Ideas to stop the puppy mills.

beeanneNovember 17, 2006

I decided to start a new thread about the puppy mill pet store business. This is a carry over from "I do not want to be mean and angry thread'

I gave up years ago fighting puppy mills. Because of some of you here, I may have a renewed passion.

Some of you have shown that it is not a lost cause by the ideas you want to try.( thanks someone on the other thread)

Something has crossed my mind that I have never tried.

Instead of trying to stop the stores that sell puppies/kittens why not make it so profitable for those who don't that it would be suicide if they tried it or tried it again? Why not shop in Petco/PetSmart on purpose instead of hitting your local grocery, Wal-mart,feed store etc. for your pet products. Then leave a business sized card saying exactly why you are spending your money there. That you appreciate the fact that they do not sell puppies and they allow space for rescues. That you prefer to spend a few cents more for a good cause.

What's anyone think? Stupid idea? I hope so, so I can go back in my cave.

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And you can put your money where your mouth is. Take out an ad in the paper describing the perpetual abuse in puppy mills with a link to internet information. Or flyers.. everyone hates those flyers on the windshield but couldn't hurt.

Do you have to have a permit for that?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:13PM
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One thing I have noticed in my local paper since I moved here gives me heart. There are many ads for puppies/cats for sale or free, but there are also ads (usually underneath) with a list of adoptable animals and discriptions from the local shelters/rescues for animals up for adoption.
So moonie, yea, if someone can afford it, take out an ad to express your opinion.That's a great idea, and I'm getting the feeling that's exactly what shelters around here are doing.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:50PM
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One idea I always had, never acted on. Pet lovers could do their pooper scooping and drop it of in front of Pet stores that sell puppies. Maybe some of the impulsive buyers would think twice after stepping in it on their way into the Pet Shop.
Most local papers have "Letter to the Editor" that you can write to free.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:47AM
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every day we have a ad in our paper from the human society saying we have pets for adoption, so sad, I wish our petsmart would have adoption day everyday at the store instead of just certain days, maybe bringing in different pets everyday, one thing I have noticed is it is usually felines that are there, when they have the dogs they have to set up big cages in the middle of the store, and I realize if it was all the time they would get in the way. wish our store was bigger where there was more room for the dogs, I don't know about everyones humane society, but ours is way off the beaten path, you wouldn't even know it was there unless you are specifically going there. out of sight out of mind.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:36PM
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Back in the day, my father worked hard to get stores shut down that sold puppies/kittens (or at least get them to stop selling such animals). The best way to do it was to picket and hand out fliers in front of the stores. That educated the people that shopped there, and they stopped going there; that hurt the businesses selling the animals, and they quickly changed their practices. As a child, I didn't see any stores in the surrounding areas that sold animals, until I moved far away...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Some have what are called rescue centers where some cats are in the store every day to be veiwed. They are behind glass and the public can't handle them unless a volunteer from the rescue happens to be there.They can fill out an appliction if they are interested in adopting.That has helped some with cat adoptions. When I was in rescue though, it was always a little difficult to get enough volunteers to go in twice a day and clean etc. Most people worked during the week and had kids etc. I don't think that would work with puppies or dogs. They need much more room, cleaning up after or out for walks.Being in the foster home is much better for them. But yea, micke, it would be nice if rescues had more days to show their animals. I'm sure the pet store workers appreciate their "quiet" days though. :-)
Adoption days can get pretty noisy and hectic.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:30PM
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You can contact your state representatives and governor and ask them to take action against puppy mills. That is happening here in PA where they've been a major problem. And then, don't forget to thank them for anything they do for the cause.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rendell takes action agains puppy mills

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 1:43PM
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We should have laws restricting who can breed dogs and cats and which dogs and cats can be bred. Most dog breeding is either cruel to dogs or cruel to humans or both. Dogs are not properly cared for and backyard breeding operations often are too loud and smelly for residential neighborhoods.

Dog and cat owners should take a test and undergo some form of screening before being allowed to own pets. They should also be required to have insurance and be resonsible for their pets actions. Irresponsible owners and those who use their pets as weapons should be banned from owning any animal.

