LETTER: Local Pet Stores Should Stop Selling Puppies; Plus, Take Our Poll

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Where do those puppies and kittens come from?

I asked at a local pet store, and they wouldn’t tell me.

According to the Humane Society, we should be skeptical of any claims that they don’t come from puppy mills (link here).

According to the American Kennel Club, you should buy a dog directly from the breeder, so you can inspect their premises and ask questions, instead of buying from a pet store (link here).

Better yet, you can get a mutt from the pound for one-tenth of the cost and save a life. Most pet stores agree that selling puppies and kittens is not the right thing to do.  The City of West Hollywood recently passed a law banning this practice (read the LA Times story here; link to the ordinance here as a PDF file).

Sign the petition and ask the City of Burien to take the lead in animal welfare:


– Jim Branson

So…what do YOU think? Should Burien outlaw the selling of puppies in local pet stores? Please take our Poll, or leave a Comment below…

Should the City of Burien outlaw the selling of puppies in local pet stores?

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: Have something you’d like to say? Then email us your “Letter to the Editor” by clicking here. Be sure to include your real name and a way to contact you, and, pending our review, we’ll most likely post it. Otherwise, feel free to leave a Comment below…]

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35 Responses to “LETTER: Local Pet Stores Should Stop Selling Puppies; Plus, Take Our Poll”
  1. Susie says:

    There are so many puppies and dogs, cats and kittens that are in the shelters that are in desperate need of a home. Why buy a pet in a pet store?

  2. Terri Holden says:

    I do fostering for a 501c rescue and I agree with Jim. Please adopt from a local Humane Society or rescue.

  3. Jim Branson says:

    For those that are concerned this will hurt the business of the pet store, you should be aware that many other pet stores in the area have managed to stay in business while declining to sell puppies and kittens. I am not seeking to hurt the business of the one pet store in Burien that currently sells puppies and kittens. If they want, I am certain that the Humane Society will work with them to hold adoption events at their store. They can still make a profit on food and toys.

    Their business might increase if they stop selling puppies. I rarely go into “A Place For Pets” because it is hard for me to see those puppies and kittens in cages. One of the times I was there, I ended up buying a kitten. She is a happy healthy addition to our home, but I took my business elsewhere so I wouldn’t end up buying any more. “A Place For Pets” could increase their business if they stop selling puppies and kittens. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on my animals, and I’m not the only one. They can have the business of pet lovers like me if they make a small change.

  4. napavine says:

    Pet stores without pets. Just think the next time you need to heal a broken heart, you will have to go to the humain society for that kitten fix. Its seems a little crazy to me.

    • Karin Crehan says:

      PetCo and PetSmart don’t sell puppies and kitten, but they have dogs and cats for adoption from the shelter. And they sell rodents, bunnies, birds, fish…. I am against puppy mills and cats are coming often also from places like that. So if you have a love from dogs and cats, do the right thing and ban the sale of them in pet shops.

  5. TcB says:

    It seems that just becoming aware of the facts may end up hurting the businesses who participate in this. We may not need a law if everyone knows what is going on. I didn’t know “A place for Pets” sells animals from puppy mills. Now I have to consider that fact when I’m looking for a place to buy a collar.

  6. J elizabeth says:

    Its puppies for fat profit-the pet store in burien next to a popular eatery also sell products, they do not need to sell lives that they have no investment in after the sale. Mudbay seems to make a profit and they don’t sell puppies or kittens….Hummmm.

    I vote for no selling of puppies in Burien, the times have changed!

  7. Diana says:

    Won’t someone think of the children, I mean whales, err…seals…um trees…I mean kittens!

  8. Bradley says:

    So we should not allow our children to have pets? Where if not a pet store would we go, maybe I dont want an abuse mutt from a shelter, maybe I want a new dog my dream dog! Isn’t better to buy local, where our Burien pet store can had pick and choose to buy them form caring places (which I believe they do)?

    We are all in business to make a profit and if your not then you are not in business or you are working for somebody esle who is.

    If you ask me we are going too far, owing a puppy is one of my greatest memories as a child and I personally would not want to rob any other child from that experience!

  9. Lisa B. says:

    @ TcB: From what I could tell from the article Mr. Branson wasn’t able to determine whether the puppies came from puppy mills.

    I really don’t think there needs to be a law enforcing this when community awareness could prove effective. If it stops being profitable for pet stores they will stop selling animals.

