We have received many calls recently criticizing us for our adamant stand against buying pets from a pet store.
We would like to explain why we feel so strongly about this issue. Most of the dogs sold in pet shops come from puppy mills and poorly kept breeding kennels, many found right here in the Midwest. In puppy mills, female dogs are usually kept in crude, outdoor cages and are bred continuously. Their puppies are taken from them at too early an age, packed into crates, and shipped to dealers, often without adequate water, food, or ventilation. Both the mothers and pups suffer from the lack of human care and socialization necessary for all dogs. Many emotional and physical problems are common in animals from puppy mills. Until we stop buying from the pet stores, the puppy mills will continue to operate, and thousands of helpless puppies will suffer. These are the facts!
A recent undercover investigation in Kansas found hundreds of dogs forced to spend their entire lives in small wire cages, without bedding, no protection from winter winds, or summer heat, and no regular medical care. Crusted, oozing eyes, advanced cases of ear infections, mange, abscesses on deformed feet from the wire floors-all were ignored or inadequately treated. There were aging mother dogs who had gone mad from confinement and loneliness. They circled frantically in their small filthy cages and chewed on their own bodies. This same scene was found over and over again, not just in one or two isolated instances. Sad to say it is happening in our own state as well as Kansas.
PUPPY MILLS WILL PROFIT AND PUPPIES WILL DIE AS LONG AS PEOPLE BUY ANIMALS FROM PET STORES. This is why we discourage purchase of animals from a pet store. There is no justification that can be made for buying a puppy through a pet store. No amount of trying to make it seem like it was the right thing to do can make up for the thousands of dogs that are in cages and the thousands of females giving birth to puppies every heat cycle. We do not mean to criticize anyone who has purchased a pet store dog. Most buyers honestly don't realize the extent of horror that their purchase has helped to perpetuate. Please help solve the problem by NEVER buying an animal from a pet store, and by discouraging others from doing it, explaining that such a purchase just perpetuates the cycle of suffering. Urge pet stores to sell only supplies, not living animals. Many major pet stores are now teaming up with rescue shelters, rather than buying from a puppy mill. If your pet store sells animals, let them know that you will purchase supplies only from stores that don't sell animals. BOYCOTT ANY STORE THAT SELLS PUPPIES!
THOUGHTS TO CHEW ON
Many pet owners seem to feel that flea season is history once the weather starts to cool off. WRONG! Fleas are more prevalent in the fall than at any other time of year. Throughout the summer, the flea population has increased. and by fall, they are at their peak. It is during the cooler weather that fleas instinctively seek out warm bodies and other warm spots to feed and exist. It is necessary to continue using flea preventative products well into the winter. Otherwise, you may well have to deal with flea infestation, and other nasty problems such as flea bite dermatitis and possibly tapeworms.
* As we think about winterizing our automobiles, it is important to realize that regular automobile antifreeze is VERY toxic to pets. As little as a fraction of a teaspoon can kill an animal. Many pet owners do not realize that antifreeze has an appealing taste to animals. Antifreeze poisoning is a slow, painful death, so it is important to not allow even one drop of antifreeze to remain where your pet has access to it. Better yet, spend a little more, and buy the newer less-toxic antifreeze that is available.
* It's a stressful time for our nation right now. Pets can help relieve stress, so give your dog a little extra attention. You'll both feel better. As Doris Day says, "I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent, devoted companionship of a dog that you get from no other source."
ACCIDENTS HAPPEN QUICKLY
Accidents happen so quickly with children and pets! At the TLC last week, one minute, Zach and Zeke, our eight-week-old furbabies, were running and playing, rolling in the grass, having a grand puppy party. The next minute, Zeke had stuck his head through a gate, and was hanging with his body on one side of the fence and his head on the other. He struggled frantically to free himself. I quickly realized that it was impossible to dislodge him, so I raced to the storeroom for a wrench. By the time I returned, Zeke was hanging limply. I removed the gate hinge and gently released the poor pup. As I held him, I was convinced he was gone. Then he opened his eyes, licked my hand, and weakly wagged his tail. I sat with him for more than an hour before I thankfully realized that Zeke had survived his ordeal. The next morning, we had a very subdued puppy, but he was alive and on the road to recovery. The message to all of us is that accidents do indeed happen so quickly. We need to be continually alert to anything that may pose a danger to kids-whether human or fur!
PAWPRINTS ON THE HEART
Little puppies come into our lives, but quickly grow. Their innocence move our souls to dance. Their trusting spirits awaken us to a new understanding About the miracles of God's creation. They run and play and make the world a more beautiful place. They stay little, and innocent, only briefly but leave pawprints forever on our hearts.
For the love of animals,
TLC ANIMAL SHELTER
Pauline: Canine Center, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 712-272-3553