Chicago’s oldest pet store has decided to stop selling dogs purchased from breeders.
Sonja Raymond, whose family has been operating Collar & Leash since 1956, says the shop will deal only in adoptable dogs from shelters and rescues, according to CBS in Chicago
Raymond said she’d been considering the switch for five years – after noticing animals coming into the store with genetic defects and incurable illnesses, despite the assurances she received from her suppliers that the pups didn’t come from puppy mills.
“You know I had gone on the word of my distributors that I get my dogs from — that ‘Oh yeah these people are reputable, I’ve known them for years,” she said. “Within the past year I have found out they lied.”
Also pushing Collar & Leash to make the switch was the The Puppy Mill Project, a Chicago-based non-profit organization created to raise awareness about cruelty in puppy mills.
“We’d been in touch with the Puppy Mill Project Founder, Cari Meyers, for a long time, and realize it’s time we take this jump with them to help make a statement to put an end to puppy mills,” Raymond said.
“We will no longer buy and sell cats and dogs from mills and are proud to align ourselves with The Puppy Mill Project,” she said.
“It’s my biggest hope that as they become humane, other Chicago pet stores selling dogs and cats will follow in their footsteps, said Puppy Mill Project founder Meyers.
The store will hold a grand re-opening weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animals, breeders, chicago, collar & leash, dog, dogs, humane, oldest, pet, pet sales, pet stores, pets, puppies, puppy mill project, puppy mills, sales, sonja raymond, store
The Humane Society of the United States reports more than 2,000 pet stores have signed its Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge.
In all, 2,003 stores in all 50 states have agreed to take a stand against puppy mills by refusing to sell puppies.
“These stores have made the responsible decision to pledge not to sell puppies now or in the future, and some of them have even transitioned from selling commercially-raised puppies to an adoptions-only model,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of The HSUS’ puppy mills campaign.
Of the 9,000 independent pet stores across the country, the majority get their dogs from puppy mills, according to the HSUS.
Lasts week, The HSUS released its third annual investigation of pet stores, linking dozens of pet stores in the Chicago area to more than 2,000 puppies shipped from puppy mills.
“Again and again, such stores have been found to be misleading consumers with stories about getting puppies from responsible breeders, when in fact puppy mills are a key part of their supply chain,” the HSUS said in a press release.
But increasingly, it added, owners of pet stores are realizing they don’t need to sell puppies to run a successful pet-related business. In October, the HSUS worked with two pet stores in Wyoming to help convert them completely from puppy sales to supporting local shelter adoptions.
The HSUS encourages shoppers to purchase pet supplies at stores displaying the Puppy Friendly Pet Stores sign, which states, “We Love Puppies, That’s Why We Don’t Sell Them.”
A list of all the participating stores is available at humanesociety.org/puppystores.
The HSUS estimates that 2 million to 4 million puppy mill puppies are sold each year in the United States; meanwhile 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year for lack of homes.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, dog, hsus, humane society of the united states, pet, pet stores, pets, pledge, puppies, puppy, puppy friendly pet stores pledge, puppy mills, sales, shops, stores
Last week, the Humane Society of the United States released an undercover investigation documenting the connections between pet stores and puppy mills (above) — and it threw a little praise Ohio’s way for passing new measures to curb abuses among high volume dog breeders.
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio lawmakers for working to pass this commonsense law to protect dogs and address the worst problems at puppy mills,” said Melanie Kahn, senior director of the HSUS “Stop Puppy Mills” campaign.
“No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small wire cage with no human companionship or comfort,” she added.
Ohio’s new law requires the licensure and annual inspection of high volume breeders that sell 60 dogs or produce at least nine litters in a single calendar year.
It creates a Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board to assist the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture in developing standards, including rules on housing, nutrition, exercise, waste management, grooming, whelping.
It also prohibits anyone convicted of animal cruelty in the last 20 years from obtaining a license – a provision designed to stop the influx into Ohio of puppy mill operators who have been forced to close their operations in other states.
