PA Pet Store Chain Importing Shelter Animals from the South

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?

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19 Comments

  1. If this is on the up and up, it should be fairly simple for them to provide the documentation. Then statements could be made pointing to hard facts rather than on the basis of “we believe.”

    Regardless of whether this is being done right, I assume HSUS is being used for vetting authority because it’s a name people recognize, rather than because they are doing a better job than they do on vetting shelters they dump their puppy mill rescues in.

    Reply
  2. Here is the state where Oprah did her feature a few years ago about all the terrible horrible no good breeders in Pennsylvania; Amish or otherwise. Now due to the public misperceptions about commercial breeders in the US, there are rescues who import from the Caribbean, and how do we know that puppies shipped in from other countries are not bred for the rescue trade? With US breeders suffering from a bad rap from animal extremist groups, the stage is set for Cruelty Without Borders.

    Reply
    • The perceptions of “commercial breeders” are quite accurate. The only Caribbean island I’ve heard of rescue dogs coming from routinely is Puerto Rico, which is part of the US.

      It has to be done properly, and safely for the animals, but pet stores becoming ng a venue for rehoming shelter animals rather than a retail outlet for puppy mills is a *good* thing. And transport rescue dine properly is also a good thing.

      But those doing it should be able to answer some fairly basic questions, such as health documentation, and discuss issues such as “why from there rather than here?”

      Reply
  3. bestuvall

     /  December 10, 2014

    you can almost bet there are 0 “pit bulls” being sold.. and of course there are dogs killed everyday in their very state.. BUT they are usually not the cute little dogs that people buy ( not adopt) Here is what the ASPCA says about “transport from the excellent Time 4 Dogs blog:
    “ASPCA: Puppies Are Widgets in our Stores
    The rescue relocation shuffle among animal shelters, the new pet stores, is being justified by this statement from an ASPCA senior director:

    “It is a supply and demand issue,” Monterose said. “If you had a store and you had extra widgets at one store, and people were buying up widgets at another store, wouldn’t you move your widgets?”

    Ah, NOW I understand. When the humaniac rescuers at the ASPCA and elsewhere claim that “Puppies AREN’T Products” what they really mean to say is, “Puppies ARE Widgets”. Glad they cleared that up for us. ”
    Many “rescues” are now taking orders for “the puppy you want” not the puppy they have.
    “Still not finding the right dog? Have no fear! We rescue new dogs every week. You can also tell us what you are looking for and we will let our rescuer know to keep an eye out for that perfect match.”
    Yeah Have no fear.. I wish it were that easy

    Reply
  4. anne davis

     /  December 10, 2014

    These are questions I ask myself every time I see someone on FB pages such as Urgent Pt. 2 and Pets on Death Row saying they will adopt a dog or cat here in NYC when they live in an area 100s of miles away. Aren’t there any animals in local shelters that need homes?

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  December 10, 2014

      It comes down to marketing. We have a shelter here that “markets” their animals by posting on the county’s website. Terrible photos, terrified animals on grate floors. But they don’t use pet finder or social media AT ALL, so no one sees them.

      Urgent Pt.2 has tons of cross posting and people SEE the animals. So yes, they want to help, want to save. All the while, they don’t KNOW that it’s going on right in their own back yard. And maybe they don’t want to know? Maybe it’s easier to rescue an animal in another state because that distance keeps you from seeing what’s happening down the street from you?

      Reply
      • Jennifer

         /  December 10, 2014

        On Urgent Pt. 2 I have let people know about rescues and/or shelters that are high kill in their area. I recently posted after someone in Iowa stated that they could not find a rescue Doberman. There were some on Petfinder but I referred her to a Doberman rescue in Nebraska. These people waste resources because they have been told they cannot adopt unless they show up in person or live within about 300 miles of NYC to foster from a NH rescue. They cannot understand why one cannot ship a dog to anywhere-I guess they do not know how much it costs and that the dog has to have a health certificate and cannot fly when it is too hot or too cold!

