Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Face Facts

Fed and bred. That’s the life of dogs in puppy mills. And make no mistake, that’s where the dogs sold by Puppies of Westport come from.

Dogs from these mass breeding facilities are often sold at auction like livestock. There’s one coming up on August 30 in Ohio. It’s just a business to those involved. Breeds as varied as Pomeranians and Boxers end up on the block at these auctions.

Also, check this link for details of what goes on behind the scenes.

And be sure to mark your calendars for Puppymill Awareness Day, 5th Anniversary to be held on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at Intercourse Community Park (Leacock Township, PA) from 11:00 AM - 5 PM EST.

Committed to educating the public about the connection between consumers and commercial breeding facilities, this event is being sponsored by Adopt A Pet, Inc., Last Chance for Animals, Inc. and Best Friends Animal Society.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Roundup From The PIcket Line

Ok, so life got in the way of updating the loyal readership of this blog. Thanks for the terrific traffic BTW. We promise to be more diligent about our updates but here's how things have played out over the past several weeks outside Puppies of Westport:

July 31

Last week we met a man who purchased a puppy from the store and was hit with $1,500 in vet bills a short time later. We seem to be meeting and hearing about people like this on a fairly regular basis

July 18

Last weekend a man and his kids came out to talk to us. He had gone into the store and was looking for a particular breed however he said he wasn't going to buy from the store.

He asked for our help finding a good breeder. We jumped into action contacting breed rescue and locating a responsible breeder. We got some great references for him and we made a great connection for this particular breed - someone who understands what a good breeder does - how they really care about the breed (not just making a buck) and also good breeders (in contrast to greeders) want to know where their pups go and want their pups back if it doesn't work out for whatever reason. Find us a store willing to take their pups back months if not years later... It’s doubtful that store exists as it just would eat into store profits and that's what selling pet store puppies is all about - pure greed

June 27

Last week, we met an unhappy Puppies of Westport customer - who said he had "rescued" a bulldog with orthopedic problems.

We also heard a disturbing report of a very sick dog in the store. If anyone sees conditions or sick puppies in any store you must contact us and/or dept of agriculture at 860-713-2506. You should also call Westport Animal Control at 203-341-5076

Meanwhile; one of our volunteers met someone who bought 2 puppies with problems from the store. So - we're hearing the stories - we know they are out there and we're connecting more and more dots every week!

June 20

It looked like an approx 11 year old girl was dropped off to walk puppies
(or possibly test puppies to buy). She later appeared walking a variety of puppies. She was mostly unsupervised walking around the parking lot - which seems irresponsible of the store,to me. Later on, she was joined by a woman who seemed to be watching us watching her.

Then, a woman came out who was purchasing a shih tzu. She had a deposit on
the puppy until she could place her poodle with a local animal shelter – even though she had apparently heard stories about the store!!!! She was worried about the pups in store - which we hear repeatedly lately.

Our website was also contacted this week about an older poodle (approx. one year old, they said) who has apparently spent its entire life in the store. The person was asking if we could help "rescue" him.

We're obviously concerned about the puppies in the store or we wouldn't be out there protesting every single weekend. BUT, what we know all too well is that buying or rescuing them is not the answer. Its not going to end the problem - it creates the problem. Purchasing a puppy only clears the way for the store to refresh their inventory with a new 8-week old puppy. We have to break that cycle and help the dogs stuck in the puppy mills that are slaves to these stores that have no chance of a loving home and will likely never leave their tiny, filthy cage - they are abused - treated no better than livestock - that's the point! If stores stop ordering puppies the puppy mills will falter one by one and the puppy mill dogs lives of enslavement and abuse will end.

June 13

Todays protest was HOT!!!!!!!!!! Even with the heat, we had 5 dedicated
souls out. One person pulled over to tell us she had a purchased a puppy who
she loves even though he has genetic defects with his eyes. Surprisingly
she seemed to be a happy customer and when we explained why we were there to
raise awareness about where the puppies come from and explained that her
puppy's mom likely leads the most miserable of lives and will never get a
home (or out of her tiny cage) she gave us a look like she could
take the good with the bad because she loves her puppy and that's all that
matters...We made our case and now when she looks into her pup's
defective eyes she might start to see the mother dog stuck in her cage. I cringe to think of the other puppies from that litter. If pups are defective, stores won't buy them, so what happens to them? Were they "disposed" of or kept for breeding stock? That's the ugly side of the pet trade that the consuming public won't see.. No one wants to return their puppy to a pet store, but pet stores have no problem returning puppies to the mills where their fate is abuse, neglect or worse.