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Why not to buy puppies and kittens from a pet store!

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 03:12 PM
After listening to yet another story at work just a while ago about someone "saving" kittens from a pet store I feel the need to let go.
I am not talking about the stores who have the adoptions available in them. They are normally run by a responsible organization. I am talking about the stores that clearly sell these animals to make a profit. Pure and simple.

From Petfinder: http://www.petfinder.com/before-pet-adoption/buy-puppy-kitten.html
Pet Store Puppies & Kittens

Pet stores that sell dogs and cats regard them as inventory, often getting their "stock" from middlemen or brokers. Though the staff may assure you that the animals in their store were raised humanely, most have little knowledge of the conditions at the kennels where the pets were born.
You may reason that because of his age, the puppy or kitten you're considering buying may have not been at the breeding facility very long. You may think that by buying him, you will give him a good home, so where's the harm? The harm is in perpetuating the conditions under which the animal was bred.
That pup or kittens parents may still be living in tiny wire cages with no opportunity to exercise or socialize with other animals or humans. In raids on animal breeding operations, law enforcement and animal welfare agents often find row upon row of cages, sometimes hundreds of them, so small the animal barely has room to turn around. Feces often are piled high beneath the cages where it has fallen. The stench is unbearable. Animals in mills do not receive routine veterinary care and suffer from serious health issues. They have typical docile, fearful behavior patterns. Their coats are matted and often they suffer from skin conditions. They are often malnourished and dehydrated. Untreated eye infections sometimes blind them. When their health deteriorates sufficiently to interfere with their ability to produce another litter, they are disposed of, sometimes inhumanely. Animals have been found, barely alive, in trash bags behind such facilities.
By purchasing a pet, you put money in the hands of the animal miller, thus encouraging him or her to continue breeding animals.
If you are looking for a purebred companion animal, youll find many by searching Petfinder.com. Many breed rescue groups post their adoptable pets on Petfinder.com, and a surprising number of pets that end up in shelters are purebred.
There are reputable animal breeders. Generally, they do not sell to pet stores because they want to insure that the animals they raise go into good homes. They care about their animals and screen potential buyers. They track the pet as he goes to a home in order to monitor any potential health problems that may develop in the bloodline. If you do decide to pursue a reputable breeder, you can contact your local breed rescue club for information.

Pretty simple, isn't it? Straight forward and well written. So why isn't the message reaching the right audience?
There are many, many sites on the internet that tell horror stories after horror stories about pets bought in a pet store. I would hope if people are making a long term commitment to a pet who is going to be a member of the family they would take the time to do some research before purchasing.
I am thinking of one store in particular that sells those wonderful designer breeds. Y'know the ones. The ones that if you took the time to do some research you would find about to be euthanized in a shelter. The ones that the rescues are pulling from homes where they are not being treated well. The store charges a wonderful price. I think the lowest I have seen lately is $650. Good deal for a mutt, huh? What's the going rate at a shelter for the same dog? $100? $150?
And kittens. Why do people think they are coming from a happy home. Watch closely and you will see the same people going into the store with litters. These are the ones that can't be bothered to get their kitty fixed but let them outside to do whatever. You know the "whatever" results in a litter of kittens in around 65 days. :wall: How many litters can a cat have before it starts affecting her health? How many times does a male go looking for that female he smells in the air before losing his life crossing the road? But it keeps happening. It keeps happening.
If these stores owners would do their own research into millers and bybs do you think this would keep happening? I do. That almighty dollar speaks pretty loud!!

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 03:23 PM
14+K - people are still very uneducated about the subject matter. They do not realize what they are doing...or they let their heart speak and not their head. The government is in no hurry either to promote education in regards to the pet sale industry. They are the real pigs in this.

14+K - I don't know what to tell you. We try educating and yet still people refuse to either do the math or just ignor the obvious. I really don't understand how one can think that they are rescueing these dogs and cats...as they purchase..more are being pumped out to meet the demand. They are doing no service in the end.