  5. angelsflight4ever

     /  December 10, 2014

    “Retail Rescue” and a facet of the “rescue racket” at its worst……….and the reason it is this way with some people (and the rise in registered not-for-profits with the various states, and also the rise in 501c3 animal rescue filings with the IRS rose dramatically beginning in about 2008, and it is still rising because without complete transparency and IN-DEPTH accountability for rescues being a requirement instead of on a voluntary basis, swindlers and con-artists are preying on “marks” who either don’t know how to fact check, they are too passive to fact check, they really are afraid of what they might find out about their favorite rescue they support with their donation dollars, they are afraid of being bullied, stalked, harassed, or having an AET “seizure scam” attack launched against them, or perhaps all of the above) is because of the easy “crisis” and/or “sympathy/pity” donation $$$ (and it is astonishing how quickly a good con-artist/liar can ramp-up a “social media madness mob” of people they can get to go on the attack on someone or something and they simply stand back and keep dropping more bombs that keep the mob roiling and attacking), the excitement of “drama rescue”, egos get really, really large, and some people have never accomplished anything in their lives and have either found their niche in ‘rescue’, or they really NEED that “15 minutes of fame” and want to ride that ride as far as it will go.

    And why are the animals being sold in pet stores and other retail outlets coming to those outlets from out-of-the-area?
    Because it is harder for people who have lost their animals, or perhaps an owner gave them to what they thought was the proverbial “forever home” (as told to them by someone posing as a “good home”, when what they really are is an animal broker posing as a ‘rescue’), people that have stolen animals take them out of the area to sell so it isn’t as easy to catch them, and over-all, it is more difficult to trace and identify an animal and find out what is happening with them if they are not locally located.

    Reply
  6. Yeah, I have lots of questions, the main one being “WHY?” What exactly are they doing here? Killing the “less adoptable” (older, treatable/manageable medical issues, pit bulls, etc) animals in their local shelters and then importing highly adoptable animals from the South? If that’s the case, then it seems to me that the time and money that’s going into transport would be better spent on caring for and marketing their local animals.

    Reply
  7. mikken

     /  December 10, 2014

    I would be curious as to how many they sell and what the average age is.

    The whole transporting thing is just disturbing. PA is a HUGE state – surely there are LOTS of puppies dying in shelters all over PA every day (especially older ones that the millers just dumped)? Why transport so far when doing so is very stressful on an immature immune system?

    Why transport? What’s the money involved? Is it profitable for the shelters? How long before they are “producing” puppies to “rescue”?

    Too many questions. I applaud the idea of not supporting the Hunte Corporation et al, but is this just an end run around to the same essential thing?

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth

     /  December 10, 2014

    HSUS is going to “vet the dogs”. Right – like they are qualified. 13 Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS
    1) HSUS scams Americans out of millions of dollars through manipulative and deceptive advertising. An analysis of HSUS’s TV fundraising appeals that ran between January 2009 and September 2011 determined that more than 85 percent of the animals shown were cats and dogs. However, HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter and only gives 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters, and it has spent millions on anti-farming and anti-hunting political campaigns.
    2) Six Members of Congress have called for a federal investigation of HSUS. In April 2011, six Congressmen wrote the IRS Inspector General showing concerns over HSUS’s attempts to influence public policy, which they believe has “brought into question [HSUS’s] tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.”
    3) HSUS’s own donors feel deceived. A 2012 poll of over 1,000 self-identified HSUS donors found that 80 percent of HSUS’s own donors think the group “misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters.” A second poll, conducted last year, found that 84% of donors think “HSUS misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters.”
    4) HSUS receives poor charity-evaluation marks. CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) has issued several “D” ratings for HSUS in recent years over the group’s wasteful spending practices. CharityWatch , finding that HSUS spends as little as 50 percent of its budget on its programs. CharityWatch now gives HSUS a donor advisory and NO rating. Additionally, the 2013 Animal People News Watchdog Report discovered that HSUS spends 55 percent of its budget on overhead costs.
    5) HSUS regularly contributes more to its own pension plan than it does to pet shelters. An analysis of HSUS’s tax returns determined that HSUS funneled $16.3 million to its executive pension plan between 1998 and 2009—over $1 million more than HSUS gave to pet shelters during that period.
    6) The pet sheltering community believes HSUS misleads Americans. According to a nationally representative poll of 400 animal shelters, rescues, and animal control agencies, 71 percent agree that “HSUS misleads people into thinking it is associated with local animal shelters.” Additionally, 79 percent agree that HSUS is “a good source of confusion for a lot of our donors.”
    7) While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS’s then vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS’s goal is to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry” and that “we don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed [for food].”
    8) Given the massive size of its budget, HSUS does relatively little hands-on care for animals. While HSUS claims it “saves” more animals than any other animal protection group in the US, most of the “care” HSUS provides is in the form of spay-neuter assistance. In fact, local groups that operate on considerably slimmer budgets, such as the Houston SPCA, provide direct care to more animals than HSUS does.