All dogs and cats should be spayed or neutered unless they are going to be used for breeding purposes and their owners have purchased a special breeders license which should cost much more than a regular license. Breeding should only be allowed in certain areas and breeding should be well regulated to protect animals and communities. Residential areas should not be subject to the noise and smell of a dog or cat breeding operation.

We also need restrictions on where these animals can be sold. I don't like to see them selling on the roadside or supermarket parking lots. It would be more appropriate to sell by classified ad, at live stock shows or pet shows. Dogs shouldn't be bought on an impulse while picking up milk and bread. This just puts dogs in irresponsible, ignorant, or vile hands and ruins the liveablity of our communities. Few people today have lifestyles that are condusive to responsible dog ownership. Many of us live in crowded congested areas, work too much, don't have time, don't have energy, or don't have money.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:06PM
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You just reminded me!! I am constantly seeing pickup trucks with big cages in the back selling puppies, usually black or yellow labs, at my Wal-mart parking lot. even in extremly hot days of summer! At least people are paying attention to that though, I seen a police officer questioning them one time, it was soo hot that day and I just remember thinking that they had no dishes inside that cage, which meant they had NO water, fresh or otherwise.
glad someone called the police on that, if I had not of seen the police there I would of done it. when I came back out of the store the guys with the dogs were gone, of course then I had to look at the homeless guy on the corner with his sign and his faithful sidekick (a chihuahua mix) at his side, seen him and his dog for about 4 years now, how does he take care of that dog let alone himself? dog looks in good condition though, he obviously loves that dog, there was a bowl on the ground filled with water.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:39PM
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Dear beeanne,

I think your heart is in the right place, unfortunately, puppy mills will always exist. I think awareness and education is just about the best one can do.

I wish they didn't exist either. What those poor dogs endure is horrible. I watch Animal Cops on the Animal Planet channel and when I see puppy mills get busted, it just makes my day.

Bless you in your endeavors. Sometimes it takes just one person to make a difference.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:18PM
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I simply want to pull my hair out when I hear statements such as "But, don't the puppies in the pet stores deserve a good home, too".

Well yes, they do, but unfortunately by "saving" these puppies, it keeps the mills in business. If no one went into these stores, the money would stop. Money is what is driving those mills...nearly 100% profit since they spend minimally on food/vet care.

When people want a pure bred, all they need to do is either go to a dog show and visit with the breeders there or research to find a good breeder. A dog training facility would have some good ideas...or sometimes (but not all the time) a veterinarian.

Personally, I can't really understand the "need" to have a particular type/look of dog.
I don't choose my friends that way...I decided based on personality...can't imagine picking my friends based on what they look like....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 3:43AM
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Buying a purebred dog isn't so much about the way the dog looks. It's about personality and behavior characteristics.

I see lots of adorable breeds that I wouldn't own because their traits aren't a match for me. I don't want a terrier that will dig up my gardens, a yapper, a territorial type that I'll have to be cautious with around guests, etc. Of course, individuals can vary within a breed, but you can have a pretty good idea of what you're getting.

Most people want a dog that will blend with their family and life with a minimum of effort. Getting a dog that's a good match is the first step.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:59AM
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Best of luck in your endeavour, it is a noble one indeed.

There are so many issues afoot in our modern society that one could be completely overwhelmed taking up all the various causes. This is why it is of paramount importance to voice your opinion with your wallet.

I am not the type to picket and I really don't have time above all my various committments to engage in hands on activities, but I run a household and purchase goods and services everyday.

This is where I can and do make a difference. Among many decisions I make I purchase as much as locally as possible, including produce, dairy, meats and etc... I would never purchase an animal from a pet store, rather I go to a shelter. I try to patronize locally owned businesses of all types, in hopes of keeping my money within my community. I stay away from the unsustainable business models of big box stores as much as humanly possible; though cheap, they are the scourge of the Earth, imho.

