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An update on my post last week….. The West Hollywood City Council passed an ordinance on February 16, 2010 banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores unless from rescues and shelters.  I was overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to know, how can they do the same thing in their own town?

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I contacted Carole Davis with the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) to get the information.  They did the work to get this passed.  The Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Society of United States helped as well.   CAPS now helps other cities with the drafting of legislation against puppy mill sales in other communities.  Here are excerpts from The American Dog Magazine, with links to each article and videos.

If your state has the puppy lemon law then move forward by going to your pet stores and asking for information about the breeder they buy from.  If not, ask your legislators to get the Lemon Law.  This law allows you to get the information about the breeder from the pet store.  Once you have that information, go to CAPS website and fill out a puppy complaint.   Please read all of the information below if you have interest, or know someone who does.  It was very time consuming and costly for CAPS to do this, but it has been worth it.

1. Pets, Lies & Legislation

Puppy mills are a hot political issue. Public outrage is growing over the legal multi-billion dollar puppy-producing business that forces millions of breeding dogs to endure inhumane treatment in factory-like conditions until death. They’re kept 24/7 in wire cages caked with their own feces, with no veterinary care or socialization. Average dog lovers want puppy mills to become illegal.

Consequently, a war about dogs is escalating in America –  a battle as complex as any fought in the history of social movements and waged with a proportionate scale of strategists, lobbyists, and commanders vying for control, power, and money.

To puppy mill investigators, the idea that commercial breeders are treating their dogs well or socializing them is laughable. A miller’s idea of playtime is to throw a bunch of females in heat with a male in one cage. As for being responsibly placed, mass volume breeders use brokers to ship barely weaned (and often sick) pups indiscriminately to pet retailers around the country. The dogs are crated in trucks for thousands of miles at an age when they need food and water every two hours. They are also sent in crates to buyers across the country on long flights with layovers. Transporting eight-week old dogs that way isn’t safe, and according to Lewis Turner, owner of the Petcare Company in California, four out of ten dogs that were trucked in to him by brokers Lambriar and Hunte were sick, “with green liquid coming from their eyes or nose.” Hardly “responsible placement” by any standard.

To Read More about This Subject Click Here.


2. Spay and Neuter Laws ……..Humans Debate While Dogs Die

It’s Tuesday, 9 AM at a Los Angeles shelter and a worried little terrier has just been “red-listed.” Unless someone adopts her, she’ll be killed. Another dog will take her place and that dog, too, if he isn’t adopted, will be killed. Could spay and neuter laws make a difference in this dog’s life?

In California, in 2008, municipal shelters reporting to the California Department of Public Health took in 833,304 dogs and cats. Of those, 429,987, or 51%, were killed. That would be a sad enough number for the whole country but it’s just for the state of California. In the U.S., the number of pets killed in shelters is astounding. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) reports that every year, between six and eight million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters and three to four million of those animals are killed because there aren’t enough homes for them. In 2009, uncontrolled breeding compounded by record job losses and home foreclosures are causing the number of animals flooding our shelters to rise sharply. When the figures are finally reported, they’ll be tragic.

Until we get a handle on this crisis, we need to refrain from buying animals and adopt from shelters instead. We ought to promote adoption to our friends. And we must fix the dogs we have.  To Read More About This Click Here.

3. Undercover Investigations Prove Pet Shop Puppies Were Coming From Puppy Mills

Though there has been lots of press coverage on the subject, there are still people who don’t know that pet stores are supplied by large brokers and inhumane breeding operations. There is no other way for pet shops to have a constant supply of puppies of different breeds. It was time to take a stand and convince puppy buyers to stop shopping and start adopting. Los Angeles, the second largest market for pets after New York, was the perfect place to tell the public about the ugly truth behind the pretty store fronts.

In California, they have a Puppy Lemon Law, which requires pet store owners to post the name and address of the breeder of the dogs on their display enclosures. Putting that law to use, people were recruited who were willing to do some reconnaissance trips to pet stores. They wired themselves up with undercover cameras and disguised themselves.They fanned out across the city, hitting all the pet stores to find out exactly where the puppies were coming from.

They called on some professional investigators from LCA (Last Chance for Animals) to go and film the addresses they provided. When the photos and video came in, the proof was irrefutable. Bingo. Just like they expected, the puppies at Posh Puppy were coming from a puppy mill.

What they found out through their in-store investigations is that pet stores are openly defrauding the public – not just Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills, but all the pet stores they visited. They discovered that pet store owners, managers and employees routinely lie to people.   To Read More About This Subject Click Here.

4. A March for Free Speech for Those Who Have No Speech – PUPPY MILL DOGS

On December 19, 2009, the Saturday before Christmas, eighty animal welfare activists marched in a silent vigil for dogs suffering in puppy mills. The grass roots group was also marching for the five million companion animals who are killed every year in the shelter system because there are not enough homes for them. Local activists had been planning the event for months following an investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), which claims that Barkworks, a pet store chain in California, sells animals from puppy mills. The CAPS investigation included evidence from the United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports that the Midwest commercial breeders supplying the stores had multiple violations.

The puppy mill awareness drive that took place on the busiest puppy-buying day of the year, was intended to raise the awareness of consumers and to steer them to the overcrowded Los Angeles shelters to adopt or rescue a pet for Christmas.  Read More Here.