    9) HSUS’s CEO has said that convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” Following Vick’s release from prison, HSUS has helped “rehabilitate” Michael Vick’s public image. Of course, a $50,000 “grant” from the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t hurt.
    10) HSUS’s senior management includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as “terrorists” by the FBI. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle hired John “J.P.” Goodwin in 1997, the same year Goodwin described himself as “spokesperson for the ALF” while he fielded media calls in the wake of an ALF arson attack at a California meat processing plant. In 1997, when asked by reporters for a reaction to an ALF arson fire at a farmer’s feed co-op in Utah (which nearly killed a family sleeping on the premises), Goodwin replied, “We’re ecstatic.”
    11) HSUS’s senior management includes others who have voiced support for terroristic acts. HSUS chief policy officer Mike Markarian has written that “A perfect example of effective rebellion is an Animal Liberation Front raid on a laboratory.” HSUS food policy director Matt Prescott, meanwhile, has written that “I also believe in the actions of the ALF and other such groups.” (Prescott is a former PETA activist.)
    12) HSUS just lost a lawsuit under federal racketeering law. Feld Entertainment sued HSUS and two of its in-house lawyers under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for allegedly participating in a scheme to pay a witness who lied in court. Court documents indicate that HSUS sent at least four payments to one of the witness-paying vehicles in the alleged scheme. HSUS et al. has been ordered to pay $15.75 million to Feld.
    13) CharityWatch found that HSUS violated IRS rules for three years. The watchdog group pointed out in its Fall 2013 issue that HSUS had improperly inflated its revenue. HSUS has since revised its revenue THIS is very good news. Missouri House Speaker, Tim Jones sets up committee to investigate Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s corruption. That would include Koster’s “Puppy Mill Task Force” which has been targeting Missouri licensed dog breeders.

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth

     /  December 10, 2014

    Written for a Lancaster PA newspaper and published on the Dog Legislation list, Shelter & Rescue Imports provides excellent research, statistics, and profit involved in imported mutts. 2010 estimates for dogs imported exceed $40,000,000, thus the title:
    SHELTERS TRAFFICKING IN DOGS
    – For a Fee

    L.D. Witouski © TheDogPlace – February 2010 – Recently, a letter was sent to the Editor in a Lancaster, Pennsylvania newspaper regarding the dishonesty of rescue organizations. The comment section was especially interesting since many did not believe the facts in the letter.

    Since the Oprah show, highlighting “puppy mills”, many people have questioned why the State has not done anything about the conditions that were shown. It could be that there is some type of arrangement between those that “rescue” dogs that are “no longer wanted or needed” and the facilities shown on the Oprah expose’. It was interesting to note that in an interview, the man that has been hailed a hero, by some, for bringing these dogs to Oprah’s attention, stated that he was counting on the Amish that were featured in the Oprah show – not having televisions. Having made such a comment tends to lead one to believe that something is not exactly as originally stated and even more so questionable since the Pa. Dog Law Bureau is having a difficult time identifying those “kennels”. However, that isn’t the subject of this article and I only mention it because the Oprah show opened other doors related to the subject.

