Friday, January 24, 2014

Puppies Are Products

Puppies are products. They are a commodity that the animal shelter pet stores should relocate according to supply and demand. At least, that's the opinion of an ASPCA senior director, who was quoted in a news article yesterday about the reasons that dogs and puppies are shuffled from shelter to shelter. She said:

"It is a supply and demand issue. If you had a store and you had extra widgets at one store, and people were buying up widgets at another store, wouldn't you move your widgets?"

So, puppies are widgets, and shelters are pet stores. Glad to see them finally admit it.

However, we should all be outraged.

This is hypocrisy of the highest order, because shelters and rescues often claim that their motives are altruistic and not based on money. They urge us to "adopt, not shop". Yet, now they themselves are admitting that there is no difference in "adopting" vs "shopping" and purchasing from any other source, be it a breeder or a pet shop. A sale is a sale, and even shelters and rescues are in business to sell their product.

Yes, Puppies ARE  Products.....

There has been a dramatic decline in shelter admissions across the nation. In certain areas, shelters don't have ANY adoptable dogs to offer the public for "adoption" (SALE). Puppies are imported from other states and even other countries in order to stock the shelves.

The decline in shelter admission is a huge success story. Education has worked! Shelter killing is at an all-time low. Hooray!

But, if you were a business, say the sheltering industry, and you saw your market declining, what would be your response? You'd work your butt off trying to extend the life of your current product and expand your offering. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to eliminate the competition.

So, you perpetuate the myth of overpopulation. You tacitly encourage the importation of dogs from Mexico, Puerto Rico and Taiwan to ensure a continuing revenue stream. You claim that there is a big problem with greedy, evil breeders. You sensationalize shelter killings. You sling arrows at "hoarders" and "backyard breeders."  You denigrate dog owners as "irresponsible." You try to convince people that only "rescued" animals should be available for the pet market. You popularize slogans like "Don't breed or buy while others die"!

Also, if you're a business in trouble, what else do you do? You reach out to the government for help. Monopolies, exemptions, subsidies, new laws to enforce against your competitors.

Unfortunately, the sheltering industry model has one additional facet - the compulsion of law. Other businesses ultimately survive because people choose to do business with them as suppliers or customers. The sheltering industry has the ability to compel a portion of the community to involuntarily provide product and then make themselves the only store in town.

You shut down the competition, seize their animals, call it a "rescue" and voila! Free widgets for the store.

It doesn't get any sweeter than that.


  1. Once again you demonstrate your limited cognition. You make an egregious equivocation error. Applying basic economics to the issue of regional overcrowding does not inherently = for-profit motive. You would make a much stronger case for arguing that large groups like PETA, SPCA etc have become profit motivated by looking at a breakdown of how donation are used; however, you inappropriately lump all shelters into this category. Many independent, non-profit animal shelters across the US operate at significant losses. They also operate at 100% capacity (and very often above reasonable capacity). Taking advantage of successful programs in other regions, by "shipping" animals to shelters where they have formed a strategic relationship is altruistic in nature because it means more animals can be taken in by shelters in areas where overpopulation IS still an issue. I do not know why I would expect any differently from you since you seem to believe that importation and regional success sstories are somehow = empirical data about a macro issue.

  2. Ah Mike, Mike. Of COURSE they are profit motivated. Without widgets to sell, how could they survive? What would they have left to occupy their time? How could they justify the ongoing campaign against breeding?

    Funny that you should talk about how donations are used by PETA....are you aware that they kill 99% of the animals they take in at their headquarters? That PETA employees were convicted of killing pets in their pickup van and dumping the bodies in city dumpsters? These were adoptable youngsters that local veterinarians assumed PETA would find homes for. As to the breakdown of their donations, it is safe to say that PETA doesn't spend any money helping shelter animals, while the HSUS spends less than 1% on shelter animals. LOCAL Humane Societies and SPCAs of course use their donations primarily to take care of their animals. Give locally!

    On the ASPCA, I can do no better than to quote this commentary from Nathan Winograd:

    " Last year, the ASPCA had total revenues which were just shy of $150 million dollars. That not only made it the richest SPCA in the country, it is one of the richest 200 charities in the nation. Yet, it adopts out less animals than some rescue groups and small shelters. It fights progressive shelter reform legislation that would save lives. It defends corrupt shelters who neglect and then needlessly kill animals. It fights No Kill efforts nationwide. Rather than treat them, it sends animals, including kittens, to the local pound to be killed. Its animal hospital has a history of abuse. And now an expose by a local news station has uncovered that its humane law enforcement division is allowing abused animals to die all over New York City."