5. Victory for Dogs as Pet Stores Go Humane

Sadly, millions of dogs are suffering in shelters and puppy mills. This year, a record number of dogs are being dumped and euthanized at shelters because of the current economic crisis. Commercial breeders and pet stores are also feeling the pinch. “People just aren’’t buying puppies right now,” says pet store manager Justin Vanert.

Growing numbers of commercial dog breeders in the Midwest are selling their homes for a pittance – advertising them as “turnkey investments,” which often include kennels with hundreds of breeding dogs “free with the property.” As bleak as it all sounds, this recession just might have a silver lining for the dogs who are wasting away in puppy mills and shelters.  Perhaps this economic downturn might be a dog’s chance to get out alive.

The dog trade is showing signs of weakness. Successful business is all about supply and demand and right now the demand side is shrinking as buyers of puppy mill dogs snap their wallets shut. But the reasons aren’t just the economy – it’s a combination of decreased spending, public awareness of inhumane breeding practices, legislation that limits and criminalizes dog factory cruelty and effective campaigns led by animal rights activists.

This spring, a group of Los Angeles activists celebrated yet another victory. After five weeks of protests, the owner of Elaine’s Pet Depot signed an agreement to hand over all of her puppy mill dogs to Good Dog Animal Rescue for adoption. The agreement with the lynchpin store of a national chain of pet stores included a statement that reflected the store’s commitment to working with rescue organizations. The store agreed to hold adoptions and end its sale of puppy mill dogs. Reliable sources from within the franchise claimed that the entire Pet Depot chain was considering conversion to a humane business model within a few months. If the large chain stops buying from brokers and mass volume breeders, the strategy to cripple the puppy mill industry by hitting them where it hurts, in the wallet, is working.

The “go humane or go out of business” campaign has been able to gain momentum by combining its ability to exploit the current economic downtown and its skilled use of visual evidence from undercover investigations. The stores that were protested saw as much as 70 percent of their weekend business deterred by activists brandishing signs depicting graphic photos of dogs suffering in mills. An increasing number of stores in the heart of Los Angeles have been closed down or converted – more than a dozen so far in a little over a year.  Learn How You Can Do This, Click Here.


6. Now the Internet is overflowing with puppy mill sales

As the animal protection movement wages its battle against the maltreatment of dogs in puppy mills, it faces a powerful new enemy –  the Internet Pet Store. The Internet, as helpful as it has been for rescuing animals with sites like AdoptAPet.com, has become a perfect stealth shield for abusers of animals looking to make a buck. A Google search for information on dog breeds will lead any gullible browser to tens of thousands of online breeders. For the buyer in a hurry, there are Web portals to make shopping easy, like NextDayPets.com, which unite hundreds of dog dealers on one site. With a click, you can pay to have a pup mailed to you in a crate. Though it’s a convenient way to buy a dog, you might be inadvertently contributing to animal abuse.

Deborah Howard, president of the Companion Animal Protection puppy dealers. “One should never, ever buy a dog on the Internet because you’re not seeing the conditions under which the puppy is being raised,” she said. “There are no good ones because reputable  reeders don’t sell puppies this way.” “The HSUS receives hundreds of complaints about sick and dying puppies sold over the Internet,” says Kathleen Summers, Deputy Director of the puppy mill campaign of  The Humane Society of the United States. “In fact, several of the puppy mills that the HSUS has helped close down recently were Internet sellers, including a mill in Tennessee with almost 700 dogs and a millin West Virginia with almost 900 dogs. Both of these facilities posed online as small family breeders.”

A lot of them arrive sick with Parvo, worms, Giardia, coccidia, kennel cough or pneumonia. It’s even more dangerous than buying in a pet shop because legal recourses are more challenging. You have to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office in the state of the breeder and if you want to sue the seller, you have to go to small claims court in their state, not yours. These Internet sellers know this.

Many of the sites linked to substandard breeding operations will say anything to deceive buyers into believing the business is ethical or humane. They often describe themselves as “Christian” and “familyrun.” A common lie is that their dogs are “raised in the home.”

Read More About This Here.

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10 Responses to “Undercover Investigation Expands To Your Community”

  • Bernadette says:

    Thank you for this detailed article. Just getting this information to the general public will help inform people and help them take action. Many people have no idea about puppy mills, and many people have no idea how many animals are killed in shelters.

  • Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing! I didn’t realize the extent of the puppy mills; just as bad as factory farming.

  • Rick says:

    This is great. Animal Connection has helped me with so many issues that have come up for our organization. We are connecting with a lot of new people as well. You are an animal angel!!

  • What a gift you are giving in keeping us informed thru a click of the mouse… thank you so much – and I will continue to spread the word.
    Cheers & blessings!!!
    Maureen

  • Denise says:

    I will pass this on. a very important cause.

  • Mark says:

    Thank you for sharing

  • Jacques says:

    I want to thank you as well. We have been trying to make a difference in our town. This road map will help us a lot. Thanks for the links and information.

  • Sam says:

    You do such a wonderful job of keeping us informed and how to do things in our own communities. I’m learning so much from your site. I can’t wait until your show starts. I can only imagine what I will get from that show.

  • Lauren says:

    I’m loving your newsletter —

  • Jeff says:

    This is great news, thanks for the detailed information!

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