    I’d like to know how the owners of certain local pet shops were approached with this, and if there could be some sort of amicable solution without petitions and boycotts.

    • Jim Branson says:

      Lisa, I asked twice where they get their puppies and kittens, and they gave no reply at all. If they want to discuss it, I am open to a conversation. If they tell me who the breeder is of those puppies that are labeled AKC, I would go to that breeder and talk to them. I have spoken with two AKC breeders, and they say they would never, ever commission their dogs to a pet store. That’s not how it works. Responsible breeders interview the prospective buyer and make sure they are a good match for the dog. They make sure the dog is going to a good home, and they usually say they will take the dog back if the buyer runs into some sort of trouble. The AKC says on their web site that a buyer should go to a breeder’s home, inspect the conditions, see the parents, and see proof that the parents and the puppies are all healthy, with no history of genetic dispositions for disease. As far as I know, the one pet store in town that sells puppies does not do any sort of check to make sure the puppies are going to safe, appropriate homes. If you try to adopt from a breed rescue, they often visit your home to make sure you will provide a good home and that the adoption is a good match. If the pet store would like to talk to me about how they obtain their puppies, I would be happy to talk to them. So far, they have just remained silent, hoping I will go away.

      • Lisa B. says:

        Thanks for your response Jim. I have never really given any thought to this issue because I never plan on being a dog owner, but I understand what you’re trying to do.

        At the same time, I hate the thought of a local business suffering from all of this negative attention. I hope that education will do the trick and that the owners can phase out this part of their business and replace it with something more profitable if they are indeed acquiring their pets this way.

    • TcB says:

      I guess you didn’t read where i said that just being aware of this issue may be enough. You also don’t have a dog in this race because you don’t plan on owning one. I know someone who works for the County and gasses hundreds of animals a month. Maybe you shouldn’t comment on the subject.

      • Lisa B. says:

        Maybe I shouldn’t comment on the subject, TcB??? You say you know someone who works for the County who gasses dogs? Well, I know people who have dogs, and I have also known dogs that have been gassed so I guess that makes me perfectly qualified to comment on this subject. If I wanted to be censored I’d move to China(been there too so I can speak about that as well.)

        All I was doing was pointing out (politely, I might add) something that you had wrong in your comment. You were jumping to conclusions.

  10. KD says:

    Bradley, please educate yourself as to where those “dream” puppies come from. They come from puppy mills. The pet store may say different, but the broker they buy from will have purchased them from a puppy mill. There are no humane puppy mills- they breed their dogs until they can’t be bred any longer, usually live with very minimal human contact and no care is take to producing healthy puppies. To make the situation even more ridiculous, pet stores charge a premium for these often times unhealthy puppies that have no genetic testing done and could as a product of their poor treating in their first 8 weeks of life have behavioral issues.

    Pets are awesome and enriching in so many ways. If you want your dream dog, contact the local breed club and ask for a list of recommended breeders as well as a list of genetic health checks such as OFA’d hips & elbows, CERF’d eyes, that your puppy’s parents should have been tested for. In the end, you’ll probably spend LESS money than you would have at the pet store and you’ll have a healthier puppy.

    I’m not an animal rights activist- I hunt 45+ days a year with my labrador retrievers, but treating dogs are a cash crop is just not tolerable.

  11. citizen says:

    Mr. Branson……you are the top commentor for the Blog……..PLEASE get a life……Your letter is a piece of POO… What about the birds, snakes and the poor fish that are being treated so badly….Stating the name of a certain pet shop is cause for serious concern….Yuo have no proof …..There are better things to work on….How about the Meat store that kills animals for you to eat? Once again Mr. Branson get a life……see ya

  12. Jess says:

    We don’t need more babysitting laws on the books; if you don’t want to buy a puppy from a pet store than simply don’t. Let’s use our tax dollars to fund what we already can’t pay for instead of adding more layers of expensive bureaucracy to the books.

    It is clear to see that less and less pet stores are selling animals. This is because the majority of people have learned that buying pets from pet stores is not a good idea. Once the demand for the puppies and kittens has diminished pet stores will stop selling them because it is not profitable.

    If you really want to help animals and save lives consider donating to a local organization called the Feral Cat Project, http://feralcatproject.org/default.aspx. For a $30 donation you can prevent litters of stray homeless kittens. Keeping animals off the streets to begin with helps significantly more than simply adopting a new pet from the shelters.

