honest Kitchen, but I am even more impressed after reading their response and for calling it out on their website. I admire a company who takes a stand like this don’t you? Kudos to The Honest Kitchen!

By the way, Be The Change for Animals is taking a stand of it’s own and it relates to puppy mills too. We’re asking people to join our petition to ask Petland to stop selling puppy mill puppies in their stores in the United States. Petland in Canada has already made this decision. Wouldn’t it be nice if Petland USA did as well? You can learn more here. As a side note: The dog on the Be The Change for Animals page is my Daisy, a puppy mill rescue.

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