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Posts Tagged ‘pet stores’

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.

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How has your pet motivated you?

July 8, 2012 25 comments

The other day I saw this picture and immediately thought, “I wonder how much this dog has changed the lives of those who adopted him?”

Do you remember Daniel’s story?

Daniel was the dog who went into a gas chamber in Alabama and was still standing with his tail wagging when they opened the door. Because he survived the gas chamber he was given a chance at life. He was transported by Pilots N Paws to a rescue in New Jersey.

What a long way he has come since that story first hit the internet. Daniel now has a new family in New Jersey and several sisters and brothers to play with. He is also working to end the use of gas chambers to kill animals in the United States.

Who could have ever guessed that his survival would lead to such a wonderful ending? Or that it would motivate his owner, and others, to take action?

Daniel’s story made me realize how much my own dogs have changed my life.

When I chose to adopt Daisy, my Lab, I did it to protect her. I didn’t want her to go to a home or family that might not understand her special needs. Even with my limited skills and knowledge, I knew I could provide her with a better home than someone who had never had a dog before or who had never had a shy and fearful dog.

Never once did I think adopting Daisy would lead me to get educated about puppy mills or to share that knowledge with others. I never expected sharing Daisy’s story might help others with puppy mill dogs. She has changed my life and what is important to me. She motivated me to get involved.

Daisy enjoying some pool time – something she never would have experienced in the puppy mill she came from

Knowing Jasper came from similar circumstances only made me more motivated to learn more about the connection between the pet stores who sell puppies and the puppy mills that provide them. (Yes. 99% of all pet store puppies really do come from puppy mills.)

Lady changed my life too. Losing her for 12 days not only taught the importance of giving back and helping others (because lord knows I received an amazing amount off help and support while she was missing), but it also motivated me to want to share what I learned with others. Without Lady, I never would have gotten involved in helping people find their lost pets or sharing their missing pets’ pictures and stories with others.

I don’t know if you have had the same experience, but having Daisy, Jasper and Lady in my life has changed me. They have given me causes to rally around. They have motivated me to get involved in ways I never expected.

So I was wondering… How has your pet changed or motivated you? What have you done or gotten involved in as a result of your pet? I’d love to hear your story.

Lady hanging out at the dog park – back home safe

Favorite Video Friday – Pet Store Puppies

March 16, 2012 10 comments

In keeping with the puppy mill awareness theme this week, I am sharing a video that feels more like a public service announcement than a video meant to shock the mind and heart. I think it does a good job of showing the connection between pet stores and puppy mills. My hope is that you will share it with others (especially Minnesotans) so the message can be spread to those who don’t know.
Despite what most pet stores tell you, 99% OF THE PUPPIES AND KITTIES SOLD IN PET STORES COME FROM PUPPY MILLS.

So how can you help? Choose to do just TWO of the actions below.

1. SIGN the petition supporting dog and cat breeder regulation in Minnesota.

2. TWEET this post to your friends and family and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

3. SHARE this post with your friends and family on Facebook and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

4. ASK your veterinarian and his/her vet techs to sign the petition in support of this bill. Ask them to indicate they are a vet or vet tech in the last box on the petition. (You can also contact Cheryl@animalfolksmn.org and she will mail you the petition forms and literature on the bill.) 217 vets and vet techs have already signed the petition. Let’s double those numbers!

5. SHARE your own story about buying a cat or dog or rescuing a puppy mill dog. I welcome any and all of your stories here, whether inside Minnesota or out, but if from Minnesota please do share it on the AnimalFolksMN site. These will be used to show legislators why there is a need for a law to regulate puppy mills.

6. CONTACT your own Minnesota State Senator and Representative

To find out who represents you, go to: MN District Finder

This link is easy to use. Just type in your address and zip code. It will list who represents you based on where you live. Please contact your State legislators – your MN House Representative and your MN Senator. Click on their names and you will be linked to their phone number, email and address.

NOTE: In addition to the bills’ authors, some legislators have already expressed their support publicly by co-authoring the bills. To find out if your legislator is a co-author, go to: Authors and Co-Authors

7. CONTACT Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

The bill must first pass through legislative committees and be voted on by the full House and Senate before it reaches the Governor to be signed into law. But we need the Governor to hear your voice now. Please contact Governor Mark Dayton and ask that he support S.F. 462/H.F. 702.