Unfortunately the reality is, and this isn't defeatest rather realest, there are just too many of us and too many who really do not care about such things for any of it to ever end.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 12:42PM
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So many good hearted people on this thread, with good ideas, and some with realistic ones.
todancewithwolves-- I regret to admit that you are right. PMs will always exist and the best we can hope for is educating the public and maybe make a small difference.
As far as my endeavers on the subject, they are no more than anyone elses on this board. I pretty much gave up years ago. All I do now , is jump in and spout off if I hear of people spending money in a puppy/petstore.
Deb 18-Just noticed I didn't go to PA site yet for legislation against the mills, but I promise I will. PA so sad how many mills there are there now. Are you guys trying to beat Missouri?
If a puppy mill is operating legally there is nothing that can be done to stop them. They are running a legal business, just as the pet store is.
Protests have failed miserably in the past and just ended up selling more puppies because of PetLands? counter advertising.
Nativebear--you sound like you just want more laws and restrictions. I think we should start with enforcing the laws that are already on the books.
Micke--I'm with you!! What is it with selling yellow or black labs from the back of pick-up trucks????!!!! I've seen it myself more than once. YUK!!!!
More to grow- if we were all as considerate as you with how we spent our money, it would eventually make a difference.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:37PM
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"They are running a legal business, just as the pet store is."

This is why it is somewhat of a patience game. Slowly, but surely, the laws are changing to favor animal rights. Once they are steadfast and more broad, the laws will apply to the mills. The most frustrating part is getting evidence.

The inspectors of these facilities announce their visits in advance. If they would "pop" in, like they do with restaraunts, more would receive heavy violations. This is definitely something that needs to thing that would help immensely in at least restructuring their practices.

It is difficult to get into their places of business and then you have to have hidden cameras if you want to take pics.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 8:31AM
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This from the link Deb18 posted

HARRISBURG -- Gov. Ed Rendell on Tuesday tapped a longtime state prosecutor to oversee enforcement of a law intended to combat the "puppy mills" that have earned Pennsylvania notoriety among animal lovers.

Rendell also announced several broad legislative and regulatory changes designed to strengthen the law, such as making criminal penalties tougher, allowing dog wardens to seize distressed animals, and requiring dogs housed in kennels to be exercised for 20 minutes a day.
Wow! Just knowing dogs did not have to live their entire lives in a cramped cage would be a great improvement.Thanks for posting this Deb.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:12AM
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Everyone who has a puppy mill problem in their state can go to their state government's website and find out how to contact their governor and their state legislators. Email them with info on the horrors of mills and ask them to help. You can point to the changes being instituted here in PA as a model for beginning to take steps towards change.

If you live in PA, take a minute to email Governor Rendell and tell him how much you appreciate his efforts and hope he'll continue this important work.

I think boycotting stores that sell puppies helps, especially if you tell the OWNER, not just any clerk, why you don't shop there. But legislative changes can have more far-reaching, faster results IMO.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:59AM
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Deb, I'm in Texas but wrote Gov. Rendell to thank him anyway.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:03PM
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Thank you beeanne. I had another idea. People could write up petitions asking their reps to join the fight and collect signatures so it would have more clout behind it than just an individual's email. And maybe eventually this should be presented to our U.S. congressmen, too, so the puppy millers don't just pick up and move to another state if the one they're in becomes restrictive. Maybe federal legislation will be needed at some point.(the puppies should be so lucky for it to reach that point!)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 3:31PM
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OMG! I got a personal reply, not just a form letter.

