For this Blog the Change for Animals post, I would like to share some positive news.
Back in January, I wrote a letter to Pets Unlimited – a local pet store chain – declaring I would not shop in their stores until they stopped selling live animals. Apparently I was not alone in doing so. In June, Pets Unlimited announced they would stop selling puppies and kittens!
While they never officially stated the reasons behind this surprising decision, it is clear that customer complaints played a large role. A store doesn’t stop selling a product if that store is making money. The people across the Maritimes have made their wishes obvious by staying away and getting their pets elsewhere. It’s amazing what can be achieved by voting with your dollar. Thanks to the concerns of the public, many large-scale breeders in the area will be forced to shut down their operations. The positive effects will be limitless. Who knows how many animal lives will now be spared?
What this all really says to me is that change is possible. There is hope. If enough people get together, if enough people care, wonderful things can happen. What was acceptable twenty years ago will no longer be acceptable now if we speak out.
Shauna from Fido and Wino pointed out a link to the disappointing story of Michael Vick’s Sportsman of the Year Award. It’s horrible, I know, that our society regards this man a hero, despite all of the horrific acts he has committed toward living creatures.
But I was able to find hope even here. Further down in the article, it mentions that a representative from Subway – the major sponsor of the award – said that Subway “will most likely not sponsor this award again because there have been so many calls about people’s outrage about Michael Vick’s being associated with Subway.” I think that says something about the message people are sending. We are not going to accept animal abuse, or animal abusers, in our world anymore. Nor are we going to accept those who sign their paycheques.
Buoyed by these terrific advances, I have been thinking about other areas in which a well-written letter to a business or sponsor may make a difference. If writing to a politician doesn’t elicit change, and holding up a sign only makes people walk faster in the other direction, being careful about where you spend your money, and making it known to the business why you won’t shop there, has been proven to work.
So it’s time to hit up the big leagues.
There is a dog training show on Canadian television that makes my eyebrow twitch and my blood pressure rise. I can’t even say the name of the host without clenching my fists. (For the record, his initials are not CM.) I’ve tried contacting the network, I’ve tried contacting the network’s owner. The show is still on all the time. In fact, they have even given him a new show. This time he’s using his tactics on puppies. It’s time to get serious.
Even if I have to sit through an entire episode to do it, I am going to find out the major sponsors of this show and contact every single one of them. And then contact the companies above them. And the companies above them. I am going to stop purchasing their products and tell others to do the same. If I can’t get these people to listen to reason, then I will hit them where it really hurts, as they say. By taking their money away.
There is hope. The changes Pets Unlimited is making prove this. I have no doubt that twenty years from now the world is going to be a much happier place for our animals.