This is posted with permission, and feel free to cross post to other boards. This is about a Bichon Rescue but applies to ALL breeds including doodle mixes!
" I heard that the local petstore had just gotten a puppy the day before and I went out and bought the little guy that day. He is a true Bichon, full of mischief and absolutely adorable. He takes my breath away and he has swept my husbands heart away as well."
This is what I have written back to the sender of this message. I wanted to share it with all of you and ask you to cross post it in every possible place that you can think of...on every dog message board on the Internet. If it keeps one person from making this same mistake, it was worth it.
Hi XXXX, Bonnie just told me of your new purchase, and I'm so saddened and disappointed that I don't even really know what to say.
You see, all of us involved in Small Paws Rescue, work day and night, 7 days a week, 356 days a year, to try to educate people, so they do not go into a pet shop and buy a puppy there.
The problem with folks buying pups from the pet shops is...as soon as that one puppy walks out the door...they call the Hunte Corporation and order at least one more Bichon puppy from the puppy mills of Missouri and from that moment on, we in rescue, have to work just that much harder.
Soon the word gets back to the puppy millers that Bichons are starting to sell again in the pet shops to the public...and the brokers start ordering more Bichons from the mills...and the millers start breeding them again, which only puts more stress on little ones like this 11 month old baby girl...still a baby herself, who had 4 puppies recently.
If SPR hadn't gotten her out of the mill, she would have died having these babies, as her water sac was stuck half in and half out...it took the vet to deliver her first and last litter of babies. The millers don't use vets. This baby needed a vet or she would have died giving birth.
With every pet shop Bichon puppy sale, they simply call and order another one.
I guess I have come to think of this like war. In a war, you are sadly, going to have casualties, as awful as that sounds. If a shop has to keep a pup for a while, feed and clean up after this pup for a while, they may think that Bichons are too hard to sell, and not order another one. That is our goal in rescue. That is when we know we are making a difference.
If a Bichon pup stays there for a while, and they have a hard time selling it, it may actually SAVE the lives of several hundred MORE Bichons, the ones not yet bred and born in a mill because the miller didn't get another order, because the pet shop didn't sell that one Bichon puppy.
We have actually heard this from pet shops all over the country...that Bichons are too hard to sell, too much trouble, and so many of the Pet Shops have stopped carrying Bichons, all together.
Without the pet shops, the puppy mills would go out of business. It is their retail outlet. Without the pet shops, they have nowhere to sell their puppies...their product, which they produce in mass...in many of the most awful conditions you can ever imagine.
I hate to see a puppy sitting in a pet shop...but remember this, the length of time that one may sit there...may save hundreds more of his future brothers and sisters.
I know that I sound passionate about this subject. Maybe the reason for that is that I see this from a different angle. Just as some of you have gone into a pet shop and looked into the soft brown eyes of that cuddly tail wagging baby Bichon puppy in the window, I go to the mills...to the actual rural and hidden from the public properties, where these puppies are bred and born and their parents live in wire bottomed cages, barely large enough in many cases, for them to turn around.
Over the years, I have looked into the fear and pain filled eyes of hundreds of adult Bichons, (Once a female has come into her first heat, and able to have babies, they consider her to be an adult) seemingly begging me to rescue them from their captors.
I have been to several hundred commercial kennels in the past 6 years, (sometimes I have to go to several mills in one week to pick up their culls, adults that are no longer profitable because they are too sick or old to make much money anymore OR...we have also gotten culls because of a lack of demand in the Pet Shops for Bichons! YES!) and I have seen things with my own eyes that are unspeakable.
Each time another pet shop Bichon puppy is purchased, I know what yet another female puppymill Bichon mama must go through when another puppy is ordered by that same pet store to replace the one that was just purchased.
It's never the puppies in the pet shops that I worry most for...it's the mamas and daddies still living, or should I say existing, in the puppy mills of our country...many of whom are now retired and residing in the laps of luxury, right now with many of our Small Pawsers.
Those now rescued Small Paws puppy mill Bichons, were once still living in the mills, before their rescue...and someone was somewhere, buying a pet shop Bichon puppy.
