Saturday, August 13, 2011

Buyer Beware

crowd of postop frontal lobotomy patients

The “I Heart Puppies” store in Corona Del Mar just opened in July and already they have been targeted for assassination by animal extremists. These groups attempt to shut pet stores down by any means possible. They do not limit their activities to peaceful protest, they go into the store looking to find technical violations of fire and safety laws. And then even brag about having them shut down for a few days! A protest was held last weekend, intimidating anyone within walking distance, including this child.

Child traumatized by the hate-mongering protestors. Police were there to control the rabid mob.

It’s always fun to visit a site dominated by sky-is-falling shelter and rescue abuse apologists. Their tired old arguments are so easy to pick apart. So easy, in fact, that they will generally ban you from commenting once they find that they can’t refute your evidence.

Last weekend I found a low-traffic junk site article about pet store protesting of the “I Heart Puppies” pet shop in Corona Del Mar. The ignorance of the postings by the shelter apologist crowd was actually laughable. Although I have to admit, it was also quite entertaining.

These anti-breeding drones believe that breeders do not participate in rescue. If breeders only would work at a shelter or rescue, the drones reason, they would surely support the extremist view of banning breeding.

The assumption that no breeders are involved in "rescue" is just plain  ridiculous. The vast majority of breed rescues are run by breeders and breed clubs. And, the assumption that everyone in shelter and rescue work agrees with this extremist viewpoint is dead wrong, too. Not everyone is a Chicken Little. Many of us quietly work to genuinely improve society; while the loud-mouthed protestors only cause harm on many levels. Very sad. But then, what can we expect from people who think it is grand to import puppy mill dogs from China, a country where dogs are bred for meat, and now for the US pet market? 

The fact is that it is nearly impossible to find PUPPIES in shelters. The USDA, under the auspices of the Animal Welfare Act, regulates commercial breeders, or those who breed for profit (which is the American Way, whether or not the kooks like it). There is a federal PUPS bill proposed which would place almost every breeder in the US under USDA regulations. In other words, every breeder out there will be considered "commercial" and slurred by the malicious extremists as being a "puppy mill".

These folks want you to obtain dogs only from shelters or rescues. Sadly, I haven't heard of a rescue yet who can get enough "product" to sell from their local shelter. Most all of them import dogs from other cities, counties, states, and even from other COUNTRIES. There is even a "rescue" group in LA called "Dogs Without Borders" that lets people "order" a dog from another country. Often, this country is China, where dogs are commercially bred without any USDA or AWA oversight. Many dogs in China are bred for MEAT. That's right, they are eaten for dinner by the Chinese. And now, the Chinese are breeding dogs for profit, to export to the US shelter industry.

It's not only China who supplies our rescue market with pets. Many groups import from Romania, the Caribbean, and of course, Mexico. Dogs and in particular PUPPIES are getting so scarce that there was just a big LA Times expose about puppies being smuggled in through LAX.

But yeah, it's better to import dog with parasites and rabies (many documented cases of this) than to allow pet stores to sell regulated and inspected and guaranteed dogs from licensed breeders. There is a puppy lemon law to protect pet buyers/consumers in the state from pups that are unhealthy, but of course if you buy a shelter dog all bets are off. There are many wonderful dogs in shelters, but remember, there are also many animals there because of health or temperament issues.

And there is no puppy lemon law to protect you from getting a sick dog from a shelter or rescue. Buyer beware.


  1. Part of the problem actually is the puppy lemon law, which mostly penalizes honest breeders for honest mistakes, even when those mistakes were made by mother nature and not by the breeder. If you knew that every puppy you sell could cost you 150% of what you sold it for, even if the puppy's problems are not your fault -- would you breed or would you "rescue" ??
    The Scarlet Pimpernel

  2. I still don't know that selling puppies through pet stores is a good thing, but so many of the proud rescue owners I meet "shopped" for their pets through Petfinder, rather than even looking at their local shelters. Hre's the hypocrisy: What would any of them say to someone who purchased a dog over the Internet? They'd have a hissy fit. I guess this means that it's OK to have a dog as long as it was "rescued" from someplace else.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this bog and the articles that you post. I have known many people that have had issues with "rescues" from diseases to attacking their children. Yet over and over I hear how rescues are so much better then a pup from breeder. People need to be informed of the truth of where some of these dogs come from and the dangers of adopting them.

  4. I have seen both sides of this puppy mill issue, and I do agree that extremism of any kind is not only a distraction from real problems, but is also a 'party boat' for the lunatic fringe, who have nothing better to do than to interfere in that which is not their business.
    I am, and have been, a rescuer for a long time. True, there are people out there breeding who knows what, for profit. Market driven commerce will handle these issues naturally. All that is required is that the buyers be informed and aware.

  5. Here's an educational website if anyone's interested.

  6. Leila Newcomb, And a puppy from an animal shelter is free from parasites, disease and temperament problems. Even the best of breeders can produce a problem pup. It just happens. Americans deserve to be able to get their pup from where ever they wish be it a breeder, a pet store or an animal shelter. Undue to the animal rights way of thinking breeders are not supplyng the animal shelters---irresponsible pet owners are.

  7. People need to stop breeding themselves too! And I don't mean that sarcastically.

  8. Unless the store is proven to mistreat puppies and rip off customers then their is no reason to protest it.
    I`ve rescued animals,but the next dog I get will be from a breeder. I have another dog and cats,so I need to socialize it when its young,and I also do not want to neuter it until maybe its older. Yes,mixes can have health problems. My first dog which was a mutt died of kidney failure at eight years old.
    Part of being a animal lover is taking care of your pets,but also willing to accept the risks of an early death and other health problems. Even animals that are health screened when young still have that chance.