Put an end to South Carolina pet stores selling puppy mill pets.
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Follow California's lead: AB-485
South Carolina can be the next state to ban the sales of dogs, cats, rabbits, (with the addition of guinea pigs) in retail stores unless the animal comes from a registered shelter or rescue.
Pet stores in South Carolina are legally allowed to sell puppies, kittens, and other animals that come from commercial breeders. Corporate retail stores are not the only culprit; a locally owned pet store named Pet Village in York, South Carolina buys their puppies from breeders (I am not aware of where their other animals come from).
One weekend, I decided to check out Pet Village. When I walked in, I was immediately presented with three different breeds of puppies (sold for around $500 each) jumping around in kiddie pools: two Chihuahuas, two Australian Shepherds, and a Toy Poodle. I asked one of the workers at Pet Village, Linda, for the name of the treating veterinarian for those puppies she was selling. She refused to disclose this information. Instead she provided me with the name of the breeder and claimed the puppies were given vaccinations by said breeder (which cannot be verified by a vet that the puppies were vaccinated). When I researched this breeder, I could not find any information on her that was publicly available.
I shared this story via email with the South Carolina State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, Kimberly Kelly. Kim is not familiar with Pet Village, but she said, "Reputable breeders do not allow their puppies to be sold through third parties, so it's highly likely that they [the puppies] were sourced from a commercial breeder (puppy mill)."
There is a stark difference between purchasing animals from a reputable breeder, and purchasing animals from commercial breeders (such as "puppy mills," an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane).
Pet stores can still flourish and profit while helping animals state wide if legislation was passed to only allow them to work with shelters and canine/feline rescues, as opposed to doing business with commercial breeders.
The sheer volume of animals that are destroyed for lack of a good home has reached a state of crisis. By following the current example of a state like California with such a legislation in place can only serve positively for the betterment of these harmless animals.
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