Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Animal Shelters - the new Puppy Mills

Truth is generally stranger than fiction, but no more so than here in the US where trite sound bites become a perceived reality. "Save a tree" was a motto in support of using plastic bags. Now plastic bags are taboo! "Make love not war" sounds good in theory but of course doesn't quite reflect the reality of defending against aggression. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" Seriously?

Here are a few more recent slogans that do their part to twist reality to suit the animal rights agenda:

"Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die"

Heard that one? Or how about:

"If you breed, rescue. If you don't breed, rescue anyway!"

And then there's:

"For every dog bred, a shelter dog dead!"

These cute little cliched maxims ring just a bit hypocritical in the light of current events in the wonderful world of animal sheltering.

I don't want to cover ALL the atrocities covered in the name on "sheltering", but let's present a quick review of current routine practices . It's a fact that, an a regular daily basis, "shelters" kill healthy animals while blaming "overpopulation" and while blaming those who choose to breed. Shelters kill animals with minor and easily treatable illnesses. There's no money for antibiotics or vaccines or even decent food, but there is an endless supply of pentobarbital. They kill because they budget money for fancy new office space, while there is no funding for more or improved kennel space. Shelters kill friendly animals, neutered animals, and pets who dared to stray too far from home. They kill community feral cats, denouncing them as menaces to society. They kill because they can't be bothered to scan for microchips or look for owners. They kill when owners are unable to immediately come up with hundreds of dollars in redemption fees. The vast majority of the time, shelters can't be bothered with organizing low-cost adoption fairs or advertising. Killing is much quicker and easier, and at the same time the killing allows them to inure themselves with a false sense of moral superiority.

So it is rather ironic and somewhat surprising to read in the past few weeks that shelters...MAJOR public shelters....are currently brainstorming ways to get their meathooks into more puppies. Los Angeles Animal Services own Brenda Barnett presented a proposal to take in and foster out to 'selected rescues' pregnant bitches, allowing the puppies to be born, raised to salable age and then sold to raise money for the shelter.

There was actually an ad recently placed on Craiglist by a shelter in Idaho. (You know, that Craigslist where NO responsible breeder would ever EVER offer a dog for sale <rolls eyes>.)
Well this shelter was offering to buy puppies for $25 each from people in the community, so that they could turn around and re-sell them for a profit. Seems they just don't have enough puppies to go around up there in Idaho.

Shelters need puppies to sell. They need to make profit. They are GREEDY. They are LIVING OFF THE BACKS OF ANIMALS; the very offense of which they accuse breeders.

By their own twisted logic, for every dog that a "shelter" or "rescue" imports from overseas or across the border (yeah, they do that all the time) one more shelter dog dies. But, sadly, this trite expression comes to life in the reality of shelter operations. They are the ones controlling the killing and they also seek to be the sole source of pets for sale....be they imported or bred on the premises or sought out from the local community.

Since when is it OK to cherry-pick the animals you want to have on hand to sell while summarily killing anything that is older than a puppy?

Los Angeles, along with other nearby cities like West Hollywood and Glendale, has enacted a ban on retail sales of animals unless they are from "shelter" or "rescue".

Hmmm.. so now we will not only have the Shelter Pet Store but the Shelter Breeder too. San Diego is apparently next in line for this sort of monkey business, having approved a retail sales ban unless the animals are sourced from "shelter" or "rescue". How long before they look to start breeding their animals or trucking them in from Mexico?

The actual text of the ad from Craigslist. It has since been removed, but those of you with "wayback" talents may be able to pull the ad up:

Our dog adoptions at Canyon County Animal Shelter are doing great and we
have a large demand for puppies right now. If your dog has had puppies,
we will pay $25 per puppy and spay the mother for free. We are trying to
make sure that puppies adopted in the Nampa-Caldwell area are vaccinated
and spayed/neutered before being adopted to cut down on the pet
overpopulation. If you are interested in having us find homes for your
puppies, please TEXT Andrea at 208-258-5208 for all the details, or call
the shelter at 208-455-5920. Some restrictions apply. We are located at
5801 Graye Lane, Caldwell ID and our hours are Mon-Sat 10-6:00 and Sun

And here is the info about LAAS considering breeding their own puppies.

