I appreciate everyone who reads this blog, and I’m truly grateful when I get thoughtful comments. Just last week, I received this comment (below), and I wanted to respond because the person made an effort to find out what was going on with pet stores, and check it out for him or herself.
I’m confused why you aren’t attacking the mills. Putting people out of a job, people who genuinely care for the animals that they are taking care of at the store seems a cruel and ultimately ineffective way of solving the puppy mill issue. Especially a store that has a rather strict no-mills policy in regards to any animal they import.
I visited this store a few weeks ago to see if any of the rumors I’d heard were true about Pet Habitat, and what I found was an environment where the employees truly care for their animals. I asked to see their “Olde Bulldog”, and the gentleman that showed her was truly fawning over her. You can’t fake that kind of emotion. The bulldog also returned the affection equally, which showed me that their animals are happy.
“Why aren’t you attacking mills” is a good question, and I’m glad you commented. I’m also glad you took the time to see what the pet store was like in Burnaby.
The reason that animal advocates ask cities to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores is because these pets stores are purchasing these animals from animal mills, like puppy mills. The store you visited, Pet Habitat, was featured in a CBC Documentary showing them to be a purchaser of dogs from puppy mills working with Hunte Corporation. See that documentary here.
I encourage you to look into the Hunte Corporation and their record as a distributor of puppy milled dogs.
However, I know that it can be confusing when you go to the pet store and they tell you that they do not buy from puppy mills (i.e. a strict no-mills policy) because it may seem like they are being honest. However, do your homework and look at what that undercover investigations revealed. Additionally, some people who work at pet stores genuinely do not know they are selling dogs from puppy mills, but they have also not taken the time find out. Those who do know they are buying dogs from Hunte or other puppy mills, have been recorded on camera denying it. For example, in Richmond, BC animal advocates had actual pedigree papers that could trace the dogs bought at a Richmond Pet Habitat store back to puppy mills in Missouri and Kansas and imported by the Hunte Corporation into Canada even through the store kept denying that they buy from puppy mills.
The second reason that we ask cities to stop retail pet sales is because most of the puppy mills supplying dogs to Canada are not located in Canada, but in the US. Therefore the only way to stop the sale of puppy mill dogs is to stop it at the retail store. Additionally, while pet stores will tell you that stopping retail sales is ” “putting people out of a job”, all you have to do is note that many pet supply stores are very successful even through they do not sell animals. Pet stores in Burnaby can do the same, but are choosing not to do so.
Finally, I also appreciate your comment about how much the staff at the Burnaby pet store “truly care for their animals”. It is possible that they do, indeed, care for the animals at that store, but are not considering the impact that their business has on all the other animals still locked away at the puppy mills. Many people believe that they love animals, and they truly do, but they don’t realize that by eating meat they are hurting that very animals they love … like dogs. See this link.
Finally, you should do your research into Pet Habitat. According to their own website, “Pet Habitat” is only their “doing business as” or DBA name. Their corporate name is International Bio Research Ltd which alludes to an animal testing company that does product testing on animals confirmed to a lab. I can’t think of a more horrible life for animals.
I urge you to do further research into Pet Habitat and ask even more questions. Then I urge you to check their answers and see which ones are true. I’m commend you for going to see if the “rumors I’d heard were true about Pet Habitat”. But not all your questions have been answered. Keep looking.