Governor Mark Dayton
Phone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Fax: 651-797-1850
Email contact form: http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/
Governor Mark Dayton on Twitter
Governor Mark Dayton’s on Facebook.

WHAT TO WRITE:

If you call, you’ll most likely reach voicemail or speak with an aide or assistant. Just be yourself. Speak from the heart. Keep it short and respectful.

NOTE: S.F. 462 is the bill in the Senate. H.F. 702 is the bill in the House.

Example for Senator:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Senator ________________ (name) support S.F. 462, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Senator Barb Goodwin. Thank you.”

Example for Representative:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Representative ________________ (name) support H.F. 702, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Representative John Lesch. Thank you.

Example for Governor:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a Minnesota resident and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that Governor Mark Dayton support S.F. 462, authored by Senator Goodwin, and H.F. 702, authored by Representative Lesch. These bills will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. Thank you.”

For more information on this bill go to AnimalFolksMN.

Wordless Wednesday #82 (a little less wordless)

March 13, 2012 3 comments

This week I am focusing on creating more awareness about puppy mills and pet stores. I welcome your input, thoughts, experiences, etc., but more than anything I would like to ask for your voice. Why? Because we need the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill (S.F. 462/H.F. 702) to pass. I need you to help me (and the many other individuals and groups who have been working on this legislation) to make this bill become a law. Without your voice, nothing will change in Minnesota. Unsuspecting pet owners will continue to buy cats and dogs from pet stores and have their hearts broken when their furry friend dies, or requires serious medical care. Breeder dogs, like Daisy, will continue to suffer, having more and more puppies until they can no longer breed, only to be killed (likely shot) to make room for the next breeding female. Puppy millers will continue to operate with little chance of being held to the humane standards afforded many pets in other states.

So how can you help? Choose to do just TWO of the actions below.

1. SIGN the petition supporting dog and cat breeder regulation in Minnesota.

2. TWEET this post to your friends and family and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

3. SHARE this post with your friends and family on Facebook and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

4. ASK your veterinarian and his/her vet techs to sign the petition in support of this bill. Ask them to indicate they are a vet or vet tech in the last box on the petition. (You can also contact Cheryl@animalfolksmn.org and she will mail you the petition forms and literature on the bill.) 217 vets and vet techs have already signed the petition. Let’s double those numbers!

5. SHARE your own story about buying a cat or dog or rescuing a puppy mill dog. I welcome any and all of your stories here, whether inside Minnesota or out, but if from Minnesota please do share it on the AnimalFolksMN site. These will be used to show legislators why there is a need for a law to regulate puppy mills.

6. CONTACT your own Minnesota State Senator and Representative

To find out who represents you, go to: MN District Finder

This link is easy to use. Just type in your address and zip code. It will list who represents you based on where you live. Please contact your State legislators – your MN House Representative and your MN Senator. Click on their names and you will be linked to their phone number, email and address.

NOTE: In addition to the bills’ authors, some legislators have already expressed their support publicly by co-authoring the bills. To find out if your legislator is a co-author, go to: Authors and Co-Authors

7. CONTACT Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

The bill must first pass through legislative committees and be voted on by the full House and Senate before it reaches the Governor to be signed into law. But we need the Governor to hear your voice now. Please contact Governor Mark Dayton and ask that he support S.F. 462/H.F. 702.

Governor Mark Dayton
Phone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Fax: 651-797-1850
Email contact form: http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/
Governor Mark Dayton on Twitter
Governor Mark Dayton’s on Facebook.

WHAT TO WRITE:

If you call, you’ll most likely reach voicemail or speak with an aide or assistant. Just be yourself. Speak from the heart. Keep it short and respectful.

NOTE: S.F. 462 is the bill in the Senate. H.F. 702 is the bill in the House.

Example for Senator:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Senator ________________ (name) support S.F. 462, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Senator Barb Goodwin. Thank you.”

Example for Representative:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Representative ________________ (name) support H.F. 702, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Representative John Lesch. Thank you.