General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) Brenda Barnette, issued a report on June 23, 2013, recommending that the Department:
Make dogs in late-term pregnancy available to New Hope partners (rescues) as Department fosters OR to Department foster volunteers if fosters are available.
(1) Prohibit third-trimester spaying if a foster is available; and
(2) New Hope partners (rescuers) could also serve as foster volunteers for the Department for the pregnant mother and subsequent litter.
In her Fiscal Impact statement in the report, Barnette contends:
"Fostering puppies until they are eight weeks old, and returning them to Animal Services to be adopted out, represents additional revenue opportunities through adoptions to the public or through pet shops."
However, earlier in this report, GM Barnette states, "If the New Hope partner (rescuer) chooses, they can return them [the puppies] to the shelter for spay/neuter surgery and then adopt them for the regular fees." OR "The New Hope partners can have the dog and the puppies altered and after the Department receives proof…they can be transferred to the New Hope Partners at no additional charge."

From: "Brenda Barnette | Department of Animal Services" <Ani.LAAnimalServices@lacity.org>
Subject: Commission Meeting 7-9-2013
Date: July 3, 2013 7:22:03 PM PDT


Board of Animal Services Commission Meeting Tuesday, July 9, 2013 @ 10:00 a.m.

Reminder: The Commission meeting is Tuesday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street in Los Angeles, CA 90012. Our normal meeting room is 1060. We have been advised that the City Council may need that room and we may be moved to another room. Since we do not have the location yet, please come early and we will post the meeting room on the door.
This will be a presentation and a discussion of SPAYING DOGS IN LATE TERM PREGNANCY. Please join us to get your questions answered and give your input.

The meeting materials can be found at http://www.laanimalservices.com/about-us-2/commission/.

Brenda Barnette
General Manager

221 N. Figueroa Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 482-9558


  1. If you are interested in having us find homes for your
    puppies, please ...
    what is the difference between this and a puppy broker educated minds want to know..
    great post Geneva.. I will be sharing this one right now!

    1. So true. Animal shelters aren't just the new pet store breeders/suppliers, they are the new brokers as well. Move over, Hunte corporation, you have competition!!

  2. Great article...sad you had to use the breeder slander term though :-/

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I feel that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander (couldn't resist using a mindless maxim LOL)
      Seriously, it's about time we toss that term back on those who sling it. Only by expanding the usage and exposing how insanely ridiculous the term is can we break it of it's evil effects. I'm planning to do another post on the "hoarding" term, and perhaps we will also blow apart the concept of the evil "back yard breeder" as well.

  3. I have no issue with the Idaho shelter taking in puppies that would most likely be sold intact and adopting them out fixed, all the while ensuring the bitch won't be bred again by spaying her. Sounds like a good strategy to me.

    The refusal to perform gravid spays late term, however, is HIGHLY concerning.

    1. Good strategy for what? Shortening the lives of those dogs?
      You must be new here! First off, spay and neuter is not "fixing" your puppy (he's not broke). It's setting him or her up unnecessarily for a lifetime of high risk for a myriad of health problems. Endocrine organs and their essential hormones with intricate balance and feedback regulatory mechanisms are vital for proper growth and development.
      Gravid late-term spay places the life of the bitch in extreme jeopardy due to risk of anesthesia and high risk of bleeding. Plus, there's a demand for puppies (we have a shortage) so killing them without medical necessity is highly unethical.
      Browse around this site and educate yourself regarding the risks of spay/neuter, the false perception of "overpopulation" of pets in the US which hasn't existed for at least a dozen years now. You might be surprised to learn that spay/neuter is not only unnecessary, it is fraught with health risks.
      Happy reading!

