Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maine needs to pass L.D. 335 #CatsAgainstPuppyMills #adoptdontshop




The State of Maine is poised to become the first in the union to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores with the introduction of L.D. 335. I seriously hope they do.

I first heard of this bill through someone sharing on Facebook a news article done by the Portland Press Herald called How much is that doggie in the window made to suffer. It is an opinion piece supporting LD 335. What got me, however, were the comments..

Oh the comments on things on the internet.. one should always stay so very far away from those..

I was curious what the sentiment was of the people reading the article. I had a feeling of what I was in for because of the original post I saw on Fb, but I was still quite ticked off. Most of the comments by people from Maine (Mainers or Maniacs, you get to decide) were supportive of the article and the proposed law. There were a LOT of people from 'away' (as we like to call them) who wanted to get their two cents in. I am guessing most of them run or have some financial incentive to support USDA Commercial Breeding Facilities for dogs... aka Puppy Mills.

These people used very inflammatory words and arguments to try to encourage people against this government intrusion. They used words like 'retail rescue' to influence people into believing that rescues are just in it for the money. They cited high adoption fees as one way rescues were just in it for the money. They cited the fact that rescues are importing dogs from down south to 'sell' at their 'facilities' and 'events' (failing to call them shelters or adoption events) as examples of "Big Bad Animal Welfare Monopoly" trying to line their own pockets and pushing the little ol pet store owner around and making it impossible for them to run a legitimate business. One person even went as far as to wonder why Maine doesn't just ban pet stores all together - like there is no reason to go into a pet store other than to buy a dog.

I fear that some people will buy into the arguments. I fear some people STILL do not understand where that puppy in the window comes from. I recently had a co-worker who wanted a specific breed dog, and all of us here at the office encouraged her to find a breeder. She did, but the breeder was a responsible one and wouldn't have puppies ready for about nine months. This woman wanted one now. The breed is not very popular so there aren't many in rescues waiting to be adopted and the ones that were were old... We all counselled her on the dangers of mill dogs.. but she found a pet store that ASSURED her that they do not buy from mills, that they only buy from "reputable" "USDA inspected" facilities and the puppies were all in wonderful health.. so she bought the dog.. And that dog had a TON of health issues right off the bat, and I fear she is in for a long road of health issues that will pop up over the dog's lifetime. One opponent of banning puppy store puppies commented that with a pet store dog you get a health guarantee and you know what you are getting. Sadly that is not what happens in reality. Yes, the pet store will often take the pet back, but who wants to simply return a pup you have taken into your home? Cats and dogs are not toasters, you do not simply return the defective ones.

So this got me thinking, what do people really think when it comes to Pet Store Puppies?

I shared the photo above as probably what we think of when we think of "Puppy Mills" but what about those "reputable" and "USDA inspected" facilities? Do people really think these dogs ever see the figurative light of day? Remember these people are in this for the money so their first priority is to get as many puppies to market as they can. Dogs are kept in cages barely large enough for them. If they are lucky they might have access to run, but that would mean having to catch them if the owners needed to, which is time and work. They are usually on wire cages to facilitate easy clean up of waste. They do not have time to sit around and cuddle each one, give it kisses, play fetch with it. If you own a pet store puppy chances are it's mother sat with out love and comfort either pregnant or nursing until the day she died because she could not produce any more. If she was lucky, she might have been rescued by a local shelter, but that happens so rarely that chances are it didn't happen.

My co-worker got her dog from a pet store I stood outside of weeks before in protest. That store is now closed due to the poor health of the dogs being sold from it. There are four remaining stores in Maine that still sell puppies. One of which also assures it's clients that it's puppies come from 'reputable' commercial breeders - well I'm sure they all do, no one wants to use the dreaded term Puppy Mill - but just look at the photos and reports from these inspectors regarding the facilities. Now imagine the things that are wrong aren't there. Do you still think this is appropriate? Do you want your dog living this way? Do YOU want to live this way?


I could go on all day.

If you NEED to have a specific breed of dog, find a reputable breeder. They will want you to know about the type of dog you are getting and can discuss with you if that breed is something that will fit in your life style. I have several extended family members who said to me "If I had known then what I know know I wouldn't have bought this dog". They want you to know what you are getting, they want you to love the dog and love the breed. They want you to see the parents, learn about the linage and SEE where your dog was raised. Now in this day and age of Walmartization of everything (we want it NOW and we want it CHEAP) too many people want the type of dog they want and they do not want to wait. In that case know there are rescues for every single solitary breed out there because there are always people who thought they wanted that type of dog and then realized it was not for them. There are ways around supporting the cruelty that is the commercial breeding facilities. Remember that dogs sold online also are more often than not mill dogs. Best case scenario they came from someone who didn't get their dog fixed in time or wasn't diligent when she was in heat.