    In reading the comments regarding the LTE mentioned above, the writer was asked to prove her allegations. Many of those that commented simply refused to believe that dogs were being imported into the United States by rescue groups. One particular individual asked why this phenomena would occur since there are, allegedly, so many homeless dogs available in shelters and rescues across the country. Another person commented that dogs had to sit for 6-8 weeks before entering U.S. soil. Rather than research the subjects themselves, to see just how duped they have been by animal rights activists, they accused the writer of misinformation.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has regulations on the importation of dogs and cats into the United States. In general, they require that dogs be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry, except for puppies younger than 3 months and dogs originated or located for 6 months in areas considered to be free of rabies. A dog with an unexpired health certificate meets these requirements. This information is verifiable at the CDC website. The US Department of Agriculture has certain restrictions on the importation of dogs imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies. Only those dogs that are to be used in the handling of livestock must be inspected and quarantined at the port of entry for a sufficient time to determine their freedom from tapeworm. Dogs that are imported into Hawaii are quarantined for 130 days. There are no quarantine regulations for “pets” or “strays”. It is monetarily advantageous for groups with a “non-profit” status, who, at the same time, claim the country is “overpopulated,” to import puppies for resale or “adoption” – for a non-reportable fee.

    There are some special circumstances regarding dogs imported from areas known to be infested with screwworms or foot and mouth disease, but the general rule is that all dogs are only subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans. As a result of this missing link in governmental importation regulation, statistics of imported dogs are estimated according to Port of Entry reporting.

    On April 2, 2008, the Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases of the CDC, filed a report regarding Importation of Dogs into the United States and in the summary of that report it states:

    “The importation of dogs into the United States poses a risk for the introduction of rabies and other zoonotic diseases. Federal regulations (42 CFR 71.51) currently require proof of valid rabies vaccination for imported dogs, but allow the importation of some unvaccinated dogs, including dogs less than 3 months of age, provided certain requirements for confinement are met until the dog is vaccinated. Although there are no accurate surveillance data on the number of dogs imported each year, it is estimated based on extrapolated data that over 287,000 dogs were imported into the United States during 2006. Of these, approximately 25% were either too young to be vaccinated or lacked proof of valid rabies vaccination. Import trends suggest that an increasing number of unvaccinated puppies are being imported into the United States, mostly through commercial resale or rescue operations.”

    Since 2006, that 287,000 per year has doubled. Importation from Canada, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies, where no regulations are required, continues on a daily basis. The majority of dogs imported are puppies and small breeds that are far more acceptable to the general public than large dogs and much easier to resale or adopt out – for a fee.

    Not counted in the CDC’s estimated number of imports are those dogs that are brought into the country by various groups, such as Compassion Without Borders (who partners with another organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico to bring MexiMutts into the U.S). United Hope for Animals in Southern California, Doglandia (a People’s guide to Mexico, asks to adopt a dog during your trip to the country), Blue RoadRunner, and SAMM (Save a Mexican Mutt) are only a handful of such groups bringing dogs into the United States from Mexico. This doesn’t include those groups bringing dogs in from Central America, Puerto Rico or the West Indies. These imported dogs are flown, driven, shipped, transported and sent to shelters throughout the United States. Shelter owners say the importation programs are safe, moral and in demand. Although the work that these people do is admirable, one has to ask – What are their definitions of safe and moral? Bringing in dogs of questionable background and health issues from other countries while our own American dogs are euthanized is NOT safe or moral nor humane for those dogs already in shelters across the U.S. Accusing American breeders of causing overpopulation and high shelter kill rates is not safe, moral, just or fair, especially when the problems exist all – for a fee.

    Groups that convince the public that breeding should be restricted or banned should be looked at closely by legislators. Somebody has got to ask the question sooner or later. If all breeding is regulated, restricted or banned, how would these non profit groups continue to operate? The answer is simple. They don’t need breeders here. They can continue to plead to the American public’s emotions about some dog in BF Egypt while they pursue the removal of the American dog breeders and their Constitutional Rights. That’s how big business works. In order to make more money, to get more orders or to increase the profit margin, they remove anything or anybody that could be remotely considered as competition while still keeping their sources in place. You won’t see non profit importing groups pushing for the demise of all breeding or mandatory sterilization in those countries. It’s not good sense to eliminate your sources if your intention is to continue in the business of filling shelters and rescue groups offering animals that were “rescued from a puppy mill” to the unsuspecting public to adopt – for a fee.

