“Somewhere there must be justice; it can’t all be suffering.” ~ Nicole Joncas, “No country for Animals“, Global TV Canada
Last night, there was justice in Richmond BC. During the Richmond City Council meeting, a delegation from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada (PIJAC) flew in to speak against the ban on the sale of dogs in pet stores. Yet, despite their assurance that PIJAC, nor its member pet stores, do not source dogs from puppy-mills, Helen Savkovic of RAPS proved otherwise before council.
Upon review of files for dogs surrendered to the Richmond Animal Shelter whom were originally purchased in a Richmond pet store, Helen confirmed via documentation accompanying the pet store receipt that those dogs were purchased through the Hunte Corporation. Because these particular dogs were either UKC or AKC registered, they could be tracked to the breeder in the U.S. In one such case, a Miniature Schnauzer was tracked back to a breeder in Chelsea, OK who had USDA inspection reports documenting sick dogs who were not receiving veterinary care and dog cages with wire mesh flooring where canine legs could slip through and get caught.
In a second USDA inspection report for a breeder selling to Hunte and then to a Richmond, BC pet store, the breeder was cited for dog cages and concrete pens in poor repair, pens, cages and welping areas with feces build-up affecting at least 61 dogs, and unsanitary conditions and accumulation of feces affecting 44 dogs.
Whether PIJAC wishes to look at these issues or not, the pet stores receipts, the Hunte Corporation certificates indicating the breeders and the damning USDA inspection reports show that most dogs bought and sold at Richmond pet stores came from horrific breeding mills unfit for dogs or any animal. Similarly, AWAC found a USDA report from Aug. 2008 citing the Hunte Corporation for transportation of puppies less than 56 days old (on their way to be sold) and a facility that housed dogs in cages of less than 3 feet sq.
Furthermore, during last night’s council meeting Kristin Bryson of the BC SPCA presented a US Office of the Inspector’s General (OIG) report which was obtained by the Animal Welfare Advocacy Coalition (AWAC) via the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) showing that the USDA inspected breeders are in fact puppy-mills, and that the USDA has been woefully and dangerously inadequate in their, so-called, inspections of commercial dog breeders. The report indicates that USDA inspectors were not citing breeders for massive accumulation of feces and bug contaminated food for the dogs and other horrific conditions. See that report here.
Another delegation at the Council meeting spoke in support of this ban saying that by allowing the sale of dogs in pet stores that end up at the Richmond Animal Shelter, the Richmond taxpayers were subsidizing one particular industry and that there were more than enough animals at the Richmond Animal Shelter for adoption. The room was packed with supporters of the ban on the sale of dogs in pet stores. Yet, PIJAC and pet stores representatives made no mention of the huge numbers of animals that have come from their pet stores and who have been surrendered to the Richmond Animal Shelter, BC SPCA and other rescues along with receipts from the pet stores. It’s doesn’t appear PIJAC is interested in working together at all; during these council meetings, they simply ignored the dog surrendering problem.
So, thank you, Richmond City Council for standing up for what is ethical and honest and for making sure that, at least our city, says no to industrialized breeding and selling of dogs.
In the next few weeks, Richmond City Council needs to hear from you on this issue. Please email them today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to No Puppy-mills Canada and the Richmond Animal Protection Society for providing information on dog breeding records.