To the Editor:
As the board of directors and staff of the Fayette Humane Society, an organization dedicated to saving animals’ lives and ensuring their welfare, we are horrified that the Fayette County Zoning Appeals Board has sanctioned a high volume dog breeder within our county.
A plan has been approved for a kennel containing 10 breeding female dogs – Golden Retrievers and Bulldogs. The stated plan is to sell the puppies to a broker. Puppy brokers (many are out of state) are companies that collect the puppies, “process” them, and ship them on to pet stores. Of course, not all the puppies make it through this process – just the cost of doing business.
In most cases, the mothers of these puppies live their entire lives in cages – no loving touch, minimal veterinary care (if any) and social isolation. This is torment for such social, active and loving animals.
Using dogs and puppies purely for profit, making money all the way along the chain from the so-called “breeders” to the pet store, is unconscionable. The dogs bear the burden of this immoral practice. In fact, most pet stores no longer sell puppies. They are taking the high road, working with shelters and rescues to help find homes for millions of homeless animals. PetCo and PetSmart are two such stores. They also provide funding for rescues and shelters to help more animals, something that pet stores selling puppies do not.
Both high volume dog breeders and the pet stores that sell their puppies claim that the breeders are “USDA licensed.” Unfortunately, USDA standards are woefully inadequate and poorly enforced. Ohio also has minimal standards – similarly weak, poorly enforced and easily subverted by the “breeders,” who can stay under the maximum number of allowable litters (nine/year) by registering under different family names.
We can stand up to those who abuse dogs for their own gain. Please make your feelings known to your legislators, never buy from pet stores that sell puppies, and remember to report any abuse and neglect that you see. When you want to add a dog or any pet to your home, remember to adopt, don’t shop.
Fayette Humane Society Board of Directors:
Patti Martin, President
Dr. Candace Cherrington, Vice-President
Jan Snyder, Secretary
Deb Diley, Treasurer
Fayette Humane Society Staff:
Dr. Lee Schrader, Executive Director