Written by PETA
According to hilarious spoof news source The Onion, the first signs of spring are flowers blooming, longer days returning, and animal shelters euthanizing the last of the "Christmas puppies."
In a recent article, The Onion "interviews" puppy mill patrons who grew tired of caring for their dogs once they outgrew their puppy cuteness: "'Two years ago we bought Lisa a puppy for Christmas,' says Jason Hutton of San Diego, who quietly abandoned his daughter's Lhasa apso by the side of a road when he grew weary of family arguments over whose turn it was to feed it. 'And there came a point where it just wasn't a puppy anymore, you know?'"
For kids who discover a puppy under the tree alongside Xbox games and Barbie dolls, the novelty often wears off faster than you can say "jingle bells," and the dog is discarded like last year's ZhuZhu pet. The Onion's tongue is firmly planted in its cheek, of course, but it's as correct about this scenario as pet stores are about estimating their holiday profits while they play an endless loop of Burl Ives classics.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
In a unanimous vote on Tuesday night, Lake Worth, Florida, became the first city on the East Coast to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. (Two California cities—South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood—have enacted similar laws.)
Lake Worth's new law only allows the sale of dogs and cats on the same property where they were bred, which effectively prohibits pet shops from selling animals, because such stores normally obtain puppies from brokers, who in turn obtain them from puppy mills, which are often located hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
"My goal is to stop the importation of these animals from puppy mills that are inhumane and cruel," said County Commissioner Shelley Vana.
Which brings us to our weekly reminder to never, ever purchase an animal from a pet store. I know, I know, they're so cute, pitiful, etc. But repeat after me: You are not "rescuing" them—you are paying puppy mills to breed another litter. Without paying customers, puppy mills would go out of business. It's that simple. Meanwhile, by adopting from your local animal shelter instead, you can help keep it in the business of rescuing, spaying, neutering, and placing homeless animals. The shelter may be a little farther out of the way than the local strip mall, but it's worth the trip.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Just in time for Puppy Mill Awareness Day, a puppy mill operator in Romulus, New York,
has admitted to using a makeshift gas chamber to "depopulate" the kennel—in other words, to kill 93 dogs and puppies. David Yoder, who bred poodles, bichon frises, Maltese, and Boston terriers at his Black Diamond Acres kennel, told a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector that he gassed the dogs after being told that he would have to test and treat them for brucellosis. He put groups of five or six at a time into a sealed "whelping box," which he had hooked up to a tractor engine. (Is anybody else noting the irony that these dogs were born and died in the same box?)
Yoder appears to have violated federal law, which prohibits kennel operators from performing euthanasia, as well as New York state law, which bans killing animals with exhaust fumes. Yoder has turned in his kennel license and is now under investigation by the USDA and the local sheriff's department. Should he be found guilty of violating the Animal Welfare Act, he faces fines of up to $10,000 for each such violation.
This case is just one more reminder—as if we needed one—why people should never buy dogs from pet stores (the retail end of the puppy mill business) or people who advertise puppies for sale in newspapers or online. If an ad mentions multiple breeds for sale, it might as well say "puppy mill" in neon lights.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.