Currently there are hundred of thousands of dogs and cats waiting to find loving homes..a second chance...yet we ignor their cries.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 03:33 PM
I know BM. We have educated ourselves enough we don't go the pet store route. I just needed to unload. I have heard far too many of these stories. It is a lot worse once the puppy or the kitten start getting sick because they had a bad start in life. That's when they start asking what can I do to help them? Umm, not much. Get to the vet. :wall:

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 03:44 PM
I know that you are not looking for answers..but you may get some insight from members here that have gotten their pets this way. I think we need to understand why and from there we can do whatever possible to discourage others in the future...if this is possible.

Listen - we and some others here are clearly on the same side of the fence. Maybe because of what we see, we personally would not purchase from a petstore or even go to a breeder as we know how many animals are currently at deaths door.

I don't know what the solution is 14+K. We cannot even get shelters and rescues, or rescues and rescues or shelters and shelters to have the same mandate...how can we educate the average person?

The animal industry is about ego, dollar and cents, and profit. It's pathetic.!

Frenchy
March 23rd, 2010, 03:51 PM
Some people think that they are rescuing that poor pup / kitten from the petstore. They don't get that they are feeding the industry.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 03:54 PM
I don't know what the solution is 14+K. We cannot even get shelters and rescues, or rescues and rescues or shelters and shelters to have the same mandate...how can we educate the average person?

Good point. And I think that is a lot of our problem. It would be wonderful to be able to put out pamphlets near the doors of these pet stores. Hopefully people would take the time to read them. Unfortunately they would be removed by the pet store owners.
I keep saying - if I won a ton of money or had a rich relative (I don't) I would love to take out full page ads in all the major newspapers across North America. Spay and neuter! Don't buy from pet stores! Talk to the politicians in your area about making stiffer fines/rules for breeders. Report all suspected millers and bybs! Don't just let them off with a slap on the wrist. Make them pay! Make them responsible for what they are doing.
It's time when all shelters and rescues started realizing we should be working together. Not fighting each other.

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 03:57 PM
14+K. I extracted this from a cat food website which promotes adopting cats from a shelter. It is from the perspective of a cat:

Cats spend most of their time (when they are not cat-napping) trying to teach their human companions about things they should know in life. Here are just a few examples of life's lessons that a talented cat can illustrate.

Life Lessons for Humans from Cats


Actually, cat-napping itself is a good lesson.
"Get plenty of rest, and you will be ready for anything," I say.
Ever watch a cat wash himself?
"Personal hygiene is essential."
Where would the world be without healthy curiosity? Who would discover the next great invention without curiosity?
"Learn to be curious, and you will expand your horizons."
Patience. Ever watch a cat watching something?
"Patience and self-control will enlighten your life."
If a cat wants something, he won't give up until he has it.
"You have to overcome any obstacle to get where you want to be."
Cats are the best at playing. All it takes is a little piece of string.
"Playing and having fun add spice to life."
Finally, and most importantly, a cat is above all a little ball of love.
"Love is the most important lesson of all."
So you see, if you adopt a shelter cat, you will have the opportunity to give a great deal. But you will receive even more. Take it from me, the expert.

Too CUTE!!!!:cat:

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 04:02 PM
Some people think that they are rescuing that poor pup / kitten from the petstore. They don't get that they are feeding the industry.

Very true. The impact however must be taken globally as not taking that 'one' has absolutely no impact. If the dogs and cats in the petstores were not purchased, the demand drops.

So - someone's question would be 'what will happen to the dogs and cats in the petstores? - do they not deserve a loving home?

The answer is complex. Some may perish, some will go to the vets to be either euthanized or put up for adoption...some even make it into rescue.

There is no short term solution on the fate of these poor creatures. People need to understand that purchasing these animals whether it be through petstores, byb's and some breeders - they are adding to the problem. For every animal purchased...regardless of which outlet you are purchasing from -an animal is currently dying....that is just a fact.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 04:03 PM
Yep. Too cute!! I totally agree with the cat that wrote that. :D I see it every single day with my gang.
I guess we just keep on plugging. One person at a time.

