This post is a part 1 of 2 of our posts for the Be the Change for Animals Blog the Change Event.
To learn more about BtC4A or to Join us on today’s blog hop as we ask Petland USA to STOP SELLING PUPPIES, go to http://btc4animals.com
There have been a lot of changes to the animal welfare landscape in Canada this year. In April, a bold new bylaw took hold of Richmond, BC banning the sale of dogs in their pet stores. Last month, Toronto City Council followed suit and now, you can no longer buy a cat or dog in the City of Toronto. The new bylaws were met with some fierce resistance from retailers and some residents, who argued that if people can not buy a pet in their town, they’ll just drive to a neighboring one. My solution?? Let’s watch this “No Retail Sales” policy spread like a wildfire over this great country.
Slowly, things are changing.
Perhaps, they saw it as a change they would inevitably have to make due to bylaws or perhaps they had their eyes opened by a the CBC feature, “How Not to Buy a Puppy”, but whatever their reasoning, in September PJ’s Pets with Pets Unlimited joined the ranks of responsible pet stores everywhere and announced that they would no longer be selling pets in their stores
. As residents of cities all over Canada called on their local Petland stores to do the same, the company fought back, defending their position and what they felt was their right,
to sell animals in their stores. (For some really in depth, awesome posts
on the Petland Canada decision and how it came about, head over to Back Alley Soapbox
and read the archives. Jen has done some amazing work there.)
Despite their protests, last month, Petland Canada announced that they would “immediately begin phasing out the sale of animals at it’s stores nationwide.” Turns out, selling puppies isn’t very profitable for them anymore. Our message that we will not shop at stores that sell puppies works. Folks all over Canada celebrated another victory for animal welfare. We turned our attention to Petland USA waiting…hoping…that they planned to follow suit. No announcement was forthcoming. All over America, you can still buy a puppy at your local Petland location.
PETLAND: Our love is NOT for sale.
Yeah, I’m talking to YOU, Petland USA – and you know what, I’m talking to YOU TOO, Petland Canada.
Turns out Petland Canada wasn’t really entirely truthful in their statement. The new policy applies only to the corporate stores and they are using a pretty loose definition of “immediately”, with some stores I called expecting to have pets for sale for at least a year. It’s a start Petland, but you need to put your money where your mouth is. According to Websters dictionary, “immediately” means 1. At once; instantly or 2. Without any intervening time or space. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a year definitely qualifies as an “intervening time or space.” Quit dragging your feet and get on it.
Petland USA: You have a chance to be a Rainmaker here.
You could make major waves in the Animal Welfare community but making this change. Combine the announcement to discontinue pet sales with a policy on encouraging rescue and adoption, and you could change the face of pet sales in America. How can you not want to be a part of this? Doesn’t it give you the warm & fuzzies??
If you can’t embrace a change in policy because it is the right thing to do and to help prevent the suffering of animals, then do it for business reasons. Sales are down, profits are lower and we, the animal welfare community, are not going away. Consider us the monkey for your back. You want to get rid of us? STOP SELLING PETS IN ALL PETLAND LOCATIONS.
Petland is not the only pet store out there selling pets. They may have taken on the face of Public Enemy #1, because hey, Go Big or Go Home, but they are not the whole problem. Petland is one of the largest chains around and they have some truly horrible history.
- According to the Humane Society of the US, Petland is the largest supporter of Puppy Mills in America.
- In fact, it is estimated that 95% of Petland puppies are bred by a puppy mill.
What’s the Deal with Puppy Mills?
A Puppy Mill is hell on Earth for the unlucky dogs kept there. These high-volume breeding “farms” keep their dogs in sub-standard, squalid conditions. No health care, improper nutrition, no grooming, no socialization and no love. Mills do not support good breeding practices. They are over-bred. There is no genetic screening to prevent the spread of hereditary diseases; no bloodline records to prevent in-breeding and the genetic issues borne of it. Registration paperwork for that “Purebred” dog you’re laying out a chunk of change for, may in fact, be fake.
Puppy Mill dogs suffer the consequences for the poor conditions and lack of socialization and they often exhibit a whole host on unwanted behaviors. They learned fear, sadness and cruelty at the hands of humans. Sometimes these issues seem to great for their families to overcome and these dogs end up in the shelter, fueling the ever increasing homeless pet population.
Want to see the faces of a puppy mill?
You might be surprised. Puppy Mill dogs don’t necessarily look any different than our own beloved pets. Remember, Mills have had to become very good at fooling the public into believing they are selling happy, healthy family pets. Remember our 10 adoptable puggles from yesterda
y? Just a few short months ago, Mama beagle Pepsi sat at a Puppy Mill, waiting to have their litter. In a quick and bold move, Lend A Paw Rescue was formed and they were able to save 23 dogs – plus these 10 adorable babies who were born at their Rescue. I hope you will come back a little later in the day to learn a little more about Lend A Paw and to meet the real victims of a puppy mill: the dogs.
Talk is Cheap. Let’s put the blame for this problem where it belongs. On us.
I’m probably preaching to the choir here. We can bark about how awful Petland is until the cows come home; we can condemn the puppy mills and the people who run them, but at the end of the day, we have to lay the blame where it belongs, at the feet of people buying these pets. Not to make you all feel terrible. I mean, some of us have been a part of the problem without even knowing it. We need to spread the word, so no one unknowingly supports a puppy mill ever again. A good breeder will want to question YOU to make sure you are going to a fit home for their dog. If you can buy a dog without a significant amount of questions being asked or with no questions at all, chances are you are not working with a reputable breeder.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We need to keep being a pain in the tail for Petland – and for all stores that sell pets. Here are a few things that we all can do to fight puppy mills and none of them cost a cent.
REMEMBER! The only way to send a message to Petland is to affect their bottom line. As Petland Canada has proven, they will only sell puppies as long as it is profitable. Show them it isn’t.
Will you help us spread the word? Together, we can totally change the world.
Want to learn more about today’s Blog the Change and the BtC4A Call to Action? Visit some of the other amazing blogs taking part in today’s event!