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.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Yes, Tim, you are right and PETA is right on this one. Puppy mills are a disgrace. They should be outlawed – not just the sale of dogs and cats in the pet stores – the mills themselves.
    Sadly, few seem to care.

  • devietro

    My understanding is that there already were laws against puppy mills in addition to the obvious abuse and neglect statutes. Am I wrong on this?

    • Tim Lyman

      There are laws, but they are difficult to enforce. Removing the demand (pet stores) is the most effective way to eliminate the mills.

  • anon

    We actually may need a more comprehensive look at the way humans treat animals. Puppy mills are surely one horrific example. The factory farms where cattle, chicken, and pigs are raised for human consumption also provide horrific examples.

    The rhetoric and tactics of PETA are often extreme, but the issues raised about treatment of animals certainly deserve our attention.

    • Anonymous

      PETA are a bunch of hypocrites. They’re nothing but lame brained vegetarian activists who could care less about any animal that is not a meat or fur animal.

      If they really cared about animals they would spend some of the tens of millions of dollars they receive each year supporting legislation and initiatives to crack down on puppy mills and dogfighting, funding investigations into puppy mills and dogfighting, funding no kill shelters, or maybe even funding free vet centers.

      I guess they’re too busy convincing dim-witted models and actresses to go naked to actually DO something to improve the lives of pet animals.

      Sad to say, the humane society, which used to do a lot of these things is now wasting its time with unproductive animal rights nonsense like suing to keep salmon eating sea lions from being harrassed.

      • E.H.

        It should be noted that there are TWO Humane Societies!

        The American Humane Society (and its local chapters) still run animal shelters and work with vets and help plenty of pets.

        But there is another organization trading on its good name: the “Humane Society of the United States.” These are the extremist PETA nuts who lobby for farm animal “rights” and try to tell the rest of us what we can and can’t eat.

        The HSUS does NOT run local animal shelters; your local chapter of the AHS still does.

        The problem is that the HSUS funds itself by soliciting donations from people who think that their money is going towards local shelters and the like… but really that money gets spent on lobbyists pressing for extremist animal rights policies.

        I’d say that the American Humane Society should sue the Humane Society of the United States… but the Humane Society of the United States probably has all their money.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you for clearing up the confusion. I always assumed they were one and the same. Typical slimy leftist tactic.

    • Tim Lyman

      Mmmm…steak!

      Mmmm…chicken!

      Mmmm…bacon!

      • Bacon Lover

        Oh, you have just made me a happy man.

  • anon

    I do believe there are a number of Far Eastern countries where they say:

    Mmmm…dog!

    Mmmm…cat!

    I suppose perspective affects motives. Mark Twain once said: tell me where a man gets his cornpone, and I’ll tell you his opinions.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, well this isn’t a far eastern country, it’s the United States.

      • anon

        Mark Twain’s point precisely.

        • Anonymous

          Hardly. Clearly you are just parroting the quote with no idea of it’s context. The quote is Twain quoting from a sermon he heard as a child and interpreted by him as meaning”

          “a man is not independent, and cannot afford views which might interfere with his bread and butter. If he would prosper, he must train with the majority; in matters of large moment, like politics and religion, he must think and feel with the bulk of his neighbors, or suffer damage in his social standing and in his business prosperities. He must restrict himself to corn-pone opinions — at least on the surface. He must get his opinions from other people; he must reason out none for himself; he must have no first-hand views.”

  • Richard B

    I have disagree often regulation has unintended consequences. A better is a free market approach for encouraging pet stores owners work with breeders to have shows at the store or referrals. Consumers informing pet stores not to get stock at puppy mills and better treatment of the dog and if necessary boycott pet stores the that sell dogs form puppy mills.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Oh, ok, for a second I thought this was an article on how it was maybe….. I mean just maybe wrong for someone on welfare to be getting in vitro fertilization to have octuplets when she already has six kids she can’t feed.

    My mistake.

  • Joanne Rigutto

    I think that a lot of ‘puppy mills’ are acually covered under the Animal Welfare Act and are required to be licensed by USDA under certain circumstances. This is the exemption that I’m familiar with for smaller breeders –

    *(ii) Any person who sells or negotiates
    the sale or purchase of any animal
    except wild or exotic animals,
    dogs, or cats, and who derives no more
    than $500 gross income from the sale of
    such animals to a research facility, an
    exhibitor, a dealer, or a pet store during
    any calendar year and is not otherwise
    required to obtain a license;*

    Source – https://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/pdf/9cfr2.1.pdf

    That looks to me as though, unless you’re selling puppies or dogs wholesale to a retail pet store (a business that is not covered under the AWA), and you make $500/year or less in gross sales to the pet store, exhibitor, researcher, etc., you’re required to have a USDA license to operate. Which always had me wondering, after seeing reports like the woman who was busted for having a filthy puppy mill from which around 100 dogs were confiscated, “Where was USDA?”.

    I think in situations like these, dog and cat breeders are supposed to be regulated just like any other commercial animal breeder.

    In reference to Anon comment #3, if the puppy mill were breeding poultry or swine they would be called a ‘Multiplier’.

    I agree that people should be very careful where they buy or aquire companion animals from. Reputable breeders will charge more for the animals they sell, but you’ll be able to see the facilities, view the dam if not both the dam and sire, and in general, reputable breeders are very knowlageble about the breed(s) they work with.

    People might blanch at the higher price these people charge for their animals, but that higher price is just compensation for the higher quality care, attention to genetics, and before/after sale support you should have access to if you’re buying from a responsible breeder with a good reputation. Also, if you’re looking at a very popular breed, you’re probably not going to pay too much more from the smaller breeder than you will from the pet store anyway.

    But to do that you have to do your homework, and it’s so much easier to walk into a pet store and walk back out with a pet….

    Dogs and cats aren’t the only species affected by irresponsible breeding and over production. Horses, birds, pigs, just about any animal or breed of animal that becomes popular can be subject to irresponsible breeding. The buyer is the best protection for these animals, by voting with their pocket book and supporting the good breeders.

  • Anonymous

    Tim,

    I’m glad you understand that the market doesn’t always work to correct wrongs in society.

    The same goes for things like pollution control, occupational safety and health, and product safety, just to name a few.

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