Consider the cost of the pet store

Published 5:59 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

To the editor:

How many of us have been to a little pet shop selling absolutely precious puppies along a wall, often displayed beautifully, in white boxes, with glass fronts, for the world to see? They couldn’t be cuter if they tried, could they? But at what cost?

I don’t simply mean the $2,000 to $4,000 price tag that comes along with purchasing one of these puppies; I also refer to the moral cost. The suffering that is endured by the parents of these designer dogs is enormous — lives full of cramped confined spaces, being repeatedly bred until no longer able, only to be euthanized, sanitary conditions that are sub-par and often are a festering ground for illness and disease, not to mention the lack of love and socialization they experience their entire lives, leading to many behavioral problems.

One can rationalize and say, “but they are already in the store and this puppy looks healthy and sweet!” Ignorance cannot be bliss in such a situation, because there is even more sadness created from such purchases. Not only does each purchase support a business that is based on suffering, but also we have the after effects of fewer adoptions at shelters, more owner surrenders in areas with such stores, along with increases in vet reports of genetic abnormalities such as epilepsy or degenerative disorders.

The concept that is crucial to understand is that no responsible breeder would raise puppies for eight weeks, spend the large sum of money on vetting and licensing fees, then sell them to a pet store to put them in a small window box away from their mother until finally purchased. The sources are not ethical — they are not safe living environments. Dogs are meant to be members of our family, not merchandise.

If you see unethical practices, please say something and stay informed! Together we can help this dire situation.

Andrea Hudson

Courtland