11.20.2008

Petland linked to Puppy Mills

In an 8 month investigation, the national pet store chain PetLand, has been accused of getting their puppies from Puppy Mills.

Here is a link to the story

What sickens me is that puppy mills are so common in the US, but very little is ever done to cease their activity. When puppies are sold at pet stores for $1800-$3500 each, the puppy mill industry gets more funding for piss-poor conditions. Instead of using the money to improve the environment the dogs are in,or provide basic medical treatment to the breeding dogs and puppies, the the funding is used to purchase more cages to cram sick dogs into to breed and sell.

When I worked at an animal hospital, I couldn't count the number of puppies from pet stores that came in with terrible cases of kennel cough, eye infections, respiratory illnesses and serious defects. These puppies are not bred for health - they are bred for a quick thousand dollars, and with zero consideration to the health of the breeding pair. Instead of giving these puppies attention and care, the puppy mill breeder (and later, pet stores) only allow the pups to live their lives in wire cages.

As a trainer, I find it incredibly challenging to overcome a lot of fear, anxiety, lack of socialization and house training issues that are common to puppy mill/pet store dogs.

If you or anyone you know is thinking on "saving" that cute puppy in the window of the mall, instead go to the local shelter and save that cute mixed breed puppy, or look into breed specific rescue. People are not saving puppy mill puppies from the pet store- they are feeding into the system. If you have $1800-$3500 to spend on a dog, I would get a shelter dog or rescue dog, and donate the rest of the funds to a local rescue, or the Humane Society. Alternatively, do research on hobby breeders that only breed bitches once a year, retire them at a decent age, and will do a complete check of the seller. I can bet that dog will be healthier and will provide a better companion than the puppy from the pet store.