    Relocation can be beneficial if done in a controlled, regulated and reasonable manner. Connecticut recently passed a law restricting animal importation into their state due to the many problems involved with selling underage pets with genetic problems and communicable diseases.

    Pathological altruism as evidenced by relocation and importation by misanthropist humaniacs is counterproductive because it encourages the breeding of pets in substandard conditions in locations that are not publicly scrutinized.

    Please check our post "It's Raining Dogs From Other Countries" for more information.

    1. Bless your poor little heart. Not only did you fail to address anything that I said, but you seem to gone of in a whole new tangent whereby you have constructs some nifty straw man (look it up, I will wait) by which you imply I have some sort of support for the antics of PETA.

      Of course, if I was a puppy mill owner, like you appear to be, I would probably cower behind lies and anonymity as you have done. Good for you. Do come back when you feel you have the cognitive ability to actually address what I have stated.

    2. Well bless your poor little condescending heart, I addressed you point by point and your only answer is to ridicule my intellect while failing basic reading comprehension. The constant charge of "liar" is becoming absurd. Haven't you got anything else?
      When you draw PETA into a discussion about sheltering practices as you did, your inability to construct a valid argument is evident.
      I'm a registered nurse with over 30 years of full-time critical care experience, but anonymity is necessary when dealing with malicious humaniacs such as yourself.
      You are done here, Mr. Ad Hominen. Look it up Toots. You'll have plenty of time, I won't be allowing more posts from you. You are done here.

  3. Mike, First of all, PeTA, ASPCA and HSUS have nothing to do with the operation of shelters. They have always been profit-motivated. However, all but one percent of it is tied up in excessive salaries, lobbying for more and more anti-animal laws, and paying Pacelle's dry cleaning bill. Obviously, not every shelter is guilty of acting as a pet store. Yes, many do operate at a loss, but if you believe cramming crates full of puppies into vans, many not vaccinated, some probably sick, all frightened out of their wits by the commotion, then altruistic is hardly the word I would use. Statistics show that while 3-4 million dogs are euthanized every year, 17 million new homes open up to acquiring a pet. What is wrong with this picture? Why would it be necessary to transport dogs when so many homes become available? Why can't shelters work a little harder to rehome the dogs and empty their cages? Maybe because they'd put themselves out of business, a very lucrative business. How about this? Hundreds of thousands of dogs are imported from third world countries every year, many diseased, several with rabies. How about focussing on getting that stopped. We've already conveniently spayed and neutered everything that barks. Cut off the imports and we can empty the shelters, cut the budgets and personnel. And the whole subject of shelters operating as pet stores will be moot and the animal rights fanatics will have won. No more domesticated pets, not a one. Except maybe for the very wealthy. Instead of keeping shelters in business by hauling underage, unhealthy pups from hither and yon, maybe we should focus on the big picture. Why is it that everyone is so blindfolded, brainwashed or stupid to see the eventual consequences of sterilizing every dog born? A six year old child gets it, but his parents are oblivious. I'm jumping around a bit here, sorry about that, but it's impossible to cover every facet of this subject in a blog comment section.

    1. Like the original blogger, you seem to struggle with basic logic. Nothing I stated said anything different about PETA or ASPCA. Secondly, the notion that independent shelters will go out of business by adopting just further highlights your ignorance. Your numbers are bunk as is your basic understanding of most independent shelters. If you think adoption fees even come close to covering expenses then you have never worked for a non profit shelter. Most administration for independent shelters do not receive any income for their work. Your hyperbole over spaying and neutering everything is about as equally ridiculous. None of you seem to have any practical experience.

    2. Galway, I think it need to be pointed out that the estimates of animals killed in shelters include both cats and that approximate 3 million is more likely about a million or so dogs.....and, as you noted, the fact that they are killed doesn't mean that there are no homes; it only means that shelters have made the conscious decision to kill them rather than be proactive in finding homes for their adoptable animals.

    3. Once again "Mike Wallace" calling the numbers "bunk" you think Nathan Winograd is "bunk"? Those facts and figures come directly from him. He has operated a multitude of shelters and turned them from high kill to no kill OVERNIGHT. Enough practical experience for you?