Where did my puppy come from?

By dwise_GC | Education

Jun 30

Where did my puppy come from?

Pet shop puppies can sometimes come from puppy farms or “mills”.

A pet shop relies on the power of “cute” and impulse purchases…can you walk away from a gorgeous Shih Tzu puppy in the glass cage? I struggle all the time when I see them.

Truth is, there is a dark side to pet shop animal sales. I am not suggesting they are all the same profit seeking enterprises but they are in the business to make money.

Have you ever stopped to think what happens to the animals they don’t sell and then become “too old” or have lost their “cute appeal”? Often they are euthanased because the business can’t afford or doesn’t want to spend on the necessary vaccinations, worming, food and accommodation costs. After all, they have new “stock” arriving all the time and they need cage and display space.

Now consider the breeding adults…their life is too horrible to contemplate. Trapped in tiny cages, constantly pregnant or whelping. They are denied the basic necessities – fresh air, sunshine, clean food and water and socialisation. They are not usually treated for any medical conditions and essential grooming care is non-existent. They have no opportunity to toilet anywhere but in their bedding or near their measly food or water supply. They are never let out for exercise and sometimes the cages are stacked on top of each other so the poor dogs underneath are covered in waste from the cages above. There is also research to suggest that the stresses suffered by the mother affect the developing foetus and may cause behavioural problems. I sometimes see this with my clients who have terrible trouble toilet-training their new puppy. When I ask where the puppy originated I am often told “the pet shop”. I also see nervous, unsociable puppies who display fearful responses at extremely young ages.

I have heard the same old story all the time – that the puppies come from a backyard breeder who simply didn’t get around to sterilising his older dogs and voila! We now have puppies who need homes. Are they given to the pet shop for free to try to find decent loving homes? No. Not very altruistic when one considers they are sold to the pet shop and then on-sold to consumers at huge prices. I see mixed-breed dogs being sold for around $800 to people who can ill-afford the expense and simply have no idea what is involved in raising a puppy, much less owning an adult dog. Parents often give in to pester power from children with the attention span of, well, a child.

I do applaud that for every puppy purchased from a pet shop that is one less languishing in a glass cage with people staring at them from outside ( if you knew anything about dogs you would know they hate being stared at). Unfortunately you have just greased another cog in the puppy mill chain of production. Not your fault, you probably didn’t know, but maybe you could take a look at Oscars Law 

We don’t treat our dogs with the respect and dignity they deserve. They are not a commodity to be sold in a shop – they are a living, breathing creature with a soul and a lot of love and companionship to offer.

Simple Solutions

1. Know where your puppy is from.

2. Demand proof, or ask nicely!

3. Sign the Oscar’s Law petition

4. Don’t buy a puppy from a pet store if avoidable (this is a bit of a difficult one because those babies need loving homes but it also supports a horrible practice)

5. Adopt from a shelter