Everyday I interact with passionate, interesting, and smart people, performing heroic acts of kindness for animals, both big and small. I am proud to be a part of a community that is working towards one common goal: Saving animals’ lives. It is rewarding to see the progress we have made over the past decade.
However, I recently came across something that shocked me. In the October 2011 issue of Pet Age, a popular trade magazine, the Editor’s Note was titled “Stand Up for Pet Sales.” In her letter, editor Karen Long MacLeod addressed the “attack” on puppy sales at pet stores, complaining that measures to ban retail pet sales are “not just coming faster, they’re succeeding more often.” To me, this is something to celebrate. The truth about horrific conditions in puppy mills has been exposed, and the connection between these high-volume breeding factories and stores that sell puppies and kittens has been documented over and over again.
Responsible, ethical breeders personally select and screen homes, raise their puppies in a family setting, require spaying/neutering, and they welcome you into their homes, proud of the environment in which the dogs are kept. It’s not about the money—in fact, many dedicated, reputable breeders actually lose money on their litters after all is said and done.
MacLeod goes on to state, “These restrictive laws … will cripple all pet retail outlets … It’s pretty hard to sell kibble and collars to someone who can’t get the dog he wants.” Really? The largest pet retailers in the U.S. do not sell puppies. In fact, both Petco and PetSmart invite rescue groups into their stores to showcase animals who need homes. By refusing to sell puppies, their business has not suffered.
The numbers speak for themselves. Albuquerque, New Mexico banned sales of “companion animals,” including cats and dogs, in 2007. According to MSNBC, since the ban started, animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent.
I encourage you to visit TailsInc.com/puppymills to learn more. Consumers have power with our dollars: Support pet stores that don’t sell puppies or kittens. It is our responsibility to speak for the animals who have no voice of their own.
Wishing you health and happiness this holiday season—