Tara Fleming, who owns two pet stores in Pennsylvania, recently came before the Guilford CT Planning and Zoning commission with plans to open a pet store that will sell puppies in the Walmart/Big Y shopping plaza in Guilford. This will be, we believe, the 18th store in the state to offer the sale of puppies bred specifically for commercial sale.
Retail puppy stores as group help sustain the multi-million dollar puppy mill industry, a cruel money-making machine that results in breeder dogs living in cages for their entire reproductive lives, often under filthy and unsafe conditions. Puppies are bred without regard to genetic diseases and overall health. Reputable breeders do not sell their dogs through puppy stores-- they place each puppy they have bred themselves rather than placing them as inventory in a retail environment.
In addition, retail puppy sales serve to reduce the number of adoptions of rescued and shelter dogs and puppies-- millions of which are euthanized each year. Puppies are not products, and they should not be retail inventory. They should be carefully placed after a full adoption questionnaire establishes that the acquiring family has the resources and commitment to be a successful and caring dog owner. Moreover, a retail strip shopping center is an inappropriate location for any live animal operation, particularly when in proximity to food stores. How many animals will be living there? How will their waste be disposed of? Will the animals be exercised, and if so, where? The image of the shopping center, and particularly its anchor stores, Big Y and Walmart will be tarnished by the inclusion of a business profiting from the suffering of helpless animals.
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