Puppies and Pet Stores Don't Mix!Apr 1, 2004 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in PetsThe Bottom Line Resist the temptation to "save" the puppy - you'll only be sealing the fate of others.
So you are looking for a new puppy, and your first thought of where to get one is the pet store. Or maybe you are just browsing at the pet store and a really adorable puppy catches your eye and you just have to have him. Before you buy that puppy from the pet store, there are some things you should know.
First of all, consider where the pet store is getting their puppies. Are they purebred? If they are, then that probably means they are coming from a puppy mill. Yes, they do exist, they are everywhere, and they ship their puppies to pet stores for miles. Yes, pet stores actually get shipments of puppies. Disgusted yet? That isn't the half of it. Do you realize what a puppy mill is? It's horrible, let me assure you. If you haven't seen the horrifying images on tv, puppy mills are filthy. Female dogs are kept perpetually pregnant to produce as many pups as possible. Often, cages are crammed on top of each other, containing many different breeds of dogs. This is also why you may also see many half-and-half puppies at pet stores (eg half shepherd, half lab). Feces and urine from upper cages dribble down into the ones below. Puppies are taken from their mother as early as possible. Veterinary care is practically nonexistent. Many dogs are dead or dying, often their carcasses are left where they died. Is this an industry you want to support?
Let's assume that the pet store actually did get their puppies from a 'breeder'. I use quotations because no breeder who actually cares about their puppies would sell them to a pet store. Why, you ask? Because at a pet store, there is no adoption application to pass (such as at a shelter), cough up the cash or pass a credit check and the dog is all yours. Another reason is because a pet store is a terrible place for a puppy to be. The lucky ones have glass separating them from the masses - the unlucky ones have bars - fingers prodding and poking. People talking and laughing and whistling. A puppy needs its sleep (yes, just like a baby - would you put a baby in these conditions and expect them to grow up in a proper state of mind?). Socialization is practically nonexistent, which is very bad (I've seen the results of dogs not socialized properly, it isn't pretty). Sick and diseased puppies are way too common at pet stores. Parvo, an illness that can easily kill a puppy without vigorous treatment, can spread like wildfire. All it takes is for one person who was in contact with a parvo-infected puppy to stick their fingers through the bars of the cage and not long after all puppies in the store can be infected.
And that is the best possible scenario - that assumes that the employees are taking good care of the animals otherwise. Too often they aren't.
So you asked, and the pet store denied the puppy mill claim... they get their puppies from breeders, they say. Ask them for the name of the breeder they got the puppies from. $10 says they won't tell you. Perhaps the store owners don't even realize they are buying from a puppy mill - I don't imagine that they went and checked the place out personally, considering that most buy their puppies from places miles away.
Despite so-called health guarantees, many puppies sold at pet stores come with health problems. this is due to bad breeding practices. I don't know of any breed that doesn't have a certain problem related to it - German Shepherds are prone to bad hips (hip displaysia), Dalmations often go deaf, etc etc. So the store offers a 2 week health guarantee, or in extreme cases, a year or two-year health guarantee. Big deal. That's not going to help you when your three year old dog develops health problems that you have to pay the vet to treat.
Chances are pretty good that the price you will pay for a poor quality pup at a pet store is actually much higher than the price you would pay for a great quality pup from a good breeder. Not to mention what you will probably have to spend on vet bills once your puppy mill puppy becomes sick (which many invariably do).
Don't give in to those sad eyes - resist the urge to "save" that poor puppy. By buying that one puppy, you are fueling the puppy mill industry. Refuse to support them. As long as people are willing to give money to the puppy mill industry, it will continue to practice in everyone's backyards. Instead, 'save' a puppy (or a kitten!) from your local shelter. It costs a lot less and is guilt free.
|Read all comments (4)|Write your own comment|