Example for Governor:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a Minnesota resident and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that Governor Mark Dayton support S.F. 462, authored by Senator Goodwin, and H.F. 702, authored by Representative Lesch. These bills will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. Thank you.”

For more information on this bill go to AnimalFolksMN.

Yes Minnesota, you can defeat puppy mills. Here’s how.

March 11, 2012 22 comments

Daisy

For anyone who has rehabbed a puppy mill breeding dog, the experience is a life changing one. Not only do you learn a lot about yourself, but you learn a whole lot more about puppy mills and pet stores and the conditions in which your dog lived.

I was one of the lucky ones. Yes. Daisy was fearful when I first got her, so fearful she would go straight to the ground and cower when I approached, but she wasn’t sick and full of parasites like many other puppy mill dogs. I am sure the organization that rescued her took care of that before she came to me. But, for many pet owners who purchase a pet from a pet store, their puppy or kitty is not only full of parasites but also sick and genetically flawed in some way. Genetic disorders and illnesses like hip dysplasia, heart disease, epilepsy, eye problems, and respiratory disorders are just the tip of the iceberg for these puppies and kitties. Many new owners will also find that they have not only purchased sick dog, but a fearful one or one with behavioral issues.

This week I want to focus on creating more awareness about puppy mills and pet stores. I welcome your input, thoughts, experiences, etc., but more than anything I would like to ask for your voice. Why? Because we need the Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill (S.F. 462/H.F. 702) to pass. I need you to help me (and the many other individuals and groups who have been working on this legislation) to make this bill become a law. Without your voice, nothing will change in Minnesota. Unsuspecting pet owners will continue to buy cats and dogs from pet stores and have their hearts broken when their furry friend dies, or requires serious medical care. Breeder dogs, like Daisy, will continue to suffer, having more and more puppies until they can no longer breed, only to be killed (likely shot) to make room for the next breeding female. Puppy millers will continue to operate with little chance of being held to the humane standards afforded many pets in other states.

So how can you help? Choose to do just TWO of the actions below.

1. SIGN the petition supporting dog and cat breeder regulation in Minnesota.

2. TWEET this post to your friends and family and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

3. SHARE this post with your friends and family on Facebook and ask them to sign the petition and contact their Minnesota state legislator.

4. ASK your veterinarian and his/her vet techs to sign the petition in support of this bill. Ask them to indicate they are a vet or vet tech in the last box on the petition. (You can also contact Cheryl@animalfolksmn.org and she will mail you the petition forms and literature on the bill.) 217 vets and vet techs have already signed the petition. Let’s double those numbers!

5. SHARE your own story about buying a cat or dog or rescuing a puppy mill dog. I welcome any and all of your stories here, whether inside Minnesota or out, but if from Minnesota please do share it on the AnimalFolksMN site. These will be used to show legislators why there is a need for a law to regulate puppy mills.

6. CONTACT your own Minnesota State Senator and Representative

To find out who represents you, go to: MN District Finder

This link is easy to use. Just type in your address and zip code. It will list who represents you based on where you live. Please contact your State legislators – your MN House Representative and your MN Senator. Click on their names and you will be linked to their phone number, email and address.

NOTE: In addition to the bills’ authors, some legislators have already expressed their support publicly by co-authoring the bills. To find out if your legislator is a co-author, go to: Authors and Co-Authors

7. CONTACT Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

The bill must first pass through legislative committees and be voted on by the full House and Senate before it reaches the Governor to be signed into law. But we need the Governor to hear your voice now. Please contact Governor Mark Dayton and ask that he support S.F. 462/H.F. 702.

Governor Mark Dayton
Phone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Fax: 651-797-1850
Email contact form: http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form/
Governor Mark Dayton on Twitter
Governor Mark Dayton’s on Facebook.

WHAT TO WRITE:

If you call, you’ll most likely reach voicemail or speak with an aide or assistant. Just be yourself. Speak from the heart. Keep it short and respectful.

NOTE: S.F. 462 is the bill in the Senate. H.F. 702 is the bill in the House.

Example for Senator:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Senator ________________ (name) support S.F. 462, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Senator Barb Goodwin. Thank you.”

