Wednesday, July 16, 2008
When I say I love animals, especially dogs, I mean it! I like to think I live my life in a way that demonstrates my love for animals. I would never do anything to hurt or exploit an animal. I would never abuse or neglect an animal. I couldn't be cruel to an animal and I would never make a living off the pain and suffering of an animal. I would never bring more dogs into this world when so many are already living in shelters and so many more are killed every year because no one wants them.
Mark Arabia, the owner of Pets Plus, claims "caring for animals was always my passion but now it's a business". Pets Plus, with stores in PA and NJ, sells puppy mill puppies and has been the focus of a weekly protest by the NPPMWatch group. Mark is very honest in his statement, he cares about profit, he doesn't care about dogs. I doubt he really cares about his customers either.
If you Google Mark Arabia and add puppy mill to his name you'll find a lot of interesting information about Mark, puppy mills, pet stores and some of the puppies Pets Plus has sold. Mark's passion is money; I truly doubt his passion was ever anything but money. As an animal lover I can't shop in a store that sells puppies and only cares about money. As an animal lover it makes me sick that to think that I use to shop in Pets Plus and I believed the employee's when they told me their puppies came from 'breeders". UGH. Most of their breeders have names like Pharis Martin or Zimmerman (Allen, Amos, David and John) and they all "breed" in Lancaster, PA.
Susan Hoagland is the spokeswoman for Monster Pets, a South Philly pet store that sells puppy mill puppies. ROAR, Reach Out for Animal Rights, has been protesting outside Monster Pets for the past 18 months and when asked about the weekly protest this is what Susan had to say, "It's upsetting to us because we haven't done anything wrong, we don’t' abuse our animals in fact it's the exact opposite.” WOW, do these people think before they speak? Anyway, I'm so glad she mentioned "abuse".
Monster Pets isn't any different from any other pet store that sells puppies, if you can pay for the puppy it's yours! They don't check out your living situation or your backgroud. They don't care if you've been convicted of animal abuse in the past. They don't ask if you have a Vet and they don't care if you need one right away (and you probably will). They don't care if "their" puppy goes to an abusive home and they don't ask you to bring "their" puppy back if you find your not ready to add a puppy into your life. They don't want "their" puppies back, in sickness or in health.
Monster Pets doesn't care about the thousands of dogs living and dying in shelters every day and they don't care about the burden those dogs put on the community. Monster Pets doesn't want to know if one of "their" dogs end up in a shelter, the shelter dogs aren't their concern.
Susan might not realize it but as an animal lover what Monster Pets sells is ABUSE. We all pay the price when a pet store is selling puppies in our community. Google the term "puppy mill" and you'll understand the price so many dogs are paying to supply those adorable pet shop puppies. Then, take a trip to your local shelter and ask yourself WHY?
I love my dogs, I love all dogs and I do what I can to live a life that expresses that love. Please do the same. Love your dog, love all dogs. Help end the shelter crisis, and shut down puppy mills every where, today!
Friday, June 6, 2008
My response came a week or so ago and I only had a chance to "really" read it yesterday. Then I heard the weather forecast and NOW I'm really angry. These dogs are going to suffer in unbearable conditions for the next few days. They will all be locked in cages sitting in the sun or locked in airless barns with putrid water and crappy food, surrounded by flies and countless other bugs. I'm so angry and here's the letter that I'm blaming my anger on. Actually, it's not the letter but the lack of support, we have 3 people committed for tomorrows demo, the same 3 that show up every Saturday.
Anyway this is the letter I received from Lancaster County. (oops first let me show you the letter I sent them.)
I am strongly opposed to commercial breeding kennels where the costs are minimized by providing substandard care and conditions for the dogs in an effort to increase the profit. It is morally and ethically wrong to keep dogs in wire cages for their entire lives, breeding them over and over until they die. I am writing to request that you immediately take steps to address the horrific conditions in commercial kennels in Pennsylvania, particularly Lancaster County. The laws need to be upgraded to provide better care for the dogs, the regulations need to be rewritten, and enforcement needs to be dramatically enhanced. At a minimum every kennel that does not have a visible, safe source of heat and air-conditioning should be immediately shut down. Given the number of fires at kennels that have killed hundreds of dogs it is obvious that propane is not safe source of heat and should not be allowed.
I ask that the responsibility for creating the regulations and enforcing them be moved from the Agriculture Department. As has been noted on many occasions including by Senator Greenleaf and past Agriculture Secretary, Charles Brosius, there is an inherent conflict of interest in having the same agency that is supposed to promote an industry be the same agency tasked with investigating that industry.
It is shocking that a state like Pennsylvania would become a haven for such a despicable industry. Such disregard for life mocks decency. I will not visit Lancaster County or PA. until the commercial kennels are shut down. I will tell everyone I know not to visit Lancaster County. I could never vacation in a place where such cruelty exists. I could never vacation in a place where such cruelty exists. I will choose to spend my tourist dollar in another location.