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 04:07 PM
Yep. Too cute!! I totally agree with the cat that wrote that. :D I see it every single day with my gang.
I guess we just keep on plugging. One person at a time.

Indeed 14+K. I know it's difficult. You are absolutely right to feel frustrated.:grouphug:

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 04:11 PM
There is no short term solution on the fate of these poor creatures. People need to understand that purchasing these animals whether it be through petstores, byb's and some breeders - they are adding to the problem. For every animal purchased...regardless of which outlet you are purchasing from -an animal is currently dying....that is just a fact.

Too true. And far too sad. :( :grouphug: Thank you and everyone else on here who rescue every single day!!! :grouphug:

Frenchy
March 23rd, 2010, 04:15 PM
I guess we just keep on plugging. One person at a time.

And sometimes even that is not enough. I tried to find a pup in rescue for my sister . But after months of searching , she decided to go to a breeder. All I could do at that point was to make sure she would go to a good breeder , which she did.

So yes , it is important to speak to people about rescues and shelters , you always hope they will rescue but .... you can't force them.

I know some people find it weird that my own sister went to a breeder , but that wasn't MY decision to make.

chico2
March 23rd, 2010, 04:16 PM
I am one of those people who bought a kitten from pet-shop,my Chico 13/14yrs ago..
I do not ever go in to any store that sells puppies or kittens,but at that time I needed something,forgot what:confused:
Anyway,there was a faint meow from the back of the store and there he was all alone,his siblings all gone,but he was a black kitten,,
I picked him up,the purr-machine started and when I put him back,he cried his little heart out.
I went home but could not forget this little guy,it was a long weekend and he would spend it alone in that cage,with the store closed(in those days).
Talked to hubby and went back to get him,who knows what would have happened to him since nobody wanted him:(

I have of course since learned where puppies and kittens in stores come from and I am happy to say we have no more stores selling pups/kits,only stores who adopt out from shelters.

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 04:21 PM
Chico2 - 13 years ago, there was not the same publicity as today.

The bonus in your town is that the petstores are not selling...here it is a different story. I personally will not even purchase a bone from a store that sells live animals...I WILL NOT contribute in any manner whatsoever.

I personally do not plan on jumping on anyone purchasing from petstores etc...not on this forum anyways...I will save that for a face to face.

chico2
March 23rd, 2010, 04:28 PM
B-M,I would not either,this site really opened my eyes to what is really going on in the pet-industry.
The last Pet-store who sold pups and kittens closed here a few years ago and I cheered when I saw it.
OHS and even my vet at the time caused problems for them,eventually they closed.:thumbs up

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 04:32 PM
Chico2 - I never even knew about puppymills until 14 years ago...I was volunteering for a shelter and they brought in these horrific little sorry state of dogs....I had no idea!

Information is power. Making a difference no matter how small is worth Gold.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 04:41 PM
And sometimes even that is not enough. I tried to find a pup in rescue for my sister . But after months of searching , she decided to go to a breeder. All I could do at that point was to make sure she would go to a good breeder , which she did.

So yes , it is important to speak to people about rescues and shelters , you always hope they will rescue but .... you can't force them.

I know some people find it weird that my own sister went to a breeder , but that wasn't MY decision to make.

But with your guidance Frenchy your sister knew not to go the store route. She knew to find a good breeder. And we definitely know it was not your decision! If it were your sister would have adopted a beautiful senior!! :cloud9:

I am one of those people who bought a kitten from pet-shop,my Chico 13/14yrs ago..
I do not ever go in to any store that sells puppies or kittens,but at that time I needed something,forgot what:confused:
Anyway,there was a faint meow from the back of the store and there he was all alone,his siblings all gone,but he was a black kitten,,
I picked him up,the purr-machine started and when I put him back,he cried his little heart out.
I went home but could not forget this little guy,it was a long weekend and he would spend it alone in that cage,with the store closed(in those days).
Talked to hubby and went back to get him,who knows what would have happened to him since nobody wanted him:(

I have of course since learned where puppies and kittens in stores come from and I am happy to say we have no more stores selling pups/kits,only stores who adopt out from shelters.