  13. warrenb says:

    The pounds areover flowing with good dogs in need of a home. There is no need to buy a puppy from a pet store. Practically all puppys in any pet store, are the results of mills. Mills where dogs are exploited, tourtered, starved, physically abused , and worse. The person who runs the mill and the person who sells the dog, have no interest in the animal after the sale, except maybe to sell you a collar. The people who work at the animal shelter, dont do it to get rich. They do it because they have a genuine love for animals, and care about there welfare. Anyone who buys a dog from a pet store is lazy and ignorant.

  14. Jack says:

    People will just drive to another town nearby. How about we start caring about all the homeless folks wandering around Burien or the kids in the Highline school district who need mentoring? More laws, more government power- Oh Good!

  15. Jack says:

    Why is okay to buy from a breeder? Does that make people “better”? If you really care about the plight of animals , you would never find a pet from anyplace, but a shelter or rescue.

  16. Jack says:

    I can see from past posts that a pet store in particular is the target. How sad to assume the worst of people. The owner is a nice guy who cared for my pet fish during the week-long power outage a couple years ago. When life resumed for us, he gave us the fish back. He cared for several birds, and other pets which people had asked for help with during that week since they had power. Be careful about judging.

  17. Christine says:

    I vote on this issue every time I have intentionally purchased from Mudbay and Horizon instead of the other two places I know of locally that sell animals.

    There are plenty of cute puppies/kittens available from rescues if you insist on a baby. Many rescue pets are happy, well adjusted, healthy pets that simply need new homes. Thinking you need to buy a pet to avoid problems is simply ignorance. Puppy mills breed for profit not mental or physical health! I have had three dogs and several cats…none from a pet store.

  18. tripC says:

    I do not discount the awful things that happen to puppies and kittens in these mills, but I find myself thinking about a line in the Godfather movie when I see rants like these, “we are both part of the same hypocrisy”.
    In America today, a great number of travesties are happening daily that many of us sometimes unknowingly, but willingly support. We kill cows for meat, clothing, shoes, furniture, and a wide array of other products. These animals are sometimes treated reprehensibly, and inhumanely. Our society has what many would consider “chicken mills”. These chickens are packed into small cages, they cut their beaks off, poison them with hormones, let them sit in their own waste, rotting, barely able to move around and unable to fully stand. These animals are rarely exposed to daylight or sunshine. They are fed and watered from a conveyor, and are unhealthy by what most of us would consider ‘healthy’. Yet chickens are used for so many things, their meat, eggs… Imagine baking without eggs. I could go on about pigs, farmed fish… Humans? I wonder of the treatment of the low paid, semi-slave workers that make the majority of the clothing worn in America? These types of truths are deeply ingrained into our society, and for the most part are ignored by us on a daily basis. Should we Burienites protest the restaurants that serve it up, the grocery stores that sell the food, or the clothing, and shoe stores? What of the oil companies? Do you drive? Is it really productive to berate local businesses that seem to be doing well, and adding value to our community?
    If every business was chided for potential faults seen and unseen, we would have to close down the whole city. Perhaps a more proactive approach would be to try and work with the owners, spell out concerns and try to find a way that is a win-win. I am sure there are local breeders, adoption groups, along with the Humane Society that would benefit from the exposure that a pet store could bring. Has anyone brought this up in a constructive way to any of the local pet stores? Burien is a very resourceful community. I am sure there is room for business and community interests to work, and thrive together. I doubt either party wants more empty storefronts.

    • Lisa B. says:

      Well said!

    • Jack says:

      Oh! Good post! I hate to see a gang mentality used to intimidate business owners. We are all hypocrites in some way- I am the first to confess. Hopefully, change can come through a cooperative attitude, instead of an attack on our local folks.

  19. Jim Branson says:

    Where do people get the idea that anyone wants to put a pet store out of business? If they sell puppies and kittens now, they can do just fine in the future without selling these animals, just the way other pet supply stores do. In fact, I think they would get more business if they stopped selling puppies and kittens. As I said earlier, I would shop there if they didn’t sell cats and dogs.

