Every pet store that sells animals, particularly dogs, advertises that their animals come from the best homes. Most often, they will advertise that their puppies do not come from puppy mills. Some will say, that all puppies come from USDA approved breeding facilities, and others, such as Puppies, Fish & Critters in Scottsdale Mall in Delta post signs in the store window stating:
“WE DO NOT SELL PUPPY MILL DOGS. All our breeders are registered with the Humane Society and are inspected by the SPCA”
With a sign like this, it is not surprising that the average person would believe they are acquiring a puppy from a reputable and humane source. But, what those in animal welfare know is:
- 1. There is no Humane Society in the province that registers and inspects breeders, and if they did, they would not approve breeders who sold their pets in stores. In fact the Canadian Kennel Club does not allow their members to sell their dogs in stores.
- 2. The SPCA does not have a breeder inspection program (like the farm certification program), and it is more likely that they would only inspect a breeder if there had been a complaint filed on the breeding practices, and / or conditions of the animals in the breeders care.
- 3. Puppy mills are not the only inhumane breeding source. Cities and towns across the country are full of “
- ” who, like puppy millers, breed solely for profit, with no consideration to the health and well being of the animal.
Ashley and her son went into Puppies, Fish & Critters on March 18 and fell in love with a small long haired chihuahua. And she believed the sign, so she purchased this little dog for over $1,000, took her home and named her Chanel. Chanel had a 72 hour health warranty, and she would need to have her checked by a veterinarian (chosen by the store) within that time. By the next day, it was clear that there was something wrong with Chanel. She would not eat or drink, and would just cry and drool.
A visit to the veterinarian confirmed that this puppy is the victim of bad breeding, and suffers from a severe under bite that causes the teeth to push on the roof of her mouth causing extreme pain. She would require multiple surgeries, teeth extractions and her jaw wired.
Unsure what to do, Ashley went back to the store to talk to the owner. Very quickly things seem to go very wrong, with the store owner yelling that there was nothing wrong with the dog, and that she was over reacting. Upset and faced with an impossible decision, Ashley left Chanel at the store, and with a store credit. She worried that if she kept her, she was condoning the store’s inhumane business practice. But once she left the store, her heart broke for Chanel and she worried what her fate would be so she called the BCSPCA. They indicated they would deal with the matter when they had time, leaving Ashley to believe that this would not be a priority call for them.
Ashley connected with us through a rescue forum and we put her in touch with the Delta Community Animal Shelter. With the store already closed, shelter staff promised animal control officers would visit the store first thing the next morning. As promised animal control offices were waiting for the store to open, and we have confirmed that a file has been opened. Ashley was also waiting for the store to open as she could not bare to leave Chanel at the store. It is likely that the visit from the Delta Community Animal Shelter played a major role in the store owners change of attitude towards Ashley, as he has agreed to pay for the dental surgery this puppy will require to have any hope of being pain free.
The story of a unsuspecting individual being duped by the lies of unscrupulous business owners, who put profit before the well being of an animal, is not a unique one. Most of the time this happens, the individual faces the devastation of having purchased a sick animal on their own, and they and their new pet, suffer in silence.
Ashley chose not to be silent and is determined that Chanel’s story reaches as many people as possible. According to Ashley, “nobody needs to deal with grief from pet stores because of being naive.
Help us share Ashley’s story, so we can put an end to the misery caused when animals are bred for profit.
Support our campaign so we can continue to spread the message that Pets Are Not Products