    Now that you have access to verifiable facts, you can ask those who do the importing yourself. More than likely, you’ll be told they do it “to save the dogs”. You can then ask them why they aren’t spending that money and time on the alleged “oversurplus” dogs that are already here. I wonder if any of them will be honest enough to tell you. The general public needs to learn to research issues and think for themselves prior to repeating comments that they have been spoon fed over the years. They need to stop listening to those whose intentions are less than honest and ask for facts and verifiable proof – or can you only get that information from those who lead you down their dishonest, profitable path – for a fee?

    http://www.thedogplace.org/SHELTERS/Shelter-Imports-10021_Witouski.asp #1110

    Reply
  10. Joan H

     /  December 11, 2014

    One has t ask too just yesterday the NSALA got 92 dogs from CA (CA has an alarming number of puppies was said) so NSALA stepped in and took them. Ready for adoption on Friday. Now I have no problem helping CA as i see the amount of small adoptable dogs they kill rarely quickly BUT why doesn’t NSALA ever pull from the NYACC, NEVER have they. In fact, they are known to dump their unadoptable castoffs at the NYACC. I stopped my donations that very day. And NY rescues have pulled alot from the Bahamas. Why? they get them cheap and make a bigger profit. Not all rescues are good rescues. If all pet shops got their dogs from shelters how great would that be? But I don’t see it being profitable for them at all. People want puppies. I have a running battle with the pet shop in my town who insists she get her dogs from USDA approved breeders. She does her research on them for hours and hours per week too. Yet she won’t tell me where she gets them from. Puppymill puppies!!! People don’t get that part either. They think pet shops get dogs from breeders. People also have such misconceptions of shelter dogs it’s a damn shame.

    Reply
    • Joan H

       /  December 11, 2014

      sorry for the typos my phone has a mind of it’s own.
      *Now I have no problem helping CA as i see the amount of small adoptable dogs they kill RATHER quickly

      Reply
  11. Anne Thomas

     /  December 11, 2014

    Elizabeth, it is legal for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to influence legislation; I’m currently involved with one that has done so, and we carefully checked the tax law and spoke with experts in nonprofit law before we did so. What is illegal is influencing the outcome of an election. Also, I’ve been a vegan for decades, I’m in favor of ending the raising of animals for food, and I have been aware for years that HSUS supports my goals. I don’t give them any money because of the harm they’ve done to dogs and cats, but I do still receive emails and texts from them, and they often mention proposed legislation regarding farm animals.

    Reply
  12. greg42

     /  December 11, 2014

    What I don’t understand is why someone would buy a shelter/rescue-sourced pet in a store for $400-500 when they could go directly to a shelter and give the shelter $100 or so for a pet. Or less. When we got our two cats a year ago it was during a no-fee time. I later gave them $100 anyway because I can afford it, but they weren’t requiring it. Anyway. I can only gather that for the truly uninformed who are looking for a pet, they just don’t realize what is available in a shelter or from a rescue organization. Or they think they will all be hard liners on conditions and home inspections or something. They just have an aversion to the shelters maybe. I don’t know, but I’ll come back to this at the end.

    Now in terms of the pet store I understand why they are doing it. They are doing it to have a markup and make money. In the stores that partner with LOCAL shelters and rescues, like the big chains Petsmart and Petco, they are just facilitating adoptions from the local organizations. There is not a markup, and the store has local goodwill by allowing the cats to stay in the store and be seen by customers, that sort of thing. Might be a little different for dogs since dogs typically don’t get to be constantly in the store with those programs, although they do run dog adoption days and so forth.

    So this pet store in the story, they are importing the pets from far away because if they partnered with closer organizations there really wouldn’t be a markup for them to make. Can you imagine a shelter organization wanting to turn over pets to a local store for them to sell at a steep profit? I think that might not fly easily from a PR perspective. But put some DISTANCE between the store and the organization, and the bad PR kind of fades away, especially if the sources in Kentucky and Georgia just don’t really care anyway, which is probably the case. Throwing HSUS into the mix lends an air of credibility for the average person. They don’t know that HSUS has no shelters and a poor track record in terms of actually doing anything useful for shelter animals. We know that, but we are more informed than most.

