Philly.com recently ran an article on a PA pet store chain that, like some others around the country, is switching from selling puppies and kittens obtained from commercial breeders to selling pets obtained from shelters. Since shelter pets are being needlessly killed by directors who won’t do their jobs, any chance at avoiding the kill room sounds great. Nonetheless, I have questions – and just because I do does not mean I’d rather see shelter pets killed than shipped for resale. That is a false choice and one I won’t be entertaining in the comments.
The stores have been getting their rescue animals from Kentucky and Georgia shelters that have been vetted by the Humane Society of the United States.
Pets are being killed in PA shelters as well as in surrounding states. Why would a PA pet store chain import animals from the south to stock its stores? Shouldn’t they help the homeless pets in their own backyard (and then from their neighbors’) before importing them from the south? Why should dogs and cats be subjected to the extreme stress of a road trip that takes all day (or days) when there are shelter pets available nearby? The article does indicate the chain will start getting some pets from the PA SPCA as well but it makes little sense not to get all their pets locally, since PA shelter pets are going to the landfill otherwise.
How were the KY and GA shelters “vetted” by HSUS – a lobbying/fundraising group which actually has relatively little to do with animals shelters at all, let alone vetting them? What is the HSUS vetting process? Is money involved? In past, HSUS has charged shelters for evaluations. For example the Dallas pound was charged $25,000 for a 3 day HSUS evaluation in 2010.
The store is selling neutered, vaccinated, microchipped shelter pets for roughly $400 – $500. Who is paying for these services and for the health certificates required for shipment? Are the shelters receiving payment for the animals? If the financial details in this arrangement are unknown, how can prospective buyers determine whether it constitutes fair trade? The basis for the objection to pet store puppies and kittens is that they don’t constitute fair trade – with the animals being the ones who get shorted via health and quality of life concerns. Is it reasonable to replace something objectionable with something unknown?
Some activists have been skeptical of the wave of store conversions, questioning whether all the animals are, indeed, from shelters and checked by vets.
Are the animals sold with documentation verifying their transfer from the shelter of origin and the veterinary health certificates and services they received? Or it is just a Believe us type deal?
Representatives from the Pennsylvania SPCA and the Humane Society said they were confident that with Pets Plus Natural, any fears were misplaced.
Mmm’kay… but is there documentation? Just in case someone isn’t prepared to go all in on the wildly comforting Believe us thing?