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This article appeared in the local paper here. Food for thought.

Katie Fairbank Problem Solver [email protected]
Published: 05 January 2012 10:59 PM

If you see a doggie in the window, it’s a pretty good bet it’s for sale.
About 3,000 independent pet stores in the U.S. sell puppies, according to the Humane Society of the United States. At least 2,300 more retail chain pet stores offer dog and cat adoptions.
“So what happens when all those puppies and kitties don’t find someone to take them home?” asked a 75-year-old Farmers Branch woman who wanted to remain unidentified because her home was vandalized when she spoke out on a different issue. “You don’t get a straight answer when you ask these groups. Find out what happens.”
Those concerned with the issue never get a definitive answer because there isn’t one. I’ve done animal rescue for nearly two decades, and every place has a different policy. What happens to the animal varies by chain, by store, by organization.
“Technically, if an animal is with a true rescue group they’re safe. They will stay in a foster home until they find a real home,” said Heather Screws, a spokeswoman for Saving Pyrs in Need, a rescue group devoted to the great Pyrenees. “We’ve had some for several years, however long it takes.”
Sometimes, though, rescue groups will bring animals from a city shelter into large retail stores for adoption events. If those animals aren’t adopted, they generally are returned to the shelter, where they will probably be euthanized.
PetSmart Charities, the largest adoption program in North America, said it doesn’t track what happens to the animals that don’t find homes after visits to its 1,100 adoption sites. While there are about 400,000 rescued animals adopted each year, the charity can’t promise a happy ending for those animals that don’t find a home.
“We work with many different partners. Some are no-kill and don’t euthanize for space, but we work with all types of partners” said PetSmart Charities spokesman Jeff Davis. “On a good day, those pets find new homes, but unfortunately not all find a home. Across the U.S., there are 8 million adoptable pets in shelters. Four million are euthanized every year because they don’t have a home to go to. That’s the reason we have them in our stores. It’s another venue for pets to find new parents.”
Shelter pets often have only a small window to find a new home. So to help them get noticed, PetSmart Charities started teaming up with city animal control departments to create adoption centers.
Fort Worth was the first city to open a site, in May 2010; adoptions soared by about 120 percent. More than 2,800 pets were saved, according to the city. Dallas does not have one.
Since then eight other shelter adoption centers have opened, including a second site in Fort Worth last month.
“These are full-scale adoption centers staffed by the shelters in the store,” said Davis, adding that the combination works because some people won’t go to a shelter to find a pet. “They think it’s too sad or they can’t take it psychologically.”
While there is no clear answer at the large retail chains, there is also not a definitive answer available for animals that age in the cage at individually owned pet stores or franchised shops. While all are governed by animal-cruelty laws, each has its own rules and business policies.
In recent years, many smaller chains and individual stores trended toward offering rescue animals rather than puppies and kittens. The move is in part to relieve the pressure of moving the animal merchandise, but is also a reaction to attention and lobbying by animal welfare groups about large commercial breeding operations that mistreat the animals and are known as “puppy mills.” Sixteen states have passed various puppy mill laws in recent years.
Petland stores, which are franchises, sell puppies and are frequented by protesters in the Dallas area because of it. Employees at the stores say that to make sure pets find homes and that no one ages out of the system, the price tags on the animals will be marked down with “red tag” sales as they grow.
“All of our puppies and kittens sell,” said Brenna Brown, who has worked at the Petland on Preston Road since last summer. “Some will last for a few months and we’ll begin with their training. That helps sell them, too. I’ve never seen one not sell.”
Source: Dallas Morning News, Friday January 6 edition Dallas-Fort Worth News, Sports, Entertainment, Weather and Traffic - The Dallas Morning News
No lifetime promise for puppies and kittens | Katie Fairbank Columns - Problem Solver - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

Red tag sales for dogs. :( I also have trouble believing the person quoted at the Petland that "all" of their puppies and kittens sell.
 

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I knew someone who drove from Ohio to new York to pick up a Cane Corso puppy who was dropped off at a vet's office by a Petland store to be euthanized because he didn't sell. The vet didn't want to euthanize a healthy puppy so he asked around until he found my friend....sad thing was, this dog was the sweetest guy ever. But, every petland puppy is sold, my butt...the undesireables are just "taken care of".
 

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Cody is our Petland horror story..... and he was purchased.... as an impulse buy with someone not knowing a thing about springers. When he outgrew the little baby puppy stage, he was thrown in the back yard and ignored. Only when he was on death's door with AIHA was he turned over to ESRA ( the one decent thing his original adopters did). He was so ill even ESRA was considering euth'ing him. One look at that face and I knew he had to be ours. We had a very touch and go time with him but finally got him into remission after 6-8 months. He is such a sweetie and is truly our baby boy. BUT, he should have never been born. Undoubtedly a puppy mill product with autoimmune issues, spinal and hip issues, and of course little socialization until he was turned over to ESRA at 18 months.
 