    One thing it does leave me wondering though is if there could be a happy medium, where a LOCAL shelter and local store like this COULD in fact partner in such a way that the store makes money and the shelter, via the store, finds homes for pets. I am guessing in general this sort of pet-selling store is reaching a customer that shelters wouldn’t reach, so there could be some upside all around there. It would just require letting go of that extra profit that the store is going to make, allowing for the fact that yes we will let them make it. It’s not lost money because it was never going to come to the shelter in the first place. If these stores can sell pets for $400, then the shelter could still get $100 for programs and the store could still get a big markup. That $300 difference was probably never going to a shelter.

    It’s a theory, of course, not a given, that some people can’t be reached. But look around at the way people react to things that they are suspicious of or outright dismissive of. People are set in their beliefs, and studies show that for many of them, the more you show that they are wrong, the more they cling to that wrong belief! In other words, in this case you might say there could be a lot of people who aren’t too keen interacting with a bunch of animal hugging do-gooders who still want a pet. ;-) We don’t bite, but you’re maybe just never going to convince a significant chunk of people to go the shelter route. So could they have a way to get a pet, some way not dissimilar to what this store is doing, where ultimately the homing of the pet still results in the source being a shelter?

    To me the transport does make this particular case suspect. The reason the transport is there is to make it easier to ignore the source, I have to think. Why else would it be there? Maybe the store would also be afraid that people would cut out the middleman and go directly to the local shelter? But maybe there is room for the source of this sort of endeavor to be local. I very much suspect, though, that the reason it isn’t is because of the local shelter organizations, not because of the store. I think they are probably leery of trying something like this where someone would be selling their animals at markup. And rightfully so. Something sounds…off, doesn’t it? But if executed well and monitored properly maybe it would be a good idea after all. It’s certainly not one that should be dismissed out of hand. I wonder if there are any examples of it happening already….

    Reply
  13. Jim

     /  December 12, 2014

    Replying to Anne Thomas re tax-exempt organizations and lobbying. Yes, 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to lobby for and craft legislation – but only if it represents a very small percentage of their activities and expenses. HSUS exceeds the IRS regulations by 1,000 miles and is, without a doubt, what nonprofit law experts call an “action organization.” HSUS has one or more full-time lobbyists in every state, violating the rules for both “direct lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying.” Lois Lerner blocked the formal IRS investigation of all of this, at the behest of HSUS leaders.

    While HSUS tries to mislead the public and the IRS as to the true amount of legislative lobbying it does, a careful analysis of both it’s legislation oriented activities – and the tens of millions spent on it – reveals the truth.

    Reply
    • I wish we could shut them down, or make them legally be who they really are (does that make any sense?). I hate those sappy ads (and the ASPCA with songs that make me cry) and how they mislead folks who really want to help the animals. If they are lobbyists, then be lobbyists and do that job well. It’s very sad, to me, how big everything is taking over this country and writing their own rules now.

      Reply
  14. As a long time animal advocate, I am very disturbed about this shelter animal shuffle(as a previous commenter stated.) I live in PA where this has become a disturbing trend. I have worked in shelters and with many rescues. You are correct that many animals are still being
    euthanized. But, NO ONE will address the root of the problem. The unregulated breeding of all animals. I have no problem with reputable breeders, as they care about where their animals are being placed, and will take them back. There is little to no adoption counseling at the shelter or at the pet store level. Not everyone that wants an animal should have one.
    With this animal shuffling you are enabling the millers and backyard breeders to continue their horrendous practices. So more badly bred animals, animals with health and behavior issues are ending up at shelters. Some will find good homes, but many are still being euthanized, and the cycle will continue. Animals fall under the Dept. of Ag in PA, which means big profits, so no elected officials want to do anything to regulate the breeding. Contact your elected officials and tell them you want them to work on legislation to stop
    unregulated breeding, that causes so much suffering and death. I have! Do not buy an animal from a pet store. Choose a reputable rescue if you want to rescue an animal. You will be thoroughly screened, as you should be, and that will be your assurance that the rescue cares about what happens to that animal. Do not shop in pet stores that sell animals, even small animals, as they also come from mills and are poorly cared for. Pet store employees know little to nothing about the animals they sell and give bad advise. They are only looking to make a buck at the animals expense.

    Reply

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