Dogs hold a special place in my heart and always will. They're our protector's, our companions and best friends and they deserve our very best efforts. We have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, but none so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill. After all the licks, wags and love they have given us, we owe them this fight. Please protect those who can't protect themselves; please take steps to stop this atrocity.
Here is the response I received in May from the PA Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau:
I appreciate receiving your letter of April 28th, and can certainly understand your outrage over the inhumane treatment of dogs at certain large-scale breeding kennels located here and in surrounding areas. I agree that what's happening in these puppy mills is atrocious.
I must respectfully disagree, however, with utilizing a boycott of Lancaster County tourism to impact this situation, as there is no direct link between the two.
Instead, the key to resolve this issue is enforcement of current and prospective laws, and education of the consumer. To that end, Lancaster's tourism industry strongly supports efforts to ensure that these conditions are swiftly brought to a halt by state officials.
We applaud Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's work in recent years to resolve this problem, and his pledge to further step up this campaign. To maintain the focus on this issue, we have been directing concerned citizens like yourself to contact the Governor's office
(PAfirstname.lastname@example.org) and the state's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (PAemail@example.com).
We also continue to urge consumers to make an informed decision when purchasing a dog, as the most direct way to address puppy mill cruelty is to eliminate demand. Our message is that it's important to ask questions and know where a puppy has come from. Thus, we've been directing individuals to the Humane Society website (www.hsus.org) as a great starting point for making an educated choice.
Abusive breeders should be put out of business immediately and permanently. There are not two ways about it. The PA Dutch CVB remains committed to working toward solutions that result in the humane treatment of dogs breed for sale in Lancaster County, and we welcome your voice in this effort.
President & CEO
Pennsylvania Dutch Convention
& Visitors Bureau
I will write them again but first let me try it out here, on my blog.
Dear PA Dutch CVB I appreciate your letter of May 27th and can understand your situation. As the CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau it's your job to attract visitors regardless of the pathetic actions of the so called dog breeders in your county. I'm not a member of your Visitors Bureau, I don't breed dogs and I'm not Amish and I'm truly offended when you say you "understand" my outrage! You clearly don't. Since the rest of your sentence makes it clear that you don't have a clue about my "outrage" over commercial breeders.
Yes, I'm outraged about the in humane treatment of all breeding kennels, but size doesn't matter! I realize that for that for you and Governor Rendell size does matter. Shame on you. Tell that to the puppy dying in the heat this weekend in a "small" kennel, oh sorry, dogs will be dying in "every puppy mill" this weekend, regardless of size. Your governor hasn't done a damn thing, yet. Tell that to the thousands of dogs this weekend. Your Governor only had to get the Inspectors to DO THEIR JOB, that's it, just get them to do what they're already paid to do! Maybe stop them from doing what someone else is paying them NOT TO DO. where is the Philadelphia Inquirer when we need you?
Thousands of dogs can do nothing this weekend to get out of the heat. They can't find a breeze, they can't find fresh water, they can't find shade, or open space. Who will be out fighting for them this weekend? Those dogs will die terrible deaths, and those that don't die will go crazy and the rest will make it through, barely, to suffer again, in the next heat wave or worse.
Where will everyone who cares be tomorrow? I''ll be protesting, since at this point it's the only safe thing we can do. If I could steal dogs and not do harm to animal rights groups I would.
I have A lot more to say in response to the above letter but I want to get his post out before the heat hits. Please if you can protest puppy mills tomorrow every voice helps and every dog counts.
Monday, June 2, 2008
When Baby's "hero," Jana Kohl, decided she wanted a puppy a few years ago, she did what so many people do; she went on-line looking for a pet store or an on-line "breeder." Jana didn't know about puppy mills back then, but she had a friend who did, and that friend spoke up and Jana listened. Actually, she did a lot more than just listen, she found out all about Puppy Mills and commercial breeders first hand! She also rescued Baby, an adorable toy poddle and has since made it her mission to bring to the masses the plights of the dogs in puppy mills. Jana (and Baby) have released a wonderful new book called a Rare Breed of Love. Click on the link to read all about Baby and the mission she inspired to help dogs everywhere.
During the interview Jana talked to Diane about compassion! Imagine teaching your children compassion by adopting your new puppy or dog. Anyone can buy a dog but saving one takes someone special and a certain level of committment! I can think of no better way to bring a new pet into your child's life other than by way of adoption. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you saved your new "best" friend; it's even better when your kids get to experience that same feeling. Don't take them to a pet store, take them to your local shelter.
Jana made the same choice so many still make when deciding to get a pet; her first thought was a pet store and/or a breeder! Until we, as a society, decide that Pet Stores aren't an option, Puppy Mills will continue to operate and thousands of dogs will continue to suffer in horrific and cruel conditions. Jana (and Baby) was lucky.... they had friends who pointed them in the right direction. I hope this blog can point future dogs owners in the right direction - - shelter dogs, rescue dogs! It's the only way to end puppy mills!