“A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.”
― Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand
Over the years, quite a few of you have been very vocal in supporting ending puppy mills. Some of you have even joined me in protesting the two puppy mill brokers at Strongsville Mall, Pick of the Litter and Petland. We’ve even gone before Strongsville City Council with evidence that Pick of the Litter is indeed a puppy mill broker. (Council essentially said it was up to the state oversight to handle cases of puppy mills and brokers – convenient).
I realized suddenly that I’ve been going about this wrong: why would we shut down individual mills, one by one, when we can work towards legislation to stop the sale of dogs and cats altogether. According to the Humane Society, “300 local governments—cities, towns and counties—of all sizes and demographics across twenty-four states, have enacted such policies at the urging of concerned residents”. Let’s start our personal crusade with the City of Strongsville.
There are so many pros to this train of thought.
- Without venues to sell their goods (puppy mill brokers like Pick of the Litter and Petland), puppy mill operators will have no incentive to continue breeding;
- The Dept. of Agriculture (under whose jurisdiction places like puppy mills and brokers fall) will no longer have the limp excuse of not acting upon animal rights/abuses cases because of lack of personnel.
- It will break the vicious cycle of unscrupulous breeders and puppy mill operators dumping their “unsaleable merchandise” into local rescues and shelters, taking up space that is desperately needed.
- Owners of pet stores can focus on selling goods and services, and still offer rescue animals for a reasonable adoption fee, rather than strictly the revolving door of profit/supply.
- By decreasing the demand for store-bought puppy mill survivors being sold through brokers, puppy mills become unprofitable, thus destroying those parasites reliant upon puppy mills for their products.
It will be a very long and difficult fight. I guarantee that people like Tom Collins, who has never had another occupation other than Professional Puppy Mill Broker, will raise holy hell at the thought of losing his pain for profit scheme. Petland is already very vocal in the states that are looking to pass laws similar to those in California & Maryland, with plenty of lobbying going on behind the scenes.
So what can you do to help?
- Become an amateur journalist. Begin by stopping by Pick of the Litter on a daily basis and photograph whatever you may find there. Be polite, be kind, and be decent, but be aware and document. Send your pics to us firstname.lastname@example.org, where they will be documented for evidence, and publicly posted (anonymously if you wish). We will be setting up an album of offenders on our Darwin Dogs Facebook page as well as on DarwinDogs.org. Use #SickOfTheLitters
- Help start the petition drive. We will need as many people to obtain signatures for this petition.
- Spread information through our protests. Stay on the Darwin Dogs Facebook page for info on the next scheduled protests.
- Attend the Strongsville City Council meetings in support of ending pet stores. Again, check Darwin Dogs Facebook page for council sessions we will be attending. Currently, we will be attending the meeting on July 15 starting at 8:00, Council Chamber, located in the Strongsville Police Station, 18688 Royalton Road
- Contact Strongsville City Council, as well as the Mayor’s office. Find out why they are allowing
pet stores puppy mill brokers in their city:
Attn: City Council
Contact Southpark Mall, and demand to know why they allow puppy mill brokers and pet stores selling puppy mill dogs to do business within their mall. Let them know publicly, via reviews, that we will not do business at establishments that allow for animal abuse.
c/o Starwood Retail Managers
500 SouthPark Center
Strongsville, OH 44136
- Have any legal background? Contact me directly at email@example.com. After all, there is so much more to petitions that merely gathering signatures. We are looking to change city ordinances. If you can spare one hour or several days, anything will be of assistance.
- Spread awareness. Most people don’t realize what that puppy store puppy represents, or why the backyard breeders are killing shelter dogs by proxy. Educate.
We are starting in Strongsville, Ohio, but will be diligent in working in other cities as well. Let’s finish these parasite puppy mill brokers once and for all.
“But perhaps most important, when you buy a pet-store puppy, you contribute to the demand for puppy-mill-bred puppies, and add to the cycle of misery of mill-owned breeding dogs.”
― Denise Flaim, Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few Turtles
Dog Training/ Animal Rights Activist in Cleveland Ohio