Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Petland and Puppy Mills

One of the things that makes me saddest in the world is the thought of puppy mills. A dog, any dog, but for the sake of convenience, lets say a Berner... hunched over in a cage, unable to stand up all the way because the cage is too small. Her waste is in the cage with her and on her body. Her food, thrown in the cage in the morning, may be in her waste. She is hot in the summers when there is no air conditioning. Her puppies may freeze to death in the winter when there is no heat. She doesn't know what grass is. She's never been to a vet. She's never been held and loved and pet. Etc...

Petland is one of the places that encourages the practice of treating animals in such a cruel way by buying the puppies that she is producing and selling them for outrageous prices in the store. For that reason, I don't even like to drive by a Petland, it makes me so unhappy. For a while, some stupid Petland mascot stood on the corner advertising "Puppy Sale" on my route to school. After the third morning of being upset and considering having an "accident", I changed routes to school. I don't like to eat at the Applebees that is next to the Petland because I have to see Petland on my way in and my way out.

Chris and I have talked about this many times, and just recently I was pondering a thought that I probably wouldn't ever follow through with. Instead of selling puppy mill puppies (often mixed breeds that aren't AKC registered anyway), why not buy puppies from a shelter, then sell them at the petstore (with the shelters blessing of course). This would depend on the area you're in... Some cities have puppies being euthanized every day, some cities have shortages of puppies in the shelter. Some shelters use puppies to draw potential adopters in. There could be a million problems with the idea... I haven't thought it through from beginning to end, but it is a concept. I think most people by now realize Petland sells puppy mill puppies, but they go to Petland because they want a puppy and its easy. Is there a difference between a mutt puppy and a purposefully bred mutt puppy? No, not from a puppy mill. Is there a difference in the social stigma? Maybe it won't be registered by some ridiculous kennel club created by the puppy mill agenda that registers mixed breed dogs, but it also won't have the puppy mill stigma. I think its an ok trade off. But, enough about that.

What this past is really about is this article (may have to copy and paste, not sure how to add a link):

Basically it is a Petland that has stopped selling puppies. Instead, they are using their space to adopt out rescue dogs. Brilliant, right? I don't know how they're doing it... if they're profitting from it, if it is more of an adoption day type thing, if the dogs are living in the store, etc... It isn't exactly my idea above, but it is close. I think the pet store should be allowed to profit from it... why not? And allowing them to profit from it would mean that more stores would be encouraged to do it. You can still do good while being a capitalist.

Hopefully more Petlands make the switch. It would be a HUGE step towards ending puppy mills.

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