A couple of weeks ago, Don & I took Ella for the day and drove down to York to watch some Rally Run-Thru’s at It’s a Dog’s World. It was fun!
On the way home, we decided to take Route 1 home and just take our time. All of the sudden, I noticed this sign:
I could not believe what I was seeing! Puppies for sale! Prominently advertised in puke green neon.
Not in Maine! Aren’t we better than this? Isn’t our motto: Maine – The Way Life Should Be ??
Thoroughly disgusted, I had to go back and take a look. Don insisted he was not going in the store with me, because he was sure I would cause a stink. Little did he know that what I witnessed made me so sick to my stomach that I was speechless. (I know others have probably seen stores like this, but this was my first experience.)
It was a rinky dink store with a handful of fairly decent dog-related items, like Lupine leashes and Kong toys. Two very young sales people who clearly walked on the goth side of spectrum, sporting a variety of interesting accessories, tended the store.
However, there were also puppies. Puppies in something akin to a fish tank. Puppies in those raised display cases I have seen ferrets in at other pet stores. The pups were walking on pellets. There were no water or food dishes seen in their tanks and there was one toy – ONE – in one of the tanks. Nothing very interesting or engaging to stimulate the puppies brains, give them something to chew or keep them occupied.
This is probably a good time to mention that I am a breeder of English Jack Russell Terriers. Before you judge, know that we bust our asses with our puppies, enriching their environment, socializing them, exposing them to everything and anything that we can to prepare them for their lives with their new families. A puppy brain is a terrible thing to waste. Visit our website for more information about our strict standards for breeding and rearing: englishjackrussells.com
I was very much appalled by the conditions the puppies were kept in. The min-pin featured above was so hyper, literally jumping and frolicking in his tiny little space – seemingly dying to get out and get some fresh air and burn off some energy. All of the pups had goopy eye boogers/stains. All clearly were going crazy from boredom.
No reputable breeder would sell their puppies to a pet store – we all know that. So, it stands to reason that these puppies came from a PUPPY MILL. $1500 to $1999 for a PUPPY MILL PUPPY, of questionable lineage, inbred, with mothers still wallowing in their own feces while they churn out litter after litter after litter.
A reputable breeder will spend damn near every waking moment with the expectant mom until she gives birth, will cater to her every whim and spend hours and hours and hours caring for her and her pups. The learning process will be well underway before the pups eyes and ear open – and once they do, it will be a controlled mad dash to get in as many experiences as they can before the pups go to their new homes. They will feed the mother a wholesome, holistic diet. They will make sure the pups and mother have the best veterinary care. They will DNA and health test the parents, know their personalities inside and out and will do everything in their power to produce the absolute best puppies they can. THEY DESERVE $1500+ for the puppies they are raising.
Now, I ask you:
WHO IS BUYING THESE PUPPIES?
HOW IS THIS STORE STILL IN BUSINESS?
Someone is obviously buying them, or they wouldn’t continue to be there. I am thoroughly disgusted with the fact that this store continues to be in business, that they sell puppies to anyone with cash or a credit card and keep the puppies in such horrid conditions.
Shame on Maine for not having shut this “pet store” down. Shame on the families who buy a puppy this way because it is faster and easier than dealing with a reputable breeder. Shame on those puppy mills who supply pet stores like these. Shame. Shame. Shame on you all.