Chico - as BM said - that was quite some time ago. Times have changed. Life has changed. We want something when we want it. Not willing to wait. We see a puppy or a kitten and feel like we need to take it home right then. We don't do our research. I just find it sad.
I used to be able to go to another store in our town. Now it too is selling small animals. Rabbits, mice, gerbils. How long before cats and dogs join them? :wall:

sugarcatmom
March 23rd, 2010, 05:00 PM
On a related note, West Hollywood recently banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/17/local/la-me-weho-pet-stores17-2010feb17

Gotta love that city! They were also the first in N. America to ban the declawing of cats.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 05:02 PM
On a related note, West Hollywood recently banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/17/local/la-me-weho-pet-stores17-2010feb17

Gotta love that city! They were also the first in N. America to ban the declawing of cats.

I totally agree! We need to borrow the person making those decisions!!!

BenMax
March 23rd, 2010, 05:04 PM
Actually I found out something very interesting. The shelter here has contracts. One of the municipalities has insisted that any cat or dog reclaimed MUST BE STERILIZED prior to the owner reclaiming. If they refuse to pay for the sterilization,they cannot have their dog or cat back. Talk about talking the talk, and walking the walk!:thumbs up

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 05:09 PM
Actually I found out something very interesting. The shelter here has contracts. One of the municipalities has insisted that any cat or dog reclaimed MUST BE STERILIZED prior to the owner reclaiming. If they refuse to pay for the sterilization,they cannot have their dog or cat back. Talk about talking the talk, and walking the walk!:thumbs up

That is wonderful! I wonder though how many aren't being claimed because of that though. :( Do they give them a reduced rate for getting them fixed? I would hope especially in the case of cats they are. :fingerscr

luckypenny
March 23rd, 2010, 05:38 PM
"You may reason that because of his age, the puppy or kitten you're considering buying may have not been at the breeding facility very long."

Any length of time in such a facility, including a pet shop, is too long.

I'd like to add...just because the pup/kitten is still young, the conditions/environment under which it was bred and raised for the first 12-16 weeks of it's life, do play a crucial role of the temperament of the animal. For dogs (sorry, I haven't done the research for cats :o), the first 16 weeks are the most important where their brains are 'imprinted' with experiences. What they learn at this young age may remain with them forever, whether they be good or bad experiences. Lack of socialization, frightening experiences, being crammed into a dirty cage with littermates and an anxious mom are some of the negative imprints that may remain with the puppy. Some people argue that a pet store is a great place for socialization with so many people coming and going. What they don't think about is how frightening those hundreds of children are that scream "mommy, daddy, come see this one" can be. Or the fact that they don't hear everyday noises such as traffic, music, etc. They don't see what the real world is like, they don't get to meet and socialize properly with other dogs and puppies, only through wire cages or plexiglass walls. They don't learn to soil in appropriate places away form their 'dens.' They don't learn bite inhibition and soft mouth in a cage at the pet store. In addition, most of these animals are kept in a pet shop beyond the 'window of opportunity' for learning positive experiences that will help them become well-rounded individuals as adolescents and adults.

We get so many requests for owner surrenders for animals that were purchased at pet shops. These are the ones who are extremely difficult to house train, who are anxious outdoors and in new environments, who have separation anxiety, who do not know how to 'communicate' with other dogs, who become biters, etc. It took one of our past fosters 3 months to successfully learn how to read other dogs, how to use the appropriate body language to convey her messages to them, and 4 months to housetrain her. Unknowingly, the person who bought her from the pet shop was unable to provide the right kind of learning environment that was so necessary for her. Hence, the owner surrender. I wonder how many animals in shelters come from such early environments? With owners ignorant to the facts that it's not the pet who's "bad" and are ignorant of their needs?