But Connie, I can hear you thinking, I would NEVER buy a cat or a dog from a pet store, so we're good. Let me ask you, have you ever bought a toy, or some food at a store that sells puppies? If so, you have supported the very system you stand against. How about having a conversation (or a blog post) about what USDA Commercial Breeding Facilities REALLY are.. so when people are assured the pets in the store aren't from mills they will know better.

and if you are in Maine, support L.D. 335

and if you aren't, you could always contact your senator and see if they might be willing to sponsor a similar bill in your state.


17 comments:

  1. I agree, no pet store puppies (or backyard breeders, which is a larger issue in this area).

    The entire ecosystem that make puppy mills (and backyard breeders) an attractively profitable enterprise is more intricate than it seems, and I wish I had the answer other than making them not profitable. Laws like these are blunt instruments, but they're the tools at hand right now. If someone can find a better way to guarantee healthy, humanely raised and socialized pups, I'd be interested to hear it.

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  2. My mom received a puppy from a pet store which I'm convinced came from a puppy mill. He's a wonderful dog, but has had health issues since he was a puppy. Truffle and Brulee came froma breeder, but I checked her out completely and was able to visit her Cattery several times before choosing the girls.

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  3. My human has always been against puppy and kitten mills, and the cat breeders she knows personally, are small, highly responsible breeders who raise their kittens at home "underfoot." Sadly, though, a lot of responsible breeders won't support puppy mill legislation because they are afraid that the laws will be too far reaching and make it impossible for the good breeders to exist. It's frustrating because while it's a clear-cut issue to my human, it isn't to everybody (including those who make the laws).

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    1. this legislation has nothing to do with the actual mills though.. only that pet stores can not sell pets that were not raised on the property.. I think this is a fairly good compromise as it cuts down on who the commercial breeding facilities can do business with. Cut off the demand, the supply will dwindle.

      Maine only has four stores that buy mill dogs.. so it won't put that big a dent in demand.. but it is a start.

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  4. we won't shop where they sell dogs or cats. and honestly, even the sales of other "exotics" at some pets stores makes mom a little twitchy. having worked with rescues that take in dogs from these puppy mills, it is horrific.....people scare them, leashes scare them, GRASS scares them. some of these laws may not be perfect, but at least someone is willing to take a stand.

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  5. Hailing from (sort of) the worst offender in the Union (we reside right on the state line) - we're sooooo anti puppy mill. And if you stop one of their main retail outlets - well, it is a sep in the right direction. Like you said - cut off the demand....!

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  6. We say no to puppy and kitty mills.

    Emma and Buster

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  7. I won't shop at stores that sell cats or dogs. I read before that animals sold in some store don't get enough food because they won't sell if they grow too big. Sales of cats and dogs in stores should be totally banned.

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  8. There's a store by me where they sell cats but they have a sign saying how "We're not getting them from a 'kitty mill'" and blah, blah, blah. It really bugs me because from the wording and the very long excuse, they know darn well they're being shady. It's always upsetting going there (which is why I really don't).

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  9. Every animal I have owned came from rescues or private homes. I truly believe in "adopt don't shop" and so do all members of my family!

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  10. We sure hope they do it too! As for the commenters...IDIOT ALERT!

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  11. Great post. We are Cats against Puppy Mills too!!!

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  12. We're with Maine on this one! We're against puppy mills too. And we don't shop at stored that sell dogs and cats.

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  13. Any little Bit of legislation helps,so its good that this is happening,xx Rachel

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  14. 12 years ago i knew nothing of puppy mills..until i bought Forrest at a pet shop..the problems we have had with his attitude to other dogs has been awful for him and us.He has never attacked another dog and loves our older dog Doc but that is it.I tried to research where he came from and bang! doors slammed shut..and so my eyes were opened...he loves people...our cats and sheep..but dogs make him lose it..and we made the mistake of taking him to a trainer who made the problem worse..i will not purchase any item at a shop that sells animals..many shops here now sell cats and dogs from rescues..today another dog mill operator was caught out in our area...the dogs rescued but the fines are not enough..the laws are too loose..i have been signing today petitions against laws which will make it easier for these low lifes to get away with it ..laws which will be coming down hard on those who try and investigate these places..we have already had many greyhound trainers here caught out after live baiting was filmed...with this new Ag-Gag style law they would be prosecuted..makes my blood boil...i could tell a lot of people what we have been through with our sweet Forrest..so unfair..hugs Bev xx

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  15. i think many people find it hard to separate selling pets from selling livestock - if you can sell one, why not the other? I personally don't believe in selling any of them and hope for a day when all living creatures get treated with the same respect that humans demand. It's a sad fact that many people prefer money over anything else, including the health of our planet and the quality of life for its creatures we share it with. I hope that by doing what many of us bloggers do and continuing the mission of rescues and other like-minded people, we can one day change the world into a more compassionate place. - Alana.

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  16. We take the pledge, even though we never go in those stores. Is there a way for you to make that artwork into a button I could put on my blog?

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