Jasper Co Sheriff’s Office Buys Pet Store Puppy

There are not nearly enough shelter pets for everyone in the U.S. who plans to get a pet this year.  This is ok because some owners, about 1.5 million, are already set on an alternate source (a breeder usually) for the new pet they plan to get within the next year. I appreciate the fact that some people want a specific breed of puppy or kitten with a documented pedigree, a known health/behavioral history and a written performance guarantee.  For those people, I recommend they contact a breed rescue or a responsible breeder (generally someone who breeds occasional litters at home, screens the parents for health and temperament, screens potential buyers for the best possible match between pet and person, and offers a safe place for the animal to return for life, if ever it is needed).

There are about 5 million people determined to adopt the pet they will be getting this year.  Since we have an estimated 8 million pets entering shelters in this country every year, we have plenty of animals for these 5 million owners to choose from.  But there is a third group of people, about 17 million, who are planning to add a pet to the family within the next year and haven’t yet decided on a source for that animal.  We have only about 3 million shelter pets left in the total estimated population who are healthy/treatable and available for adoption.  As is plain, if we were to convince even half of these 17 million homes to adopt from a shelter, we would be coming up short by millions of animals.  So again, the fact that some people want to buy from a responsible breeder does not condemn shelter pets to death.  Shelter pets are dying because shelter directors are killing them instead of doing their jobs to get them into homes, of which there are plenty.

One of the groups that has traditionally looked to responsible breeders for their dogs is law enforcement.  But that is not always the case.  In fact the BBC recently ran a story on a shelter dog in the UK who was adopted for use as a police dog and successfully completed his basic training.  Here in the States, rescued shelter dogs have fought crime in New York, Chicago, and many other cities.

But I was disappointed to see a photo on Twitter today that appears to depict someone from the Jasper County Sheriff’s office in Missouri (that’s what the sleeve insignia looks like to me anyway) buying a puppy at a pet store.  The photo was contained in a tweet from the Hunte Corporation, “the largest distributor-wholesaler of puppies in the United States.”

hunte corp tweetjasper co sheriff

The Hunte Corporation buys puppies – not from responsible breeders, who would never allow a broker to determine where their puppies end up – but from puppy mills.  They truck the puppies, whose parents are left to suffer at the puppy mills, to pet stores all over the country.  Why a law enforcement officer would want to purchase a puppy from a pet store is a mystery to me.  The benefits that law enforcement normally receives from buying from responsible breeders – a puppy with a known pedigree whose lineage is likely to contain successful law enforcement dogs, a health and temperament guarantee and a safe place to return the puppy if the training doesn’t pan out – are all non-existent with a pet store purchase.  Furthermore, by purchasing a pet store puppy, the sheriff’s office is helping to keep puppy mills in business, which is tragic.

I hope the Jasper Co Sheriff’s office will reconsider buying pet store puppies to work with its law enforcement officers.  There are plenty of responsible breeders with puppies available and there might even be some excellent candidates sitting in the local shelter.  Law enforcement should be setting a good example for the community, not supporting animal cruelty by buying pet store puppies.

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28 Comments

  1. I have to disagree on a point here. When the term “puppy mill” was originally being used and promoted by H$U$, et al, as a perjorative against substandard breeders, there was the claim of being substandard and caring more about money than animal welfare. You are using that term to describe any animal enterprise that produces puppies for wholesale. They are likely USDA inspected, and Hunte also demands certain standards of breeders from whom they buy. (They are a business after all and want satisfied customers.) That is a BIG leap in perjoratives! There is nothing wrong with an animal enterprise in the business of producing and selling puppies (or other animals, whether pet or otherwise) so long as they adhere to animal welfare standards. This latest attack on pet sources and against pet stores that sell pets is not based on fact, but on fabrication–and it’s buying into the AR propaganda, IMO. I love to read most of what you write in defense of animals, but not this one. And no, I don’t raise dogs or cats, nor do I ever intend to do so, but I demand my *right to CHOOSE* whether I buy from a breeder, a pet store, or a shelter.

    Reply
    • Whatever Hunte’s standards are, apparently somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 puppies pass them every year.

      Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  November 8, 2013

      There’s ample evidence – easily found online, and no, I’m not going to do it for you – that the practices of large breeding facilities for puppies in the US are unethical, that cruelty and neglect are common in the industry, and the laws regulating those practices are both lax and largely unenforced.

      I’ve also seen this from the ground, by the way, albeit back in my youth. I worked for a pet shop which sold puppies and kittens. It was very clean, and the animals were never handled roughly … but a lot of them were sick with one thing or another and the owner refused to treat them – even refused to permit the employees to get care for them at their own cost – because he reckoned it wasn’t his responsibility. Some of them died, but hey, that was okay, there were always more where those came from.

      That anyone would knowingly protect businesses like this … well. I wasn’t doing much with that lunch, after all.

