Peta is Right

No, that’s not a misprint, and nobody has hacked Oregon Catalyst. Believe it or not the animal rights wackos are actually right on something.

Puppies and Kittens should not be sold in pet stores.

Most people are not aware that the puppies sold at pet stores almost all come from “puppy mills”. Pet shop stock obviously comes from somewhere, I knew quality, responsible breeders NEVER sell to pet shops, but I just never made the connection. Until recently. I’ve seen some extremely nasty stuff, stuff I’ll wish for the rest of my life that I could “unsee,” but it wasn’t until I saw a puppy mill in operation that I puked from sheer revulsion.

Dogs spend their whole lives in small, filthy cages, fed only enough of the cheapest, lowest quality food to keep them alive until they are too old to breed, when they are either killed or dumped at the pound. Often there are dead dogs either still in a cage or their rotting corpses tossed on a junkpile like so much garbage. The smell of urine, feces and death hangs in the air like a malevolent force. If you saw one of these places you could not help but be ill. I don’t know how the animal services personnel who have to deal with these situations repeatedly do it.

As if the circumstances from which these pet store puppies arise is not bad enough, the puppies themselves suffer from high incidences of illness and genetic defects. If your manufacturing process is terrible, your product will be terrible.

Prohibition of the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores in Oregon is the only humane and sensible thing to do. Ending the retail sale of puppies and kittens would shut down Oregon’s puppy mills. Without customers, their ability to make a buck through animal abuse on a massive scale ends.

People who wanted a dog or cat would get to either deal with a reputable, responsible breeder, or adopt a shelter animal.

Responsible breeders are devoted to the betterment of the breed and will not breed dogs with health problems or genetic defects. They will not place a dog in a home where they think the owners can not or will not care for it properly. Owners are often required to sign a contract detailing the care the dog will receive as a condition of ownership.

I don’t know how someone could ever dump their dog at a shelter, and I don’t think I could ever feel right about someone who did. Not everyone shares my sensibilities however, shelters are full to overflowing and dogs and cats are killed every day simply because there is no room for them. Without pet store puppies and kittens, shelter adoptions would increase and fewer of them would die needlessly. More pet stores would adopt the model currently used by Petco and Petsmart, where stores hold adoption days where local shelters and rescue groups bring animals into the stores to meet prospective owners.

The net result of all this would be that dogs and cats would live better lives, fewer of them would be killed, and Oregonians would get healthier, higher quality pets.

There’s an old saying, “If you want a friend, get a dog”. That’s because a dog is the only thing that will love you absolutely and completely unconditionally. We owe them better than they are getting.