Example for Representative:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a constituent and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that my Representative ________________ (name) support H.F. 702, which will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. This bill is authored by Representative John Lesch. Thank you.

Example for Governor:
“My name is ________________ (full name). I am a Minnesota resident and I live in __________ (city). I’m calling about the problem of inhumane dog and cat breeding conditions in Minnesota and the need for regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders. I’m asking that Governor Mark Dayton support S.F. 462, authored by Senator Goodwin, and H.F. 702, authored by Representative Lesch. These bills will license, inspect and regulate commercial dog and cat breeders. Thank you.”

For more information on this bill go to AnimalFolksMN.

Forbes Exposes Puppy Mills and Pet Stores

February 28, 2012 17 comments

I don’t know about everyone else, but when I first saw this article linked in a Facebook posting, my jaw dropped. Not because it was about puppy mills, or even that it was about the link between pet stores and puppy mills, but because both those subjects were being discussed in Forbes Magazine.

Forgive me, but when I usually think about Forbes it’s in relation to their lists of the richest men, richest women, most highly paid movie stars,etc. Not a story about the fact that pet store puppies come from puppy mills. Wow.

Of course, it was an interview with a CEO (in sticking with the Forbes readership), but who cares? This CEO just happened to leave his job for over a year to film a documentary about puppy mills (You have to love someone who would take time away from his job to bring attention to something so important even though he may never get paid for it… ever.).

Kudos to Andrew Nibley for taking time off to make the film, Madonna of the Mills, AND to Forbes and Allen St. John, for making the puppy mill problem and the pet store connection more public. I recommend you read it if you haven’t it’s quite good and very interesting.

Where *Not* to Buy a Dog: The Pet Store Connection to the Business of Puppy Mills
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Update:

My thanks to Allen St. John for his comment below and for reminding me that he has other stories on this issue (he’s doing a series, so check them out if you can) and an upcoming one with Ian Dunabar (awesome!). I noticed one of the links was broken in his piece from above, so I’ve included it below. I think you will find them equally as interesting.

Westminster, “Show Dog,” and the Battle Over Purebred Puppies

How Much is that Doggie in the Window? The Surprising Economics of Purchasing a Purebred Puppy

I including this last little piece just because I loved it so much, especially the last paragraph. I totally agree with his sentiments. (Funny enough, we also raised chickens in my 5th grade class, from egg to chicken, and when it was time we took them home with us until my Aunt Sheila could take them home to live with her chickens. Funny coincidence huh?)

How Do You Turn a Chick into A Puppy? The True Story of Our Special-Needs Chicken

Dogs as Fashion Accessories

January 18, 2012 25 comments

I was out to dinner with some friends a while back and one of them told me that he had almost taken in a French Bulldog through someone he knew at work. It turns out that a lady he worked with knew a young woman who had purchased the dog because it was trendy. Seriously? She got a dog because it was “trendy”? She didn’t want a companion or a friend. Nope. She wanted to be able to show everyone how hip and cool she was because she had latest trendy item.

“Hey look everybody! I’ve got the latest fashion accessory – A French Bulldog!” (Sarcasm intended)

As it turns out, after purchasing the dog, and sending it through doggy training camp for two weeks, she determined that the French Bulldog wasn’t really for her. She decided that she would rather have a pocket dog. She was dumping one dog to get another. How lovely.

Right around the same time, another friend told me how disgusted she was with an acquaintance of hers after she bought a teacup Yorkie. Did she purchase the dog for companionship? No. She got the dog because she loved the idea of being able to dress it up in cute little clothes and carry it around with her – like an accessory.

She didn’t want to take the time to potty train it (or train it at all for that matter), she didn’t want to play with it or spend time walking it either. Why? Because the dog sole purpose in life was to make her look good. What dog wouldn’t love to be dressed up for special outings and then ignored the rest of the time?

Here’s the deal folks – if you’re looking for an accessory, go get yourself a pair of new shoes, or a purse. A dog is not a an accessory. They poop, they pee, they need training, and they need someone who actually CARES for and about them, not someone who wants attention for having the latest fashion accessory in tow.

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