Thank you for contacting the Governor's Office.
Governor Rendell remains committed to addressing the deplorable conditions of animals confined to puppy mills in the Commonwealth. We appreciate your support all the way from Texas!
Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 4:34PM
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beeanne - I am not surprised. Despite how political this debate forum has become, Governor Rendell is an excellent example of an elected official who is always easily accessible to constiuants (sp), and has been so since he was Mayor of Philadelphia. When dining or running into him on the street, he would think nothing of stopping to chat for a minute. How many politicals can you say that about? Look at that idiot from Virginia who disparaged the human race by using a racial epitat all the while knowing he was being filmed. He then has the audacity to say he didn't know what the word meant??? There are some really great people on the left, an open mind is not a bad thing...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 5:45PM
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Yes I want more laws and restrictions. Officials claim that they can't enforce the current laws or that laws aren't enforceable. Although this is sometimes an excuse of lazy law enforcement it is often true. Many laws claiming to protect pets and people from irresponsible pet owners are written to be unenforceable. Many communities are wide open - having absolutely no laws protecting pets or people for irresponsible animal owners. In many causes their are no laws to enforce or no laws that are enforceable. Those that abuse/neglect animals are given too many chances to correct the situation while the community and the animal suffers. We need laws and regulations that can be enforced and officials that will enforce these laws. Pet owners and those in the pet industry should pay for the costs (negative externalities) of their animals. Impact fees, fines, licenses, insurance, etc. Stop passing the buck of their pet ownership to the rest of the community.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:14PM
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I agree nativebear and I'm not usually in favor of more government.

Where I lived ten years ago, we had a neighbor at the back of our property who were the type of people you hope to never live by. It was a father and teenage son and the son was downright scary. The father never disciplined him because he wasn't much better himself.

They got a puppy that was probably a pit/lab mix and stuck it in a 6 x 12 pen at the back of my fence. There they left her year round in all kinds of weather with a dog house for shelter and no bedding inside. Once a week the useless son poured a bunch of dry food in a big bowl and gave it to the dog. She had a water bowl but it was usually empty and always dirty. Once a week he took the rotten, rained in food and tossed it over my fence and gave her more. Every few months, the father made him clean the pen and he came out and tossed all the waste into my yard. All this time he yelled at the poor dog for being so stupid as to have gone to the bathroom in the only space she had.

I called the humane society and was told that as long as she had some shelter, any evidence of ever being fed, and a water bowl, even if it was empty, then their hands were tied. I even called PETA but they refused to try and help. The dog became skin and bones, but it didn't matter to anyone.

I tried to feed her, but she was so terrified of people that if I came anywhere near her she became very aggressive and barked and growled hysterically. I was afraid if the people discovered what I was doing they might throw poison over my fence and my children were small and I had dogs of my own.

Eventually, the dog disappeared. I believe that she didn't make it through the winter without a grain of fat on her pitiful body. Or maybe she simply starved. Her life lasted barely a year. Soon after, I moved away, in large part to get away from those people.

The animals can't speak for themselves and few agencies seem to really help. So, in spite of my feelings that government needs to be limited, they just have to step in for the animals. You sure can't rely on the ignorant and cruel people in our society to do the right thing.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Everyone who has a puppy mill problem in their state can go to their state government's website and find out how to contact their governor and their state legislators. Email them with info on the horrors of mills and ask them to help. You can point to the changes being instituted here in PA as a model for beginning to take steps towards change.

If you live in PA, take a minute to email Governor Rendell and tell him how much you appreciate his efforts and hope he'll continue this important work.

I think boycotting stores that sell puppies helps, especially if you tell the OWNER, not just any clerk, why you don't shop there. But legislative changes can have more far-reaching, faster results IMO.

Excellent advice Deb18!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 6:01PM
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You can also sign up for legislative alerts/take action from various organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, they will email you when legislation is coming up and help you to tell your legislators how you feel about it.

There are many campaigns going on that you can help with even if you can't afford to donate. The HSUS is much less radical with their ideas than PETA is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Humane Society of the United States

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 6:05PM
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What a sad but typical story. These people obviously couldn't care for one dog. Many people of this type decide to obtain several dogs to abuse and neglect. Perhaps if owners were required to take a class, pass a test, and pay for a license these people wouldn't have killed that dog or endangered your family with the vicious dog they created. Perhaps if the laws were more preventive rather than reactive these people wouldn't be allowed to own a dog or own a vicious dog. The laws as they were written weren't able to help the dog nor were they able to protect your family. The laws aren't very responsive after a tragedy either. Those dog owners would have a right to their dog even if it attacked your kids, you, or your pets. They have a right to that dog and a chance to harm the dog and the community again. They might get a stern lecture, a small fine, and then they get to break the law again. The community is not protected nor is the dog protected.

