What the Ban on pet shop Sales of pets means for pet lovers & consumers


Purebred Bedlington. another breed with such a small gene pool, with  genetic health issues, that the puppy mills have generally ignored.

Purebred Bedlington. another breed with such a small gene pool, with genetic health issues, that the puppy mills have generally ignored.

In Chicago, we (  in this case,meaning 49 of 50 aldermen— unheard of cooperation NOT led by a mayor) recently voted to ban the sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits that do not come from bona fide shelters and rescues, in pet shops. That means  pet shop sales of commercially bred animals–-pets bred as livestock—  will no longer be legal. ( See: https://disparateinterests.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/why-you-shouldnt-buy-a-dog-or-cat-from-a-pet-shop-buy-directly-from-the-breeder/ ).

Will this make a difference in the number of  pets that wind up abandoned in shelters, or abused? Probably not, As  Kathy Mordini pointed out in  one of her Raining Cats & Dogs/Chicago Now blog… you even have to look at shelters & rescues with some skepticism.    We have several in the Chicagoland area adopting out unhealthy  pets & feigning ignorance.  As I’ve said many times, good intentions are not enough.

What we do know is that it starts the discussion on why it is unethical to raise pets as livestock, for profit, when so many are abandoned.  However—is a problem being solved?

Because I have worked in the pet industry (as a dog groomer) for over 40 years, I have a lot of experience in what goes on.  People  who own or manage pet shops are retailers first and foremost. Pet lovers?  maybe—maybe not.  You have to wonder  how people who love pets can ship  baby animals, which are under so much stress, knowing that  a certain per centage will die of the stress, to sell to impulse buyers who either have not thought out what  taking care of a live animal means, or who probably have  WRONG CARE INFORMATION.

The wrong brush for most dogs is the top selling  brush style in America---thanks to the idiots who  manage pet shops!

The wrong brush for most dogs is the top selling brush style in America—thanks to the idiots who manage pet shops!

This is the right brush for most pet dogs—the ‘universal’ style curved slicker, with bent wire ‘pins’.

An eexample fo a curved slicker brush---generally, the right brush!

An example fo a curved slicker brush—generally, the right brush!

For over 50 years. pet shops have been selling the wrong brush.  I have posted  a photo —again—showing pins on 1 side, bristles on the other.  The right brush is a  slicker brush—particularly a  curved slicker—like the red one–( the Miller Forge offered by  http://www.petedge.com)   is the best, I feel, for most  dogs whose coats are over 1 inch long or are double coated or non-shed. They don’t even know it, and don’t care. Why don’t groomers tell them?  I have worked for some of these managers—who have told me to shut up and just do my job (See:  I got fired for wearing a scarf  https://disparateinterests.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/i-got-fired-for-wearing-a-scarf-why-the-corporate-pet-stores-are-always-looking-for-groomers/). That’s why. Well, now with the  Affordable Care Act, I bet  a lot of groomers will tell these  horrible bosses to take this job and shove it… but it won’t help any of these  bad pet shop  owners or managers gain any integrity.  Possibly—just possibly—their desperation to make up the lost profits might cause them to get information  on  how to find hobby breeders & refer  buyers to them for a commission  pets, but  it’s going to be tough. Why?

This is a Whippet. Chances are very slim you will find them  in a shelter, but they do get loose.  Most likely, you will either have to be on a waiting list  (WRAP---Whippet Rescue and Placement) or network to find breeders.  Whippet breeders are NOT the cause of pet over population.

This is a Whippet. Chances are very slim you will find them in a shelter, but they do get loose. Most likely, you will either have to be on a waiting list (WRAP—Whippet Rescue and Placement) or network to find breeders. Whippet breeders are NOT the cause of pet over population.

     The bottom line is that people who breed pets for the betterment of their breed or to improve their line want to meet the buyers. They do not sell to third parties & trust that they will do a good job of screening—making sure you know what is involved in taking care of the dog or cat you want.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts how Fred Alderman of Dynasty Afghan Hounds had people wanting Afghan Hounds come out to the kennel and spend a day grooming…to make sure they  understood what was involved and wouldn’t make excuses.  As it is, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America (and I am sure many other breed clubs) have like minded  breeders who  really ask you and your household a lot of questions.  You never see Briards or Scottish Deerhounds in pet shops—and they only end up in  shelters when they are lost or an owner dies.

This is the right brush for most pet dogs---the 'universal' style curved slicker, with  bent wire  'pins'.

This is the right brush for most pet dogs—the ‘universal’ style curved slicker, with bent wire ‘pins’.

So…when (in Illinois) shelter fees include shots and NEUTERING, how are the pet shops going to justify charging the same amount as a shelter when  all shots and neutering are NOT INCLUDED IN THE SALES PRICE?  How?   By counting on buyers  coming in for ‘a puppy’  not being too particular,  knowing they haven’t done any research.  When Dad (or a brother or  cousin) comes home with a dog for the kids that Mom doesn’t want…that’s the pup that will end up in a shelter along with all the Pit Bull pups that morons bred that  dishonest buyers who  tried to sneak past a landlord and the breeder won’t take back.  That’s how it is.

I attended a meet-up event for pet owners recently and we were talking about no-kill shelters—and the  pet owners had no idea that  the No-Kill shelters were not OPEN ACCESS-–meaning they did NOT take owner surrenders.

So, I think this starts the discussion.  When people looking for a dog of a particular breed, and in Chicago, the pet shop can no longer sell them unless they came from a shelter (keep in mind that the puppy mills have set up ‘shelters’ for their unsold pups—& I bet a lot of pet shops will learn who they are—soon!)…will the  retailers have done any research and referred  puppy seekers to dog clubs?  Or will they refer them to  retailers in the next town over and gain a commission?

Many of the breeders who sold to pet shops still sell on Craigslist. The city—and the state—could have  designated funding to  hire people to  pay a visit to all these  unethical breeders—& fine them.   This would pay for itself in a year! Really—-as so many people who post on Craigslist  are just in it for the money & barely making anything.  They  either don’t understand or don’t care  that  over half the dogs they breed will end up  dumped.  THAT would solve the surplus dog problem in less than a year…but that is not what they did.  It’s as though our elected officials  don’t know the internet exists —it’s a mystery—when it comes  to law enforcement of commerce.

I am including this link because this happened to a dog—bought as a puppy (who knows from where…enough blame to go around) that probably  was so cute as to not look like a real dog—needing grooming and training:   http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2014/03/abused_dog_found_alive_in_detr.html

So,  if the problem is  breeders breeding  pets as livestock not having outlets for the animals they breed (as more and more municipalities  outlaw sales of  commercially bred pets in pet shops), will  we have solved this problem?  No, and neither will we solve the problem of pets being  abused, neglected, or dumped.  This just starts the discussion, and it is an important discussion.

Do you want to end this horror?  Call or email your  elected officials.   Send them a link to  a post for puppies posted on Craigslist—and ask why they don’t  designate funds in the  state budget  for inspectors  to call  posters, pay them a visit, and fine them for  breeding  animals they don’t have deposits for.  Word will spread.   That’s the only way.

 

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