By Kitty Block
Final week, I advised you the story of Ziva, a canine bought from Petland who lived solely a short while, leaving her household heartbroken and in debt. The unhappy actuality is that Ziva’s story is just one amongst 1000’s that discredit the shameful puppy mill business nonetheless thriving within the U.S.
Our Cease Puppy Mills marketing campaign has obtained 7,887 complaints from individuals who purchased puppies from pet shops and breeders over a 15-year interval. And these tales have to be advised. We compiled a Puppy Purchaser Complaints report that summarizes the struggling perpetuated by the merciless puppy mill business. Not solely did most of the puppies described die or endure from debilitating sicknesses, however households reported affected by trauma, despair and monetary catastrophe after attempting for days or even weeks to avoid wasting the lives of sick or dying puppies who had come from a pet retailer or puppy mill.
One household solely had their puppy home for 3 days earlier than having to hurry her to the emergency vet the place she examined constructive for parvovirus, a illness that may be lethal. “She barely survived and cost us thousands of dollars.” One other household found that their new puppy was born with a congenital deformity that wasn’t permitting him to digest meals and required surgical procedure, which cost over $7,000. “He will need special care and medicine [for] the rest of his life.”
One other household found their new puppy might barely breathe due to a severe an infection. “The first 2 weeks with him the vet [scheduled] appointments every day.” The sickness compromised the well being of the household’s different canine, who ended up catching the an infection from the brand new puppy.
Unexpected prices in each money and time affected most of the households who reported issues with their puppies or with the financing plans pet shops provided them. “We were also told we would pay only $12,000, which is still excessive, and when I looked over the [pet store] contract again it said we would end up paying $16,000 in total.”
And, after all, the emotional prices to households are immeasurable when the worst happens: “Sunny passed away yesterday,” one household wrote of their purchaser criticism. “We are absolutely traumatized.”
Fifteen years’ price of those complaints present a number of hanging patterns:
- Canine incessantly suffered from parasites, respiratory points and infectious illnesses reminiscent of parvovirus and distemper.
- Complaints about sick puppies from Petland, the one nationwide chain of pet shops that also sells puppies, rose 30% in 2018-2022 in comparison with the earlier five-year interval.
- Probably the most complaints about pet shops got here from Florida, Illinois and Ohio, the state the place Petland is headquartered.
- Probably the most complaints about unhealthy breeders got here from Missouri, California, Ohio and Texas.
Trying on the 15-year interval additionally revealed some hopeful progress: Humane pet retailer legal guidelines are working and have helped to stop incalculable cruelty and heartbreak. For instance, complaints about pet retailer puppies have trended down over time in states the place communities have handed massive numbers of ordinances prohibiting the sale of puppies in pet shops, like New Jersey, and in states which have statewide legal guidelines in place, like California and Illinois. As extra states go legal guidelines to finish the sale of puppies in pet shops, we’re assured that we’ll see constructive traits proceed. On the identical time, we should elevate consciousness about rising dangerous industrial channels and markets for dogs, reminiscent of puppy-selling on-line web sites and the puppy mill business’s latest outlet, social media.
To keep away from supporting a puppy mill, signal our pledge to all the time take into account adoption first, and ensure to fulfill any breeder in particular person. In the event you or somebody you already know bought a sick puppy from a pet retailer or breeder, tell us. And be part of us in advocating for humane pet retailer ordinances,that are good for dogs and those that care about them.
Comply with Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.