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  November 8, 2013

        Yeah, those inspectors are really super effective, aren’t they? And life in a steel cage is humane as all get out.

  2. mikken

     /  November 8, 2013

    Wow. Impulse buy, maybe? Because that one sure as heck wasn’t thought out well, was it? Is this a personal pet purchased with his own money, I wonder?

    Reply
    • They said he was off to a life of crimefighting, which made me think he was going to be trained for police work. But you could be right. Maybe Hunte was only joking?

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  November 8, 2013

        Well, they’re such hilarious people to begin with.

  3. This is what a ‘high quality’ and ‘humane’ Puppy Mill is according to the DofA in Missouri (the state that specializes in commercial dog milling, so I assume they are experts in determining these standards). It’s clean, dry and warm. It’s also sterile, depressing, and no place I’d want to get a puppy from (or see a dog have to live in):

    Reply
    • I wanted to stop as soon as I saw they AUCTIONED their dogs but unfortunately I kept going and saw the poor little mama Boston with her ears folded flat. Now I have to bury my face in a Beagle.

      Reply
  4. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Talk about setting a bad example.

    Reply
  5. It is well known that there are thousands of dogs in shelter, facing death if they aren’t adopted. These dogs are wonderful and make great companions and can be trained to help the handicapped. Many prisons take the dogs to prisons (where the prisoners aren’t a danger to them! People must be better educated so they can choose a shelter dog first!

    Reply
  6. SS

     /  November 9, 2013

    Hmm, grated floors, no blankies to snuggle into, no toys. What a great existence. I have also heard that puppies who grow up on grated floors are really difficult to potty train, because they are used to just peeing where they stand. Then they get taken to shelters because of potty training issues.

    To (partially) quote M Covault, “I demand my *right to CHOOSE*” – my right to choose a puppy from a responsible breeder who keeps parents and pups in his/her home, giving them toys, soft blankets, a chance for mom to teach them how to be a normal dog, and most importantly, lots of love. Unfortunately, though, these are the people/dogs who seem to be hurt most by many local “anti-puppy mill/anti-breeding laws, so the corporations prevail.

    Reply
  7. The sterile caging, lack of anything fabric, etc. is a REQUIREMENT for a licensed USDA breeder. The new USDA/APHIS rules that were just passed may very well also require these same standards for anyone with four intact females who breeds from their homes. We were once known as responsible breeders who don’t make a living from breeding and who truly care about our dogs. Michele, responsible breeder and responsible rescuer, and yes, you can do both!

    Reply
  8. The Puppy is a high quality purpose bred working dog from a licensed/responsible breeder. The Hunte corporation is a wonderful organization that continually supports their community and local law enforcement. The fact is a shelter cannot provide the high quality dog we need which is why we went to a professional breeder. Shelter/rescue dogs are wonderful in some cases and suit some peoples needs, but often they are flawed and have issues which makes them unsuitable for Law Enforcement work. We do not consider our receiving this animal as supporting puppy mills or animal cruelty. We see it as supporting our local agriculture and the professional breeding industry. Thank You. Sgt Craig Davis. Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

    Reply
    • Eucritta

       /  November 19, 2013

      As we’ve discussed above, there are many of us who consider that the regulations for the wholesale breeding of dogs themselves allow and even encourage inhumane treatment, enforcement is lax, and the industry is rife with neglect and cruelty. It also tends to neglect care and consideration of bloodlines, which increases the likelihood of genetic abnormalities.

      Also? There is no good excuse for lowered expectations and regulation of agriculture. Animal husbandry does not necessitate cruelty, and it’s past time it was held to ordinary humane standards.

      TL;DR – I don’t agree. I think you made a bad call. Dogs deserve better.

      Reply
    • “The fact is a shelter cannot provide the high quality dog we need which is why we went to a professional breeder.”

      How do you know? Have you visited the shelter and asked them to keep an eye out for a possible candidate for you? Many other law enforcement agencies have successfully trained dogs they got from shelters to work with them. And if you don’t wish to consider a shelter dog, please at least consider a responsible breeder, not a Hunte Corporation brokered puppy.

      Reply
      • Yes, we work very closely with shelters, we have had contracts with two of our local shelters and i am friends with some of their board members. The Sheriff’s Office has obtained two shelter dogs for training for other purposes. It takes quite a bit longer to find the right dog from a shelter, but it is possible, just depends on what you are looking for. We also have a wonderful relationship with Hunte corporation and when we couldnt find the specific dog we needed at the shelter, we went to Hunte. Its great to live in America. One can go to a shelter or a professional breeder (directly or through a broker such as Hunte) and seek that perfect animal for their needs. There is nothing wrong either way. I also have friends that work for Hunte, they actually have higher standards than State or Federal Laws provide. Shelters in Missouri actually are exempt from the Animal Cruelty acts and many operate at lower standard than even the dogs brokered to Hunte, but that doesn’t mean those shelters neglect their animals.