“For too many years, the state of Ohio has been known as a haven for low-quality, high-volume breeders that we call ‘puppy mills.’ This is kind of careless treatment of animals is not a reputation that should be attached to our state,” said Ohio Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Columbus.
Ohio is home to 174 federally-licensed dog breeders and brokers – fifth most in the nation – and to at least another 1,000 additional high volume dog breeders, the HSUS says.
Puppy mills are commonly defined as breeding operations that mass-produce puppies for sale through pet stores, over the Internet and directly to the public. Dogs are often kept in crowded, filthy conditions where they receive little or no socialization, affection or exercise.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering applying minimum federal animal welfare standards to breeders who sell dogs directly to consumers. Such breeders are currently exempt.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, breeders, breeding, connection, department of agriculture, direct, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, internet, investigation, large scale, law, ohio, passed, pet stores, pets, puppy mills, regulations, sales, tougher
The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Wednesday that will make it the largest city in the nation to ban pet shops from selling dogs obtained from commercial breeders.
The council voted 12-2 in favor of the ordinance, the Los Angeles Times reports.
People can still buy dogs directly from breeders, but pet stores will be limited to selling animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and rescue groups.
The law is aimed at curbing puppy mills and preventing tens of thousands of animals from being euthanized in city shelters each year.
Stores that violate the restrictions could face penalties starting at $250.
Similar ordinances are in effect in at least three other California cities — Irvine, Hermosa Beach and West Hollywood.
Pet shop owners called the law unfair.
“It’s just making us suffer,” said Candice Ro, owner of Olympic Pet Shop in Koreatown.
Councilman Paul Koretz, a longtime supporter of animal rights, championed the ban and said lawmakers have a duty to stick up for animals who “cannot speak for themselves.”
City officials said the ban, which returns to the council for a final vote next week, could affect two dozen pet stores. The restrictions will be reviewed after three years to determine if they should be continued.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, ban, breeders, city council, commercial breeders, dog, dogs, law, los angeles, ordinance, pet, pets, prohibits, puppies, puppy mills, rescue, sales, shelter, shops, store
Leave it to us humans to introduce dogs to the joys of working hard and getting nowhere.
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reports that about 3 million dogs across the country were using treadmills in 2010.
Given widespread obesity in the species (I think we taught them that, too), it’s not an entirely bad thing for dogs to be getting workouts on treadmills.
But there is a monotony to it that strikes me as running counter to what dogs are all about. Show me the dog that prefers a treadmill to running outdoors — in nature, free to veer this way and that, to stop and sniff when the spirit moves him — and I’ll show you a dog that, quite possibly, has become too human.
On the other hand, if the treadmill is the only exercise a dog is going to get, I guess we’ll just have to accept that the times are changing.
According to the Associated Press, the latest APPA survey of pet owners marked the first time the treadmill question was included, based on reports that doggie treadmills were selling briskly. The survey found 3 million dogs made use of them, which is about one of every 25 dogs in the country.
The reasons for resorting to a treadmill are many, and often valid – when it’s too hot out, too cold out; when a pet’s human has become temporarily, or permanently, immobile; when an injured dog needs a controlled form of exercise.
While the AP article explored only the upside of dog treadmills, it strikes me that — like most technology — they carry a high probability of being misused.
Putting your dog on the treadmill could become the equivalent of putting your child in front of the TV set — a way to keep them occupied and quiet. All us folks who seem to think we’re too busy for a walk in the park could come to over rely on them.
The argument could be made, and maybe will: If you don’t have the time and energy to walk a dog, don’t get one — at least not one that requires a lot of exercise.
The AP article mentions one woman in Las Vegas whose rescued dog had dropped from 115 pounds to 80 using a treadmill. That impressed her so much that she bought her own dog treadmill, which is now used by all four of her dogs — too many, she said, to walk at one time.
“I want to make sure the rest of their lives are the healthiest we can make them. If the treadmill promotes a longer life, then it’s easy to do it each day … Whatever we can do now to help them lead a healthier, better life is worth it,” she said.
