In my own backyard

I like to support local businesses when I can, but one of them has just been blacklisted.

Fin, Fur, and Feather in Robbinsdale won’t be getting any of my money anytime soon. I was drawn to them by their vast array of parrots and bird supplies, as we just adopted a lovebird, and it’s nice to visit the big parrots occasionally. Today I happened to venture farther into the store, and I was absolutely shocked.

Last week I noticed some purebred, AKC-registered cocker spaniels for sale, displayed in a cage in the center of the store. “Hm,” I thought, maybe a breeder they know is having trouble getting rid of them.” I thought nothing of it, especially since this is a place that prominently discourages animal cruelty. Certainly they couldn’t be getting dogs from puppy mills.

Well, I felt that way until I ventured into the back of the store, where they keep small animals (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.) along with a large number (I’d guess 20) of puppies, most of them mixed breeds, and all of them being sold for upwards of $500 (except for the “leftover” slightly older dog, who was on sale for the bargain bin price of $350).

Yes, puppies are cute, no matter where they come from. But absolutely no reputable breeder will sell a mix for that much money. No reputable breeder is going to put an AKC pup in a pet store alongside a dozen mutts. No reputable breeder – no breeder that deserves your money – will put animals in a pet store, period.

It makes me incredibly angry that anyone would exploit animals the way puppy mill owners do, and it makes me even more angry that a pet shop that seemed to care about the welfare of animals is actively condoning such behavior.

Please, if you’re interested in a puppy, read this for tips on selecting a good breeder. For goodness’ sake, look into your local humane society and see if THEY have puppies. Do not line the pockets of people that force animals to produce one litter after another, without regard for the welfare of any animal involved, and solely with regard to how much money they’ll be making.

And, further, if you see a pet store selling puppies, or kittens, drop whatever you’re about to purchase and walk out of there. In this case, shopping at even Petsmart or Petco is better than helping out mom-and-pop; not only do they not sell dogs or cats, but they offer space to rescue groups for adoption days and encourage adoption over purchase for all animals.

This place isn’t getting one more penny from me. Luckily, there’s another mom-and-pop pet shop down the street, and they stick to animals bred in much less horrifying conditions.

1 Comment so far

  1. Lex (unregistered) on August 15th, 2005 @ 12:05 pm

    I used to work for a pet supply store as the assistant manager. I worked there for about 5 years while in school. They only sold goldfish, which I was glad of. When the shop came under new management, the owner decided to sell kittens that her friend bred.

    They weren’t purebreds, just farmcats, really. They came to us with ear mites, and developed parasitic infections due to being in cramped quarters in the shop and too near their litterboxes.

    I refused to sell the cats to anyone. The owner, however, sold a kitten to a parent who got it for her little girl. The cat sickened almost immediately, and died within three weeks. I got to hear the story of a 5 year old finding her kitten dead. The owner didn’t want to give her a refund, so I told the woman to come back when I was working, and I refunded her money.

    I was told I was “bad for morale” because I refused to sell the sick cats and because I’d dodged the owner to give the woman a refund. I quite shortly after that, thank goodness.

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