It's the very thing that made those now loved and pampered Bichons,...have to go to work yet again...have yet another litter without the benefit of a vet, if they needed it. Without a soft place to deliver. With only hard cold wire on which to drop their puppy....some of these girls have had up to 20 litters...and their uteruses fall apart during a spay. We had that happen last week in Iowa.
Someone's future puppy mill Bichon hasn't been rescued yet. They are still Bichons-in-Waiting. I just want to prevent them from having to go through this one more time before we can maybe get them out. Pregnant dogs in puppy mills die every day. If we can prevent even one more pregnancy, due to one less pet shop order, we may have saved a life.
I'm still hoping that folks will make that pet shop keep those pups for a while, feed them for a while, clean up after them for a while so that maybe, they won't be so quick to order two-three more just like him when he does finally sell.
Wouldn't it be great if all shops would join the several others across the country that we hear about each week, who no longer carry Bichons because "Bichons are out of fashion now....their fad days are over."
Pet Shops are retail stores. When a shirt sells in a retail store, inventory is marked. Another one in the same size and color is ordered to replace it.
BUT...if it takes a while to sell that shirt, and it has to be marked down to sell, the store owner doesn't rush out to order another one just like it.
Sadly, the way these pet shops work is no different. They don't see these pups as lives, as souls, but only as a way to make a dollar with as little expenditures as possible.
Another sad fact is that there are loving precious creatures in pet shops all over our country tonight. The only way to shut down the mills for good is to close off their retail outlets. WITHOUT PET SHOP SALES THE PUPPY MILLS GO OUT OF BUSINESS.
The number of pet shops have gone down in number by over 50% in the last four years across our country...because of so much education about where these babies come from, and the agony their parents go through.
I can't tell you how many people tell me, when I see them at the bashes all over our country "We got our Bichon at a Pet Shop...before we knew..."
Well, I guess that's what I feel I am supposed to do now. Come and tell you guys the truth about the pet shop connection to the puppy mills and then let you make up your own minds. Pet Shop puppies come from one place...and their Moms and Dads are still suffering there, even as I type this to you now through my tears. Love, Robin
Your Petstore Pup Author Unknown
Cherish your new petstore pup - Stand always by his side. Mend his ills and give him hugs And lots of fun car rides.
Feed him well and let him run To build his body strong. Play with him and give him treats. Love him his whole life long.
You’ll soon become his hero. He will not ask you for much. He’ll trade his lifelong loyalty For your kind word and touch.
Count him among your blessings, As you are his blessing, too, But then please do just one thing more When every day is through.
Take time to look into his eyes Each night you tuck him in. I bet you’ll see reflected there Two other pups like him.
They’ve never had a family, Soft bed, good food, nor fun. They live life out in a wire box - And never get to run.
They suffer searing heat at times, At others freezing cold, As weeks and months and years drag by While they are growing old.
So think about his mom and dad Who shine there through his eyes, And remember all the mill dogs Who are paying with their lives.
If they had ever had a chance, They’d have grown up like him, too, With years of love to give and get Before their lives were through.
You’ll never see them face to face - Such miracles are rare - But pray for your pup’s mom and dad, ‘Cause someone ought to care..
I have that conversation with some clients, Recently someone told me they rescued a puppy from a dirty pet store.She said it like she was a hero or something. I then explained that now she had emptied a cage for another puppy to fill it. Her excuse was that someone had to help it. I don't really think alot of people don't want to hear the truth or really care.As long as they get their puppy, thats all that matters.
The reason "Bichon" was refered so many times is because it was written by a Bichon rescue person. I didn't want to alter the wording of the original letter. The letter itself is meant to represent all breeds however as facts are facts about all parents of all breeds in mills.
Oh gosh. That definitely brought tears to my eyes. Sniff.
I know that I would never buy a puppy from a pet store. ... not even for all the money in the world.
It's too bad that there are still so many uneducated people out there who don't give it a second thought, either becuse they honestly don't know any better ... and there are some who don't know ... or because they don't care or they don't want to believe their pup could have come from a puppy mill.