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"Red tag sales", huh? And they talk about that like it's a GOOD thing? You know darned well that as the price goes down, the likelihood of that puppy or kitten being an impulse buy goes up. And we know what happens to impulse buys, anyway, so the fact that they're "sold" means nothing.

The last Petland in this area (that I know of) closed down about a year ago. I was SO happy to see that! The last time I made the mistake of walking in there, I left in tears. There was the most adorable little Sable GSD in there, with an attitude bigger than he was. He almost came home with us. I couldn't stand to think of what would happen to him after he was bought on a whim by someone who had no idea what they were getting into. Had Riley and Gunner not had issues of their own, at that point, that pup would have been ours.
 

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I have read an article that contradicts the Petland employee. I thought it had been posted here in this forum.
 

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This is one of many reasons I will not buy so much as a strip of rawhide from any store that sells dogs or cats. Our local pet store is large and has many fun dog toys and treats in it, and I won't buy a single one since they also sell unhealthy, milled dogs. They "do everything right" in the sense that they provide good care and facilities for the puppies they're selling, but the cost of suffering behind the scenes is too much for me to bear, so not a nickel of my money will ever go to support their operation.
 

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I take my kids into the petshops about once a year for "education". My kids know very well that we would NEVER buy anything from a store that SELLS puppies and kittens. We look at the puppies, and have one taken out to play with. I then ask all the same questions:

"Are these dogs from puppy mills?"

"Can I see the paperwork?"

"Are they registered?"

"What guarantees? Health?"

"Price?"

My kids always believe (like most people ) what the young sales person is saying. They always believe that this one puppy is different from the others.

I then go home and we google that "breeder's" name. Sometimes we come up with a nice website, that can really fool you. Then we find all the complaints, and all the breeds that this breeder is involved with.

The last puppy we looked at was a ACA Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. ACA???? They tried to tell me that is was because the Soft Wheaten Terrier was not recognized by the AKC.

The price was a lot more than one from a reputable breeder.

I was told the breeder was "USDA" certified - sounds like I am buying a piece of meat.

The sad stories I find on the internet are what teaches my kids the most.

We also visit the rescue groups when they come to our local Petco and farm store. My kids learn the history of a lot of the pets that are there. If I had my way, my house would be filled.
 

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Kye & Coops Mom
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Thank you Dallas Gold for posting this.

I am like Tippykayak, if you sell pets in a store (dogs/cats) I won't go in and spend my money. Had a really bad incident with a Petland in our city about dirty puppies and no water, I was not ugly at all, but clerk got the Mgr who asked me to leave. I left but called my Vet who is big with Rescue. They sent Animal Control down, but store was only fined for not keeping the cages/pups cleaner. Petland is off my list as are other places that may sell pups like.. flea markets etc. We just don't go!

Don't even want to think of what happens to the little ones who are not purchased and scary to think what the new owners will get. Many are not healthy at all.
 
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Thanks for posting this. I too will not step foot in a store that deals with millers. Thankfully there are not many of those left around us. I can only think of 2 and they are mom and pop type places. We do get the rescues in PetSmart and one of the other chains. It is all I can do not to come home with one of them, especially the cats. One day I am sure one will convince me otherwise.

Does anyone who works in rescue have dealings with pet stores? I would be curious...
 

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I always wondered if I would have the guts to stand next to the Golden Retriever puppy display (it's a big glass wall with a room behind it with 6-10 GR puppies playing in wood chips) and quietly tell folks about the GRCA and the dangers of buying puppies at this place.
 

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I always wondered if I would have the guts to stand next to the Golden Retriever puppy display (it's a big glass wall with a room behind it with 6-10 GR puppies playing in wood chips) and quietly tell folks about the GRCA and the dangers of buying puppies at this place.
Tippy, what an internal conflict you present for most of us. I think I would be ok outside the glass. How about inside with those poor pups? Could you do it? Sure you saved a person from a potentially expensive mistake, but did you make matters worse for those pups? I always feel bad for miller pups that have been already brought into this world...
 

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This is one of many reasons I will not buy so much as a strip of rawhide from any store that sells dogs or cats. Our local pet store is large and has many fun dog toys and treats in it, and I won't buy a single one since they also sell unhealthy, milled dogs. They "do everything right" in the sense that they provide good care and facilities for the puppies they're selling, but the cost of suffering behind the scenes is too much for me to bear, so not a nickel of my money will ever go to support their operation.
Have you went in and told them that? Or written letters to your local newspaper publicizing this fact of yours? Is this a pet store chain? If so, have you written the head office of the chain? Many other people may not be aware of what this pet store stands for and would appreciate your information and feedback.

