Letter to the editor

Plenty of places to get good puppies

I'm writing in response to the protest that was staged over a local pet store. While the people who bought puppies there who had problems have my complete sympathy, I can't get over the stupidity of the general public in purchasing puppies from such a place.

First of all, these people could have gotten almost any breed of puppy they wanted from a reputable breeder, at a price that would have probably been less.

If they had the time and patience, they could have gone online to the rescue organization of the breed of dog they wished to have, and gotten a dog from the breed's rescue for a fraction of the cost of a puppy. Or they could have gone on Petfinder.com and searched the country's shelters and pets rescue organizations and adopted ANY kind of dog of their choosing for a small rescue fee. Or they could go down to their local shelter, and within a year, also found the breed of their choice for approximately $100, spayed/neutered, inoculated, licensed and microchipped.

With all these resources available, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want to support a store that sells puppies.

The owner of the store stated that his puppies have a 10-day guarantee. That's as good as a 10-minute guarantee. Reputable breeders have a lifetime guarantee for their dogs. No, they're not going to pay for problems years down the road, but reputable breeders, for the most part, stand by their dogs. They love the breed they're reproducing, and they want to only sell healthy, sound, well-conformed examples.

The owner also stated that his puppies don't come from puppy mills, that he buys from dog brokers. Well, where do you think the dog brokers get these puppies?

I know of a woman in Oregon who breeds Shetland sheepdogs like chickens, and sells them to a broker for $40 each when they're 6 weeks old. How much do you think these puppies sell for in the pet stores? $400? $600?

The Amish in Ohio found out they could make a killing breeding puppies for pet stores, and that's their cash crop now. These puppies are sold to dog brokers who market them all over the country.

Conscientious dog breeders raise their dogs in their homes and give them lots of socialization time. When the puppies are able to, they're let outside to explore the world, play with each other, and get lots of sunshine and fresh air.

Before the puppies are sold, their eyes are checked for normalcy, just as their sires' and dams' were (who also had their elbows and hips X-rayed for soundness) before they were bred.

The kinds of puppies in pet stores have little socialization skills, and they certainly aren't improved by living in a store for weeks and being groped all day by customers.

When you buy a puppy from a store, you are paying for the store's profit as well as at least two middlemen in the equation. The price has NOTHING to do with quality, nor does AKC or any other registry's papers.

Next time you want a dog, go online, Web search the breed you want, and you'll find all kinds of information. Yes, the puppy mills are on there, too, but gosh, folks, there are two huge all-breed dog shows at Fuji Park every year. Go there, talk to the breeders.

These are people, who for the most part are responsibly breeding dogs.

Better yet, look at rescue. You wouldn't believe all the beautiful dogs that just want a second chance.

Cynthia Kennedy

Virginia City Highlands


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