All that’s true, as long as its not the only activity the dog is getting. Frolicking in the grass and socializing with other dogs also makes for a healthier dog. So while I don’t want a doggie treadmill in my home, or, worse yet, a human one, it’s clear they do have their place.
Dog trainer April Suhr of Las Vegas believes shelters across the country could make good use of them. Getting out of their kennels and onto a treadmill a few times a week could keep shelter dogs from going “cage crazy” and make them healthier, happier and more adoptable, she says.
Suhr has a treadmill at home for her three pets and her foster dogs. Giving them the same amount of exercise by walking and running with them would take several hour and many miles, she noted.
Doggie treadmills, which are built smaller than human ones, come in a range of sizes and prices, starting at nearly $500.
DogPacer, maker of one of the newest and least expensive on the market at $499, has plans to start producing a less costly treadmill for toy dogs in September. Pennsylvania-based GoPet sells canine treadmills and a treadwheel, ranging from $475 to $1,225.
Interestingly, dogs being forced to run on treadmills was one of the first causes taken up when America’s animal welfare movement was finding its footing.
Until the late 1800s — and here’s where we get to the ugly part – dogs were bred and put to work at many a restaurant and inn as turnspit dogs. They were placed in wooden wheels, similar to that you’d see in a hamster’s cage, and encouraged to walk. The wheel powered a chain drive that rotated a spit above a fireplace, ensuring that the meat on the spit cooked evenly.
The short-legged dogs, bred small enough to fit in the wheel, would often be leashed in a way that made them choke if they stopped. Often, a hot coal would be tossed into the wheel to speed a dog up.
When Henry Bergh established the ASPCA in the 1860s, one of his first campaigns was to end the practice.
That a device similar to one once used to enslave and abuse dogs is now being sold — for $1,000 and more — to pamper them and keep them healthy is ironic to say the least. Though it’s with kinder, gentler intentions, we seem in a way to be, after 150 years of stepping forward, back in the same place.
I think that says something; I’m just not sure what.
(Photo: A Belgian Malinois works out on a treadmill at LA Dog Works in Los Angeles; by Grant Hindsley / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american pet products association, animal welfare, animals, appa, benefits, concerns, dog, dog treadmills, dogs, equiipment, exercise, health, humans, increasing, pet products, pets, products, running, sales, survey, treadmills, turnspit dogs, use, walking
The Humane Society of the United States has released a report calling on the American Kennel Club to protect dogs from abuses at puppy mills.
The report accuses the AKC of “pandering to the interests of large-scale, commercial breeding facilities,” even though ”smaller-scale, high-quality breeders” make up the majority of its membership.
Numerous puppy mill operators who have been charged with animal cruelty have been selling AKC registered puppies and some of them even passed AKC inspections, the report notes.
“The American Kennel Club bills itself as ‘The Dog’s Champion,’ but our report shows a pattern of activity that is entirely at odds with that self-description,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO.
“The AKC has opposed more than 80 bills and proposals in the last five years that would have implemented common-sense, humane standards of care at large-scale breeding facilities. We are shocked that a group that should be standing shoulder to shoulder with us is constantly lined up with the puppy mill industry.”
The report is based on information uncovered during HSUS-assisted raids of puppy mills, AKC “alerts” sent to breeders, materials published on AKC’s website, and AKC’s lobbying activities over the past five years.
In just the past six months, AKC-registered dogs were among those removed from three puppy mills in raids conducted by authorities in North Carolina, HSUS says.
In 2012 alone, AKC asked its supporters to oppose laws in several states that would have required puppy producers to comply with basic care standards; legislation in three states that would have prevented the debarking of dogs without a medical reason; an ordinance in a Tennessee town designed to prevent dogs from being left in hot cars; a Rhode Island state bill to prevent people from chaining or crating a dog for more than 14 hours a day; and a Louisiana state bill that would have prevented breeding facilities from keeping dogs in stacked, wire-floored cages.
The HSUS report discloses that some puppy mills that had been inspected by AKC but were still the subject of law enforcement-led rescues – with their operators later convicted of animal cruelty based on the poor conditions of their dogs.