    • Me thinks there is a conflict of interest here – Hunte is anything but a high quality breeder. Sgt Davis, you do not have any idea what you are talking about. There are thousands of wonderful dogs in shelters and with rescues who would do a great job at police work. There are even purebreds – imagine that – if you have a particular breed in mind.
      Hunte is nothing but a large scale puppy miller who makes a lot of money on the backs of defenseless animals who are raised and bred in an awful environment and forced to produce litter after litter and then discarded when they no longer can do that.

      Reply
      • I have been involved in animal welfare, enforcement, training and breeding for 20 years. I help shelters, I have friends that work in shelters, I have volunteered and donated to shelters. I have sold dogs to individuals as well as brokers, I have friends that are professional breeders that sell exclusively to brokers, I have done rescue work, obtained and executed seizures and search warrants on several dog hoarders, unlicensed breeders and other cases of animal cruelty. I am a contradiction, I am an American and proud defender of the constitution. I say if you find the perfect animal for you at a shelter, broker or wherever. Then be proud and love that animal based on the animal, not where you bought it from and don’t let anyone tell you that you are a lesser person for buying a dog from a shelter or broker.

      • You appear to be conflating wholly unrelated ideas here. One can be “an American and proud defender of the constitution” without supporting the cruelty of puppy mills and puppy brokering. Any compassionate animal owner is going to “love that animal based on the animal, not where you bought it from” because obviously no one is going to withhold love from an animal for any arbitrary reason such as birthplace. This has nothing to do with choosing to promote and support puppy mills and puppy brokering and everything to do with basic humanity.

        I notice you state that you have “obtained and executed seizures and search warrants on several dog hoarders, unlicensed breeders and other cases of animal cruelty.” I presume “other cases of animal cruelty” includes USDA licensed breeders, such as those the Hunte Corp. partners with, as they have a notorious record for cruelty violations. If that is the case, thank you for doing your job to uphold the law and protect the community from animal abusers but it does seem contradictory for you to support these inhumane practices. If that is not the case and you have never been involved with a cruelty case against a USDA licensed breeding facility, I’m sure you’ll let us know.

      • Crystal

         /  November 21, 2013

        YesBisuit, have you ever been to Hunte or a USDA kennel? Because you appear to have fallen for the AR rhetoric and the false information they present to the public. We live here and have first hand knowledge and can back up what we say. In Jasper County there have not been any animal cruelty cases against USDA licensed kennels, only unlicensed breeders and hoarder type situations.This is because USDA kennels are inspected and held to a higher standard of care than your average home type breeder. The dogs they raise are in good conditions. You may choose to buy your puppy from a rescue or wherever you want, that is your right. But you shouldn’t be telling USDA breeders they don’t have the right to raise dogs just because you don’t like the way they do it. I am seeing a lot of armchair quarterbacking from people who think they know more half a country away than the people that actually are in the situation. I think if you came to our area and got to know the local USDA breeders and Hunte (like our local law enforcement does) you might change your mind about some things. I see a situation coming shortly where all law enforcement will be desperate for good K-9 candidates and they will be getting their dogs from any source they can, including USDA breeders. The inflated pet overpopulation problem and the resulting laws have eliminated many of the smaller specialty breeders that traditionally provide dogs for law enforcement. Even more damaging is the new USDA law affecting all breeders with 4 or more females, many smaller breeders will be unable to comply with the requirements to be USDA, many of them will be forced to stop raising dogs. Very soon almost ALL breeders will be USDA breeders, so if USDA breeders are bad where does someone get a purpose bred dog? But that is the point of it all isn’t it, first no purpose bred dogs, then no dogs at all.

      • I don’t need to visit a puppy mill to know it’s wrong to treat dogs that way. I’ve read many reports from USDA inspectors and have seen how USDA breeders are in fact NOT held to the already minimal and inherently cruel standards set for them. That’s one problem. Another is the idea that if we don’t have puppy mills, we won’t have dogs one day soon. Anyone promoting such propaganda is not being responsible. I support responsible breeding – always have. Puppy mills are not in any way, shape or form responsible breeding. The “best” ones are inhumane and the worst are torture facilities.

        On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM, YesBiscuit!

      • Crystal

         /  November 21, 2013

        I didn’t ask if you had visited a “puppymill” I asked if you had visited a USDA breeder. They are NOT the same thing. Have you ever actually been to an USDA kennel? I am having visions of the Geico french model commercial.

      • Trolling is not allowed here. I answered your question. Now you are badgering. One time warning to knock it off.

        On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM, YesBiscuit!

  9. Crystal

     /  November 19, 2013

    Actually this puppy was donated by the Hunte Corp to the sheriffs dept to be trained as a working dog. They also donate dog food for the local sheriff’s office K-9′s. Hunte has been wonderful to support our local Sheriff’s Office and they are very much appreciated.

    Reply

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