    If the owners want a constructive dialogue, I would be happy to meet with them. They are certainly not prohibited from replying on this website with their reasons why they think selling puppies and kittens is a good thing. If they are getting their animals from a reputable source, it should be no trouble to verify their claims. No one else, not other pet stores, not the animal shelters, not the Humane Society or the AKC, not anyone who deals with or studies the adoption of canine and feline pets thinks it is wise to sell dogs and cats in pet stores. If a pet store thinks otherwise, they should make their case publicly.

    If I owned that store, I would take this opportunity to get with the times. I would sign this petition banning the sale of puppies and kittens, and I would phase it out. I would take advantage of the opportunity to get good publicity for doing the right thing. Or, if I thought that selling cats and dogs was the right thing to do, I would give my reasons. No one is trying to force a store out of business.

  20. PetWiki says:

    If people stopped buying cats and dogs from pet stores it would no longer be lucrative for the stores to stock them. They would focus their business on other aspects of the pet business.

  21. Ian Gunsul says:

    Mudbay and Petsmart do just fine without selling puppies and kittens. Petsmart even gives Purrfect Pals space to showcase shelter cats during the week and has adoption events on weekends for cats and dogs.
    You want to see all the great furry friends out there just waiting for their lifetime human friend to find them?- http://www.petfinder.com/index.html

  22. Michele says:

    The days of buying the “puppy in the window” are long gone folks. In the 21st century we have a real problem with being able to support the animals that are so desperately in need of care at shelters.

    Puppy Mills and Pet Stores that sell puppies and kittens are completely irresponsible UNLESS they complete house visits and educate the customer regarding the breed, it’s specific needs and the COMMITMENT that is required to care for an animal for it’s entire life, not just until it grows up and chews your shoes.

    I encourage the owners of the the pet store in question to respond to this thread. I am a local business owner and have no desire to put anyone out of business but having said that, I also own 3 dogs over 80lbs that I got from rescue shelters and I will not shop at ANY pet store than shows puppies and kittens in the windows for spontaneous pet ownership which is almost certainly going to be irresponsible pet ownership.

    It is my choice not to support that business because I so passionately disagree with this olden days practice of purchasing and taking animals home on a whim. Shame on any of you thinking this practice is acceptable. Go visit a shelter and see if you heart doesn’t break into a million pieces.

    I applaud Jim for starting the dialogue.

  23. Ruth Anderspn says:

    I am undecided about the Pet Ban. I would like to vote for more “Headlines” about “dog and cat fur from China” I would like to see a “BAN” on anything that has dog and cat fur. Maybe someone could put true stories in the paper to edcuate the public about how dog and cat fur is ripped off dogs and cats while they watch them suffer and die. This is only one item that would greatly help sell papers. Maybe it could be placed on the front page until the torture stops. How about printing this?—All you sane people who read our paper may want to go to “you tube” and type in “dog and cat fur from china” . Please send us your feed back. Also The needless killing of Dolphins. And the public may want to view on “you tube”: “dancing Bears of india” ALSO type : “the rescue of the last dancing bear of india” We need more people to help stamp out this torture of animals who suffer in silence. If you have enough nerve to print this constantly in your paper ” I WOULD LIKE TO SUBSCRIBE TO YOUR PAPER” AND I CAN PASS YOUR EDITORIALS ALONG

  24. PetWiki says:

    I had not considered the issue of placing dogs and cats in the window. As I understand the argument presented here, even if the animals come from a shelter it is not OK to put them in the window since this encourages people to buy pets without thinking it through.

  25. Karin Crehan says:

    Finally America is going the right way. Stop selling dogs and cats in pet shops and hopefully in a few years no dog or cat has to be killed in the animal shelters, because there are to many. I come from Germany, immigrated to the US in 2005 and I was astonished that you still sell kitten and puppies in stores. In Germany it was banned in the early 1980s. In Germany no healthy dog or cat is allowed to be euthanized and if a dog can’t find a home – there are like in America often pit-bulls – they stay in the shelter till they die of a natural death. The same with all the other animals of course. But because in Germany you can only buy a dog or cat from a breeder the impulse buy did dramatically shrink and animals don’t end up in animal shelters anymore that much.
    All people who call themselves animal lover shouldn’t buy an puppy or kitten in a shop, but go to a proper breeder or better to an animal shelter.
    And people who can’t bring themselves to go to an animal shelter, just don’t want to face the fact what is happening in the US.
    Be an animal lover and ban puppy and kitten sales in shops.

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