We love dogs. Let’s face it: we love the iconic image of somebody giving their significant other a puppy over a Christmas tree, or the faces of little children opening a large box under the tree to behold a puppy with a bow, awaiting a new family.
Sure, these are iconic moments in our society. They tug at the heartstrings, give everybody the warm and fuzzies…generally a good time all around.
Unfortunately, such an incredible trend – like so many others – is being spoiled and besmirched by the greedy and profiteering. How? Many of these beloved animals are sold via puppy mills, to owners that find out later on down the line that their beloved new addition is sick, their health and well being compromised as they are then sold to the masses.
While most pet stores say they adhere to the highest standards in buying pets, buying from USDA licensed breeders, individual breeders; at large, are loathe to sell their puppies en masse, On the other hand; puppy mills have a disturbing trend of housing large amounts of animals in substandard conditions, more for money than animal care.
One of the consumers that has garnered more complaints for their actions is the company called Petland. The Ohio based company – which has 70 stores in the U.S. – has been charged as being the worst of the lot: selling puppies with dubious health to unsuspecting owners. While they ardently maintain they adhere to standards, they have been proven to buy puppies from some of the most notorious, and garnered not only the notoriety and watch of the Humane Society of the United States, but has been sued in 2009, and part of an Animal Planet expose in 2010.
That’s not even mentioning the numerous complaints from former employees and pet owners. In fact, the Consumer Affairs website has over 490 complaints on Petland, which has earned a single star out of 5 and a reputation it can’t seem to shake.
And while they have begun lawsuits against former employees and even naysayers, the facts are not only evident, but quite disturbing when one fully thinks about it. At puppy mills, the dogs are bred for profit, devoid any substantial health care, grooming, care period. One shelter; North Shore Animal League America rescues many of the breeding dogs due to the fact they will be put down once they outlive usefulness. One employee for Petland reported seeing multiple sick and deformed puppies coming in, and taken out to the vet. What she later found out was these puppies were being put down.
Although this doesn’t seem to be much of a matter, it is criminal to treat animals in this fashion. Even worse, not only do the animals suffer, but the pet owners as well: they were looking for the perfect pet, only to discover a multitude of problems that not only are daunting, but sometimes expensive. That doesn’t even begin to cover the pain and heartache that eventually comes.
If you want a dog, go to a reputable shelter, or buy one straight from the original owner. That way, you can save yourself – and another poor animal – pain and misery due to greed and exploitation.