Most recently, AKC has been lobbying breeders to oppose a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that would regulate Internet puppy sellers under the federal Animal Welfare Act.
The HSUS report calls on AKC to distance itself from the large-scale, commercial dog-breeding industry and return to its original focus of representing small, responsible breeders who have the welfare of their dogs as their top priority.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animal welfare, animals, breeders, breeding, commercial, conditions, critical, criticizes, dog, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspections, internet, large scale, laws, legislation, opposition, pets, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, report, sales, standards, wayne pacelle
Dog breeders who avoid animal welfare laws and regulations by selling puppies over the Internet would face tighter scrutiny under a rule change proposed last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Under the change, dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies electronically, by mail or over the phone, would be subject to the same oversight faced by wholesale dealers as part of the Animal Welfare Act.
The proposal is aimed at closing the loophole created when the Internet became a new venue for puppy sales. The thousands of large-scale breeders who advertise there have not been subject to oversight or inspection.
Under the changes, sellers either must open their doors to the public so buyers can see the animals before they purchase them, or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, according to the Associated Press.
The Animal Welfare Act, written in 1966, set standards of care for animals bred for commercial sale and research. Retail sales were exempt from inspections since those customers aren’t buying dogs sight unseen.
“We feel this is certainly a much-needed change to an outdated system,” said Rebecca Blue, deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Blue said it’s designed to ensure that dogs sold and shipped to buyers are healthy, treated well and genetically sound.
“This is a very significant proposed federal action, since thousands of large-scale breeders take advantage of a loophole that allows them to escape any federal inspections,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Dogs in puppy mills often live in small, overcrowded cages, living in filth and denied veterinary care. We need more eyes on these operations, and this rule will help.”
The change does not affect backyard breeders who sell puppies from their homes or other physical locations.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animal welfare act, animals, change, department of agriculture, dogs, hsus, humane society of the united states, inspection, internet, merchants, mills, oversight, pets, proposal, proposed, puppy, puppy mills, regulation, rule, sales, usda
Judy Blackington, co-owner of Discount Pets in Salem, decided to stop selling dogs at the end of February.
“Instead of buying our puppies off breeders, we decided to take puppies that are about to be killed,” she said. “We’ve saved seven puppies this week and get about 35 a month.”
According to Life With Dogs, the store has formed a partnership with Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue in Alton, Maine.
“We’ve never worked with a pet store like this,” said the rescue’s director, Nicky Bowman. “I think more pet stores ought to do this. I see every day the gruesome reality of puppy mills. We’re making a point to people that breeding really needs to stop because overpopulation is a problem.”
Shop owner Blackington says the change has been good for her conscience — and great for business.
“The breeder prices have gone up lately and the puppies haven’t been very healthy,” she said. “The customers don’t like paying $900 for a puppy and then have to spend more on the vet. These dogs are healthier than the ones we’ve gotten from breeders. I think it’s going to be better for the business, and people love it.”
Elizabeth Dobbins, director of the Salem Animal Rescue League, said other pet store owners should take note.
“Sadly, there is no shortage of adoptable pets in this country. So there’s room for plenty of us. Maybe that’s a trend of the future, that pet stores would look to go out and rescue animals instead of buying from breeders.”
Potential owners are required to submit an application and submit to a home visit, which Blackington says help ensures a better connection between dog and family.
“We’ve had more people come in than ever,” she said. “They love that we’re an adoption center now and not a puppy store.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptable, adoptions, Alton, animals, breeders, Brookside Husky and Lab Rescue, business, change, discount pets, dogs, health, homeless, judy blackington, maine, new hampshire, nicky bowman, over-population, pet sales, pet store, pets, puppies, puppy mills, rescues, salem, sales, shelters, shift
Growing numbers of pet owners are seeking bargains and shunning opulent items as the $87 billion pet product market — still surviving the recession better than most — is showing some signs of slowing down.
So reports Business Week, citing surveys that show more families are cutting back on pet spending, particularly when it comes to luxury items.
Nearly four out of 10 U.S. pet owners in a September survey by Packaged Facts said they’re spending less on pet products, up from 27 percent in February 2010; and three-quarters of them are looking for deals, particularly on non-food items like apparel and toys.