Pretty simple, isn't it? Straight forward and well written. So why isn't the message reaching the right audience?

Simply because the message isn't loud enough. A few articles in the paper about puppymill busts every year just doesn't do the job.

Only a short 4 1/2 years ago, I didn't know a thing about pet shops (other than everyone I knew who ever bought from one got a sick or neurotic pet), puppymills, backyard breeders, etc. I thought the SPCA was a place that picked up strays and that was where ppl brought their pets to be euthanized :o. It took a tragic experience with a new puppy before I became better informed...but not before it was too late :(. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes experiences such as those before people will learn...if you're not actively looking for the information, you're unlikely to be exposed to it.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 05:48 PM
Wonderful information LP. Now that is the message that needs to be taught!
Until a few years ago I knew nothing about puppy mills. Didn't know there were such a thing allowed to exist except for those odd stories in newspapers.
Cats are a little different. There are too many kittens available for free now. Not many pay for a cat when they can drive down a country road and see lots of signs out for free kittens. Heck, drive down a lot of streets in town and you can see those signs. :wall:
So - who has a spare million or more laying around so we can do a media blitz?

diandpat
March 23rd, 2010, 06:12 PM
http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/news/86670592.html

It's not much but it is a small start. In Europe there are many countries that don't sell retail. Unfortunately, they are not big on s/n either :wall::wall::wall:

It is a HUGE problem but at least Richmond is putting itself out there trying to do something.

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 10:40 PM
http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/news/86670592.html

It's not much but it is a small start. In Europe there are many countries that don't sell retail. Unfortunately, they are not big on s/n either :wall::wall::wall:

It is a HUGE problem but at least Richmond is putting itself out there trying to do something.

We can only hope more cities pick up on that. Good on Richmond. :thumbs up
One step forward.....

cassiek
March 24th, 2010, 12:17 AM
14+ thank you for bringing awareness to this incredibly tragic (and frustrating! :wall:)situation.

I was at the humane society I work with yesterday and found out we had just been brought in two female shihtzu X's that were found at a puppymill in horrifying, disgusting conditions. :cry: It brings me to tears to write about the condition these animals are in (and to think of the other animals that suffer in these conditions every single day!) Both are matted so bad, to the point where defecating, eating, and normal behaviour/activity is near impossible (they were going in today to be shaved! :lovestruck: and bless the souls of the people who saved them and brought them to us).

One had at some point had a very serious eye infection which was not treated or given vet care, and has since lost eyesight in that eye. The other has such terrible spinal deformities from producing litter after litter. Despite all this, these dogs have such good spirits and seem so happy to be in a safe, loving place. We will surely find forever, wonderful, loving homes for them in a very short time. :angel: IMO, People need to witness experiences such as these, to truly appreciate the grave reality of this terrible situation. As harsh as they may be, I would like to believe that if the public witnessed situations like this, they would be so moved to make better decisions in the future. IMO, people can not/will not change what they lack knowledge/ are poorly informed about.

While I understand people believe they are "saving" these animals from petstores, they are in fact, not, they are only feeding the cycle.

LP, I could not agree with your post more. My previous roommate had a Beagle x she purchased from a petstore. This dog had many behavioural and physical problems that were in no doubt stemming from where she came from. She had no confidence, extreme seperation anxiety, was not house-trained, did not know how to socialize around other dogs etc. etc. the list went on forever.

And on another note, at the humane society we require any information on animals that were previously owned and about 80% of them come from petstores. We NEVER receive pets from reputable breeders, simply because a reputable breeder is very, very careful with whom they place their dogs with and also require that the animal be returned to them under any circumstance should it not work out. PetStores simply sell the animal to anyone with the dough... there is NO regards for being selective to whom these animals go to, education on s/n, etc etc. The PetStore takes no effort in actually interviewing perspective dog/cat owners to ensure these animals go into their forever homes.

