A man entered a series of pet stores in the state of New York and had some questions about the dogs and cats being sold there. In each of the shops, he had a simple question: where did the animals come from? He also wanted to know how often the breeders bred the mothers and if they skipped heats in order to rest in between litters. He also wanted to know the condition the animals were raised in and if they spent their entire young lives in outdoor wire cages. The answers the man received from the people working at the pet stores were vague and often wrong. They told him many of the dogs came from “hobby breeders” and some even said that puppy mills no longer exist. Sadly, puppy mills do very must exist.
The man had no idea how wrong many of the employees were—and where a search for the truth would lead. He was an undercover investigator for the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) and he filmed all of the visits to the stores to investigate the facilities that provide dogs and cats to the pet stores. The animals came from large commercial breeding facilities that provide animals to pet stores and to be sold online. Many of the owners of the stores or the employees claimed the dogs and puppies could run around in open yards and that dogs could retire from breeding after a few years or even that they could skip heat cycles to recover. Unfortunately, that was far from the truth. CAPS investigated dozen of pet stores in New York City and the state is considering banning the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
The hope is that banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores will mean the stores instead work with local rescue groups to help thousands of animals be adopted into loving homes. Those animals would otherwise face homelessness or even worse, euthanasia. This could potentially be a win-win situation for all involved, especially the dogs and cats.