In my last Blog the Change post I shared the exciting news of Pets Unlimited’s decision to stop selling puppies and kittens in their stores. I admit, the announcement took me by surprise. A natural cynic, I never believed that change like this could happen. This time, I was thrilled to be proven wrong.
Since then, Pets Unlimited has thrown it’s support behind the Nova Scotia SPCA. As of Septemeber 1st, they are working with the animal welfare organization on a new adoption program that will provide another location for shelter cats to find new homes. According to the press release, “Each store will have a dedicated area for adoption organizations to hand out brochures/pamphlets, handle adoption applications, and show photos of adoptable pets. Stores that can accommodate it will have kennel space reserved for shelter pets.”
How fantastic is that? And it’s not just Pets Unlimited stores here in the Atlantic. Their parent company PJ’s Pets has also announced they will no longer sell dogs or cats. They are currently working with former kennel operations to find adoptive homes for breeding dogs and their remaining puppies.
It gets better.
Petland Canada has officially joined the ranks and jumped the puppy sales ship. Last month they issued a media release stating their intention to cease the sale of cats and dogs. Instead, they are going to focus their energy on an Adopt-a-Pet program and the Petland Pets for Life Foundation.
What a landmark year it has been for pets across the country! I am stunned. Thrilled, but stunned. These momentous decisions have given me so much hope for similar changes to happen elsewhere. The public has spoken. We will no longer accept the abusive and neglect animals endure through the kennel to pet store cycle. We’ve made it clear puppy mills have no place in our society. That doesn’t mean the fight is over. If anything, it inspires me to gear up for a war.
Just recently in Quebec 500 dogs were seized from a puppy mill operation. The province is notorious for animal abuse. While this may be the largest case in the province’s history, it is by no means the only. Quebec has been known for a long time as North America’s puppy mill capital. It is believed there are over 2,000 operations currently running in the province. One only has to run a quick Google search to find dozens of similar incidents, though on a lesser scale. Fortunately, the Quebec provincial government is rising to the challenge and intends on creating tougher legislation that will empower law enforcement to crack down on puppy mill operators. However, while harsher penalties are needed, laws alone are not enough to stop the abuse.
There is a battle being waged in the US with Petland USA. Despite the positive changes made by Petland Canada, the American division of the company has decided not to participate. It’s unfortunate. I believe the best way to put puppy mill operations out of business is to stop shopping at stores that sell their animals. If the pet stores shut down due to lack of business – or, even better, change their policies – breeders will not have a purchaser for their dogs. The almighty dollar has more power than any other weapon. It’s time to make it very clear to Petland USA where the public stands.
How can you help?
1. Sign and share the petition. To make it easy, I have the link in my sidebar. Petland USA needs to hear from you that getting rid of puppy mills and supporting adoption is what consumers demand.
2. Spread the word across your social networks with a message like this: Tell @Petland USA to Stop Selling Pets! Sign the Petition: http://chn.ge/qT2HNs #BTC4A #Change
4. Stop shopping at pet stores that sell puppies and kittens. And make sure the store owner knows why.
If Pets Unlimited and Petland Canada can make the change, it’s only a matter of time before Petland USA joins in. Hopefully together we can make it happen before the next Blog the Change event. What a holiday gift that would be!
ETA: Apparently Petland Canada is not as ready to foster real positive change as I had naively assumed. The Back Ally Soapbox outlines just how far the company has been willing to go (ie. not very). It’s more than a little heartbreaking, but it shows the need to keep fighting.