This saddens me to no end. I can only hope that by education we can better equip people to make better decisions. I pray for all the poor animals in these terrible facilities. :pray:

Love4himies
March 24th, 2010, 06:53 AM
On a related note, West Hollywood recently banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/17/local/la-me-weho-pet-stores17-2010feb17

Gotta love that city! They were also the first in N. America to ban the declawing of cats.

:thumbs up:thumbs up Now that is a gov't that cares about it's animals. Wasn't it California that wanted to pass a mandatory spay/neuter law?

BenMax
March 24th, 2010, 08:48 AM
That is wonderful! I wonder though how many aren't being claimed because of that though. :( Do they give them a reduced rate for getting them fixed? I would hope especially in the case of cats they are. :fingerscr

I asked the same question and indeed there is a great rate (far far cheaper than your vet) and the owners still do pay and reclaim. They advise the owners the savings and also reasons that this is benefical. So far, so good!:thumbs up for both species.

lindapalm
March 24th, 2010, 09:57 PM
I'm know I'm going to be sorry I asked this, but how long will a pet store keep a puppy for sale, and what happens to him if he doesn't get sold after awhile?

14+kitties
March 24th, 2010, 10:30 PM
I'm know I'm going to be sorry I asked this, but how long will a pet store keep a puppy for sale, and what happens to him if he doesn't get sold after awhile?

Y'know, the person who just "saved" the kittens from the store said she normally would not go in that one but wanted to get something for her newly adopted dog and it is close to work. When she went in she saw these kittens and talked to the owner. She was concerned because they were not tiny teeny kittens. They were approx. six months old. She asked the owner how long they had been there. He said three months. Supposedly other kittens had come and gone and they still stayed and got bigger and bigger. She then asked what would happen to them if they didn't get adopted. He said he didn't know as it had never happened before. Bull!!!

This store has a steady stream of dogs coming in. Unfortunately they sell quickly. :( Most of the kittens that come in are from people who are too d**ned (ooppss, can't swear anymore) cheap to pay to get their poor cat fixed. They don't usually take a whole lot of kittens and don't get them fixed before selling them. They go fairly quickly too. I know when the old owner had them if they didn't sell quickly they either went back to the "breeder" or went to the pound. You know if they went back they were probably killed. At the pound they would have a bit more of a chance of being adopted but if not......

14+kitties
March 24th, 2010, 10:31 PM
I asked the same question and indeed there is a great rate (far far cheaper than your vet) and the owners still do pay and reclaim. They advise the owners the savings and also reasons that this is benefical. So far, so good!:thumbs up for both species.

BM that is wonderful news!!!!! :thumbs up

lindapalm
March 25th, 2010, 03:49 PM
I don't believe the stores have never had a puppy not get sold, I've seen some pretty old puppies at mall pet stores, and I've always been afraid of what will happen to them if they don't get sold quickly. I can't even go in the stores anymore, the furry faces are too hard to forget.

Golden Girls
March 26th, 2010, 08:22 AM
I'm know I'm going to be sorry I asked this, but how long will a pet store keep a puppy for sale, and what happens to him if he doesn't get sold after awhile?The puppy gets resold to the broker who will then go to other pet stores to try and resell where that puppy is caged in the back of a truck for possible days on end. If all fails the broker will then return the puppy to the original mill for a small fee and that puppy will more then likely die of starvation. I've seen dead puppies being used for feed, it's truly a nightmare :(

I'd like to say if anyone buys a puppy/kitten from pet store please never ever return it. Get a refund, do what you must do but never agree to an exchange or surrender.

lindapalm
March 26th, 2010, 02:16 PM
I knew I would be sorry I asked, that is disgusting. This is dumb, but if the poor dog didn't get sold after a long time, why can't they just give him away for free instead of pawning him off to places worse than the store. He never knows the outside of a cage, then he dies. Can't get any worse.