We have one store here that sells kittens and puppies which I don't go to either. I may just go in and inquire where they come from. I think laws are beginning to be passed that prohibits pet stores from selling pets, although one store only sells on consignment older pets and I have bought from them until it changed ownership and they no longer carry the food or products I like for my cats. So I have gone to a small owner owned shop and she special orders what I like and we also get it at a discount too.
 

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Not one red cent of my money goes to any pet store that sells animals too. I'll gladly pay more for the same items at smaller pet stores that don't do this.

Years ago, I was was on my way out of one of our larger malls in the city (then called The Eaton Centre) when I noticed two women having a mini-protest in front of a small pet shop that was selling kittens. Before I knew what I was doing I joined in and was yelling out "Adopt don't shop" with the ladies. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I could have been arrested for tresspassing. :) Over time, this pet shop got so much undesired attention and I'm happy to report they went out of business.
 

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Have you went in and told them that? Or written letters to your local newspaper publicizing this fact of yours? Is this a pet store chain? If so, have you written the head office of the chain? Many other people may not be aware of what this pet store stands for and would appreciate your information and feedback.
They have three locations, so it's a chain in that sense. I haven't yet written any letters or anything, and I'm not convinced it would help, but it's work thinking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for posting this. I too will not step foot in a store that deals with millers. Thankfully there are not many of those left around us. I can only think of 2 and they are mom and pop type places. We do get the rescues in PetSmart and one of the other chains. It is all I can do not to come home with one of them, especially the cats. One day I am sure one will convince me otherwise.

Does anyone who works in rescue have dealings with pet stores? I would be curious...
Most of the independent stores here are closed, but Petland still has one store in Dallas. sigh. I too will not give any store like that a penny.

I too wonder if rescues are ever called to pick up dogs or cats that age out or if they have a veterinarian willing to take care of their "problem" for them.

I get very upset when I hear about charities auctioning off puppies as fundraisers. It's actually illegal in the city of Dallas. A few years ago I contacted Camp Fire Girls before they did one to alert them they were about to break the law by auctioning a Golden puppy and that if I found out they did it I would personally contact the city attorney. They cleverly took the auction winners off their website so I will never know if they went forward. I don't know where the golden came from but I assume it was from a BYB or a puppy mill and not a reputable breeder. One big charity just auctioned off a lab puppy and was approached by the city about it too. I hope they will forgo doing this in the future. I doubt the city will press charges against them.
 

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One of the parents of one of my son's schoolmates proudly told me that they got their lab at an auction. Supposedly from a "good breeder". Yeah right, keep telling yourself that!
 

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One of the parents of one of my son's schoolmates proudly told me that they got their lab at an auction. Supposedly from a "good breeder". Yeah right, keep telling yourself that!
I can't imagine a member of the local Golden Retriever club giving up a puppy for auction and to a stranger at that!
 

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Many many years ago before I was aware of puppy mills, there was a petstore that I used to go in which had different types of puppies. I fell in love with one of the puppies. The conditions that they were in was deplorable. I purchased one of the little Cocker Spaniel puppies and gave it to my mother (who had always wanted a cocker) who was, at that time, living overseas in East Berlin. I always felt guilty that I didn't get her cage mate as well. For the next several years, I would visit that store to check up on the conditions and if they were not up to par, a phone call was made to Animal Control which would come out and inspect. I have since felt guilty that I supported the "puppy mill" industry by buying that adorable little put yet I am happy that I got Suzannah out of that situation and into our loving family where she happily ruled my parents for 14 years.
 

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I won't buy anything from petstores that sell puppies either. I wish they would outlaw selling puppies in stores. It worked for Germany, could work here too.
When I was in the vet tech program in Michigan, we routinely took in dogs and cats from humane society and animal control. We had them for a few weeks, vaccinated them, dewormed them, etc. We practised our skills on them, like listening to the heart, anesthetizing them, blood drawing etc. We were very humane. Then they would go back to the shelter and we advertised at college to get these guys adopted. A lot did get adopted, others sadly were not so lucky. But, we did our best.
One day we got a transport full of petstore puppies for the program. Somebody had reported to the authorities about a petstore mistreating their pups. All were purebreds and sooo cute. We worked on them, of course got them socialized, vaccinated, etc. Since the petstore raid had been in the papers, a lot of people knew about the pups and that we had them in the program. When it was time to take them back to the shelter, people were lined up all day to adopt these pups. They charged more money for the pups and they all got adopted :).
But, in general, I really don't hear a lot about petstores getting raided and the law stepping in. Soo sad!
 
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