You were lucky in one area - the dog didn't attack you or your kids. You chose not to directly confront the dog owners and the humane society didn't make the situation worse by revealing that you complained about how they don't care for their dog. In many communities animal control won't do anything to help the dog or the community but will go out and talk to the dog owners that are abusing/neglecting their dogs and reveal who complained. This does nothing for the dog as they are unwilling to help the dog. Often the unstable dog owners will start to harass their neighbors, shouting at their neighbor, vandalizing their neighbor's property, threatening their neighbor etc. Animal control believes that these dog owners are reasonable people who just don't know how to care for their pets and will shape up with some education or that these people are just innocent dog owners that are persecuted by their neighbors. Under current laws these people have a right to own a dog or dogs even if they aren't taking care of the dog or dogs.

Your lucky you moved after the dog died and before they got more dogs. My neighbors trained their dogs to bark constantly. Their dogs became vicious of course and eventually attacked a child. They got rid of the dogs a few months after the attack and got about a half dozen smaller barking dogs. I had no break in between to sell my house - despite all the dog owners out there no one seems to want a house next door to half a dozen dogs that bark constantly.

Maybe their should be zoning neighborhoods for dogs and neighborhoods for people.

Ideally people would only own dogs if they properly care for the dogs. Those that couldn't care for the dogs would have their dogs immediately seized to be either adopted by a responsible owner or euthanized.

Those dogs who aren't owned by professional breeders or dogs that are unsuitable for breeding should be spayed or neutered. There are way too many dogs and cats compared to people and its even worse when you narrow it down to responsible and knowledgable people who want to own and are willing and able to care for a dog or cat.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 10:27AM
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I hadn't seen a pet store selling puppies in like 20 years then when the whole AKC issue came up a month or so ago and the name "Pet Land" was mentioned as selling puppies, I didn't think there were any of those in my area. Well I was wrong. A couple weeks ago I was in a tucked away shopping center about 20 mins from here with poor visiblity from the road and boom, there was a petland. There was a banner hanging outside saying something to the effect of "puppy sale".
I would be willing to participate in this campaign to leave notes why I am shopping at petsmart. Of course there are other reasons I really like petsmart. The service is really good and the people are so nice there. And they take anything back if you're not happy with it. It's the same people in there everytime and we go there a couple times a month just to get out and aways wind up buying something. They always give the boys hugs then again they are irristably huggable. I like Petco too but they are a lot more expensive.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 7:43PM
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My former county here in GA had anonymous animal control, so when I had a neighbor who kept a puppy chained in the back yard (in July, in Atlanta, with no water), we were able to call safely.

They got 30 days warning to rectify the situation or find the dog a new home. Meantime we would go out and untangle him from his chain and put more water out for him.

Within 30 days they had given the dog to another family member who could keep it in the house (the reason they kept dog chained? dog allergies - so WHY get a dog?)

Anyway, we have problems with rotties and pit bulls roaming in my neighborhood. We knew who they belonged to. We got chased into the garage by one of the dogs one day and were within a centimeter of being bitten.

Several of us neighbors called to complain and to let AC know what the people's address was. Animal control said there was nothing they could do unless we commandeered the dog and held it til they got there (not ME! no thank you). They said next time perhaps we should try calling 911 and letting the police handle it. They also are not anonymous, so the owners get a report of who called animal control.

In my new county, I doubt anything can be done until someone gets killed/mauled by the dogs.

These rots and pits were also kept chained in the yard, and largely ignored, and that's why they were such a behavior problem.

Karen (faithful Petsmart Shopper and Shelter Adopter)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 8:12AM
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That's so disgusting that they allow people's animals to endanger others that way. Really, what more important work could there be for them to do than protect public safety? If they can't do that, what good are they? Time to call your state reps and work on some law changes if the AC's hands are tied.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 10:49AM
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I'm in gwinnett and I remained an anonymous complaintant. The two ocassions that I called about that puppy chained up with no water were on afterhours or weekend so I called the police. Click my page to revisit the thread if you're interested. They never took the dogs away but the people moved out a few days later.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 11:19AM
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