This week I went to a mall and was shocked to see a store called “Furry Babies.” What is their product, you ask? Puppies.
In their small space, they were simulating a nursery using a number of cribs with puppies in them. There were also plenty of people oohing and aahing over the “furry babies.”
Is there any good reason to be selling puppies for eight hundred dollars? Forget the price. Is there any good reason to be selling puppies period?
There are lots of people who suspect that “Furry Babies” is getting their puppies from puppy mills, although I cannot confirm this rumor. However, I am willing to say that most any pet store that is selling puppies is supporting the puppy mill industry.
Personally, I find it repulsive to put a price tag on an animal. Plus, the atrocities that happen to breeder dogs in puppy mills would make anyone with a heart weep. My parents rescued a dog that lived in a puppy mill for eight years and the medical issues and fears that the poor soul has are heartbreaking.
And I haven’t even mentioned the millions of dogs that are in shelters. Yes, millions.
The ASPCA reports that between five and seven million companion animals enter shelters every year, and between three and four million of those animals are euthanized. In terms of dogs, that means that five out of ten dogs in shelters are destroyed simply because there is no one to adopt them.
Now why are people allowed to breed and sell puppies?
Unfortunately, this holiday season many people will turn to pet stores and breeders to buy a pet. They will want “cute” ones and will be set on getting a puppy. First of all, puppies are a lot of work and not a Christmas morning toy. Second of all, there are puppies (and lots of them) to be found in shelters. Please speak up and encourage these people to visit their local shelter and consider adopting.
Giving a shelter dog a home would embody the holiday spirit, don’t you think?
Rebecca Grazulis is a Chicagoan, a vegetarian (yes, you can be both), a wanna-be yogi and a former high school English teacher in a period of career exploration. For more information, you can e-mail her or visit her website.