Saturday, March 7, 2009

How not to buy a puppy

Did you catch the CBC Marketplace episode on pet store pups? If not, it's here.

I'm especially glad they took on P.J.'s Pets in Toronto. Bunch of wanks.

Also, an Oscar should go to the executive director of PIJAC Canada (PIJAC being a pet industry lobby group), who gave the most realistic performance ever of a man pretending to be a man pretending to be shocked when learning about the puppy mill origins of pet store dogs. Judging from the stony, sweaty response when confronted with the falsehoods pushed by those pet stores he represents, I'd bet that as soon as the interview was over, he went back into his kitchen and gulped down a mug or two of whiskey and ate a couple of puppies for lunch.

More on Dinglehopper, the Pomeranian in the Marketplace episode, here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that link, Fred. Like a shiba inu, I promptly forgot your instructions and flipped channels desperately after the show was over.

The PIJAC guy is right up there with Paul "we feel your pain" Henderson of Menu Foods.

I found the ending a bit weird, where the little eskie was dumped off at a breeder's rescue place. Did they just buy the dog for the show? I'd never have been able to part with that little cutie.

jan said...

When we see something like that on TV, we all break into a chorus of "I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked."

The humans say this. The dogs don't talk.

Fred said...

redstarcafe, yeah, that ending was a bit weird. I don't know if they bought the dog for the show or the owner just decided she couldn't deal.

Male said...

Woooh, finally getting up the courage to COMMENT! I've been reading your blog for...well, since day one, actually. Only posting my appreciation for your words now, mind you, and I'm glad you let people know about this documentary. It's a shame it wasn't as well-thought out as the directors and producers thought.

The documentary was...nothing new. It tells us the same things we've heard over and over, which is fine and dandy for the new folks on the block because they don’t know, but at the same time, the people featured in the movie were mind-bogglingly peculiar. Who is this Isa person? An employee of the network?

Isa bought a puppy. Within the first twenty seconds of the report, they bought a puppy from a store, and then the documentary told us why we SHOULD NOT buy a puppy from a pet shop. Whoever Isa is, she's either incredibly brave to be going into this, condemning a few more dogs to death and bringing up her vet bills in order to educate people...or she's a freakin' git.

I can’t help but feel this is just going to encourage self-proclaimed rescuers to go in and do their thing.

Plus, this big deal over submissive peeing; it’s not nearly as horrific as the documentary first tells us. “It’s a SERIOUS problem!” Yeah, some times. Sometimes, under-socialized dogs have it. Some times, perfectly fine, well-bred, well-cared for, well-trained dogs have the problem too.

The whole front section of the report just seems a bit…well, they KNEW this, so why didn’t they tell Isa? Wasn’t there some other way then informing the public than by buying a puppy at a pet shop just to prove a point/ That’s a touch like firing a gun in a court room just to prove it makes a loud noise.

…then that last bit, Isa practically abandoning the dog to a rescue so the puppy can have ‘a puppyhood she never had’. Then just…-why-? Why buy the dog in the first place and not do that yourself?

The documentary needed some real thought put into it, and less of the regurgitated worms we eat every time someone produces a ‘pet store dog = b a d’ shindig.


Fred said...

Male, your points are well taken. The behaviour of some of the people in the show was preposterous at best and it's unfortunate that they had to be involved in perpetuating the victimization of dogs in order to perhaps help stop victimization of dogs.

The show is geared towards the consumer so it's focus was all on how inconvenient it is for someone to end up with a "substandard" puppy from an unhappy background as opposed to seeing it from the dog's perspective.

Hopefully, it'll still help raise public concern over the plight of puppy mill dogs and not just about the impact on someone's wallet.

Caveat said...

We've been telling people for 25 years not to buy pet shop pups. By 'we' I mean everybody.

I thought the show was excellent because it wasn't sensational or overly lurid so it wouldn't turn off Joe Average who knows diddley about the issue(s).

A lot of people watch Marketplace and I'm glad they named PJ's because they've been bad for years. I don't know the place in Van but it looks about the same.

Hopefully, the message will get through the thick heads out there eventually.

When you buy a puppy retail, you perpetuate the business. The only way to shut down mills without harming decent breeders is to STOP buying overpriced puppies of unknown origin from pet shops. I worry less about the pups and more about the parents who are stuck in those awful places.

I was chuckling over the 'pedigree' the people got from the pet shop. It's not a registration certificate, it's something done up on fancy paper and I'll bet the names are made up.

I usually tell people that if they want a mutt puppy, they can get them from farmers who have been careless for about $50 and these are usually healthy dogs, lab x shepherd or x collie types. They can visit a real dog breeder whom they can learn about by attending a dog show and asking around. Or, if they are newbies, they can't go wrong with adopting an adult dog from a shelter - the easiest way to to introduce yourself to dog ownership with the least chance of making serious mistakes that will come back to haunt you.