  4. Starbreeze, I've closely followed the various studies on spay/neuter and its effect on domesticated canines. For bitches, there is no question that a spay before the first heat is beneficial in terms of health. For dogs, there is no question that neutering confers a slight disadvantage in terms of health, and it would be ideal if male dogs could remain intact. I don't need to browse around a site when I've read the data myself.

    However, health is not the only issue here. The big issue is irresponsible owners and breeders producing litters. The fewer dogs born of that ilk, the better, even if some individual dogs suffer health issues as a result.

    We do have far too many dogs being produced by irresponsible breeders. That is a fact. Anything we can do to reduce that is beneficial. That includes gravid spays, pediatric spay/neuters, education, and other ways to reduce irresponsible breeding.

    What we need here is BALANCE. BALANCE between responsible breeders and rescuers/shelters. COOPERATION between the two groups. What we have now is strife, distrust, gaslighting, and the flinging of insults. While it might make people in the groups feel better, it does nothing to help the situation.

    1. No question? You can't be serious! You have not followed the discussion closely enough. There is a prominent study published in the AVMA journal in 2010 demonstrating that intact bitches or those spayed after six years old live, on average, 30% longer than their spayed counterparts. More recent studies are showing that spay-neuter dramatically increases the risk of cancer in both sexes, and when done at an early age there is a huge increase in the rate of orthopedic disorders like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
      As to passing judgement on people being "irresponsible" I think you need to come down off the high horse. People have a right to breed their animals and our rights should not be impaired by the occasional bad apple who is either neglectful or abusive. And to believe that dogs should suffer from ill health due to an attitude of moral superiority is really over the top!
      By promoting wholescale spay-neuter, gene pools are decimated. The same phenomenon happens when stud books are closed and people insist that we must breed only "purebred" dogs, it's a crock of manure to claim that this system is more "responsible" than someone who breeds their dogs for other reasons, be their reasons to produce pets or working dogs or whatever reason they choose.
      I'm sick of hearing about so-called "irresponsible" people and proposed oppressive solutions that only target everyone. Since we do not have enough animals in shelters to meet demand, it's about time we stop yammering about the supposed "irresponsible" people who are breeding. It's another meaningless slur that serves absolutely no constructive purpose.

  5. I'm still aghast that someone would actually state:

    "The fewer dogs born of that ilk, the better, even if some individual dogs suffer health issues as a result."

    PETA couldn't have said it better themselves.

  6. The Monmouth County SPCA in NJ has taken the concept of puppy broker and taking over the local pet stores to perfection.
    The owners of the Freehold Raceway Mall in NJ refused to extend the lease for the pet store because they also sold puppies - pushed by the Animal Rights groups.The Monmouth County SPCA then took over the existing pet shop.
    It's a fully stocked pet store with everything from leashes, beds, clothes etc.
    They cart in pets from other shelters and Puerto Rico to sell at the mall.
    As a matter of fact the first dog sold at the mall pet shop was a dog importet from Puerto Rico

    Ain't that a great business model? Eliminate the competition and take over their stores. Importing dogs from PR (more fashionable and better sob stories) while Newark, NJ - right around the corner - has a reputation for being high kill and nasty conditions. It's all about the animals they say? Ha! is that why the NJ SPCA went to court to get back Patrick, the starved pup from the vet clinic where he was being nursed back to health by loving people? Why? Well, because he was worth his weight in gold of course, as a PR prop to get more donations. Wonder how many animals could have lived if they had spent the legal fees on them instead.

  7. Redfiona, you obviously did *not* study the issue of spay/neuter.
    Or you simply choose to ignore the facts since they don't suit your ideology.

    You should not travel to western Europe where almost all dogs are intact, they don't drop dead from being intact and they don't have 'overpopulation' either. There are no packs of dogs running the streets and their shelters are full with imported strays from Spain, Poland, Hungary, Russia and who knows where. In return these countries see zoonotic diseases introduced by same strays.