“The totally discretionary stuff is increasingly being cast aside,” said Lee Linthicum, head of food research at Euromonitor. “People still want to spend a fair bit of money on their pets, but they are reevaluating their priorities.”
Retailers such as PetSmart and Petco are turning to promotions to keep customers from defecting to discount stores like Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., but that comes with a cost. Discounts caused PetSmart’s profit margins on merchandise to narrow last quarter for the first time in two years, according to David Strasser, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in New York.
“Our industry is not recession-proof — we’re recession flexible,” said Leo Sanders, the owner of a grooming and boarding business in Corning, New York. “People will still spend, but instead of frivolous spending on squeakers and rawhide bones, now they are reading labels and making sure it’s a quality product. And they’re asking for discounts more.”
Joanne Mahon, managing director of Diamond Dogs in the U.K., said sales of the company’s diamond leash and collar combinations, and other upscale items, dropped as much as 25 percent last year. And Joan Volpe, managing coordinator at the Center for Professional Studies at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, said tighter household budgets have had a “sobering effect” on pricey pet apparel, such as that unveiled in its annual pet fashion show.
“There has been a turn to practicality,” Volpe said. “The seemingly frivolous items of just a few years ago like net tutus are no longer in demand.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, bargains, discounts, economy, food, industry, items, luxury, pet, pet products, pet smart, petco, pets, products, recession, retail, sales, spending, stores, surveys
Which is surprising, considering how loud, garish, and exclamation point-filled it is.
Likely, there are two reasons I’ve been taken by surprise: First, I don’t have a proper wall calendar, on which I can write down important dates. Second, up until the last couple of days — even though it has been around since at least 2005 — I’d never heard of it.
In case you’re as uninformed as I was, Cyber Monday is basically Black Friday online, with Internet retailers offering alleged discounts on purchases made through their websites.
After three days of shopping ’til you drop (apparently Black Friday also includes Saturday and Sunday), yet another day is set aside for you to spend some more in the comfort of your home.
Normally, I couldn’t care less about Cyber Monday. But with the announcement of our new 2012 (and half of 2013) “Travels with Ace” calendar — now available at a website near you — I would like to hop aboard the bandwagon and take advantage of any spending frenzy that’s out there.
So, for one day only — what the heck, let’s make it a week; no, let’s go crazy and say a full month (while supplies last) — our sister website (TravelswithAce.com) will be taking orders for the calendar at full price. That’s right, full price, allowing you to spend the money that you, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have saved elsewhere.
What, you were expecting a bargain? Alas, we shant be slashing prices — for several reasons.
First off, the calendar is raising money for Rolling Dog Farm, with 50 percent of all profits going to the non-profit organization that cares for blind, deaf and disabled animals in New Hampshire.
Second, I put it together through a website that will remain nameless – unless you order a calendar, in which case it will have their name plastered on it somewere — and as I was doing so, the price kept going up. When I called to see if I could get an additional discount given my volume purchase, and given it was a partly philanthropic effort, I was told no — that the current “sale” price was the best they could offer. Because the website pointed out the sale price was expiring that day, I placed my order. Guess what happened the next day? The price went down, a little. In other words, I paid too much for them.
Third, it’s an 18-month calendar. That’s six, SIX! extra bonus months. It’s also a limited edition, and each copy will be hand signed. My first real foray into Internet marketing ( if you haven’t already figured that out), the ”Travels with Ace” Calendar features some of the more memorable moments from the year Ace and I spent traveling the U.S. It also features 30 or so of our old dog friends back in Baltimore.
For every purchase of a “Travels with Ace” calendar, customers can buy as many additional copies as they want at FULL price.
(Normally, this is where the small print would go, but I don’t know how to make small print. Besides, it hurts my eyes.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, calendar, click til you're sick, cyber monday, dogs, fundraiser, gifts, internet, marketing, online, pets, profits, road trip, rolling dog farm, sales, shop til you drop, travels with ace, travels with ace calendar