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Puppy mill protesters target Lincoln Park's Pawsh Puppies

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jennkloc

I am a student journalist at DePaul University and an enthusiastic blogger for Lincoln Park Now. I am interested in community journalism, new media, and volunteering. My number one passion? Writing, of course!

You know those teeny-tiny, adorable little puppies that are all the rage in Lincoln Park? Well, they've worked some Chicagoans into a rage of their own.

Today at about 1:30 p.m., Twitter user @Davie_St posted two tweets about a big protest he discovered outside of Pawsh Puppies at 2120 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park:

@Davie_St: Passed a lively, homegrown protest outside a Lincoln Park froo-froo doggies-for-sale boutique. Looked like fun!
@Davie_St: Sign: "Here $1500 buys one sick dog. At animal shelters, $1500 adopts 150 dogs." Ah, good point.

tiny pocket puppy in pink by flikr user kellymcheese.jpg

A group of protesters from the Puppy Mill Project picketed outside Pawsh Puppies in Lincoln Park for 3 hours today, according to Pawsh Puppies store manager Alex Gershbeyn. Photo by flikr user kellymcheese.



According to Pawsh Puppies store manager Alex Gershbeyn, the protest was organized by a Chicago group called the Puppy Mill Project and, "they're just crazy," he said in a telephone interview.

He estimated that about 30 people with picket signs yelled and screamed at his customers as they came into the store from noon to 3 p.m. Despite the mob's efforts, Gershbeyn said that Pawsh sold 2 puppies during the protest.

"At the end of the day, they're just pissed off and angry at our success," Gershbeyn said.

If you check out the Yelp reviews for Pawsh Puppies, you will find more harsh criticism. Pawsh has 7 user reviews, all of only 1 or 2 stars out of a possible 5. Allegations of poor customer service and sick, puppy mill puppies dominate the company's Yelp page.

A serious comment war about Pawsh Puppies is waging on a San Francisco blogger's website as well, which furthers the negative publicity. Blogspot user Ana Poe blogs for her small business, Paco Collars, which refuses to sell accessories to any store that also sell pets.

According to a blog post from Ana Poe dating in March of this year, a Pawsh employee contacted her to see if they could supply Paco Collars at their Lincoln Park location. In the comments section, accusations of Pawsh buying from puppy mills run rampant. There is even a boycott threat dating as recently as November 10.

Still, Gershbeyn insists that Pawsh Puppies works with only good breeders who are USDA certified and thus subject to inspections to ensure that they meet federal standards. "We're huge animal lovers. We would never work with puppy mills," Gershbeyn said.

He claims that the Puppy Mill Project and other Pawsh haters are just angry at his store because, "there's so many dogs at shelters, and they just want everyone to adopt from shelters."

"If you come into our store, you know these aren't puppy mill puppies," Gershbeyn said. "There's a lot of pet stores out there that should be protested, but we're not one of them." He believes that the protesters' complaints would be better directed at actual puppy mills, not his store.

In January, John Fritchey (D-Chicago), who represents the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Springfield, proposed legislation that would crack down on puppy mills, according to an article from the Chicago Breaking News Center. The article credits Fritchey saying the bill is designed to prevent puppy mills from taking their factory-like approach to animal breeding, with an emphasis on maximum output with minimal cost and care.

The bill was backed by the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Last month, the Humane Society of the United States issued a puppy-friendly pet store pledge for pet store owners to sign as a result of the efforts of local, Chicago-area animal advocates.

Because the pledge requires that the pet stores do not sell pets but instead refer customers to local shelters or provide information about how to find a reputable breeder, neither Pawsh Puppies nor their competitor Pocket Puppies appears on the list.

Still, Gershbeyn adamantly denies that Pawsh Puppies supplies their stores from puppy mills. The Lincoln Park location opened 7 months ago, and Gershbeyn said, "We wanted to change the image of pet stores."

"We work only with good breeders," he said.

Pawsh Puppies' biggest competitor in the Lincoln Park neighborhood is Pocket Puppies at 2479 N. Clark St. Although their Yelp credentials are a little better, they still only average a 2.5 star rating, and many users also accuse Pocket Puppies of buying from puppy mills.

For those who want to sidestep the controversy altogether, the Lincoln Park neighborhood is also home to Chicago's largest no-kill animal shelter, PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving) at 1997 N. Clybourn St.

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67 Comments

Molly Horan said:

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Talk about "watchdog" journalism! Great post!

Roman said:

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People will ask the store clerks if the puppies come from Puppy Mills. The TRAINED salesperson will say something to the effect, "no, our puppies come from private breeders", or "no, our puppies come from local breeders", or "no, our puppies come from USDA inspected kennels". Most people are satisfied with either of those answers. It's something all pet stores do! A private breeder could mean anyone, there are no "public" breeders, it's just a sales tactic. It's about profit, don't get fooled.

They don't tell you the whole story. Most pet stores are getting shipments from dealers, obtaining their puppies from the infamous "Puppy Millers". Puppy mills have only one purpose; to turn a profit. They breed for quantity, not quality, and never health check their animals.

There is no consideration given to true breed type or correct temperament. The parents may live out their entire lives in cages. You cannot predict the future temperament of the dog any more than a shelter mutt. Pawsh Puppies also sells mutts you can find in shelters, but for thousands, what a rip off!

Don't fall for the sales tactics.

Peter Zelchenko said:

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Next thing on the agenda should be those turkey mills.

j_pod said:

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ok idk how i feel about this story. first off, if people didn't regard pets are this coveted status toy, we wouldn't have puppy mills supplying dogs to everyone who needs to own something cute and fuzzy, and then we wouldn't have ridiculous stores selling puppy accessories, and finally we wouldn't have stores selling puppies that may or may not be ... Read Morefrom a puppy mill bc they're in such high demand. moral of this post: people need to stop freaking out over dogs. there are real people starving all over the world.

Steve Dale said:

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The little "tea cup," immature "preemie" pups some trendy places are now proud to sell is horrific! I wish the public understood. Cute as they look, inherent are health problems. I hear about this all the time from veterinarians who must treat these poor things, and the owners who must see their 'babies' suffer and pay for the treatment.

I don't know a single responsible breeder who sells to a pet store - period - end of story! So, if the dogs (sometimes cats at some pet stores) don't come from responsible breeders, where are they coming from?

While I agree with protesters....wonder about most HSUS legislation (mentioned in the post - because of HSUS agendas - but that's another matter).

The solution is really very simple. If people STOP buying, places like this go out of business.

I've tried to prevent through Chicago law (as co-chair and creator of Ald. Gene Schulter Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety) pet stores from selling dogs and cats (I am not speaking of the superstores, Petco, PetSmart who adopt pets on behalf of rescues and shelters - a very very good thing). But Chicago lawyers cite fair trade laws. I will see what the state comes up with. I am not on that task force - but I know about the task force currently involved.

Legislation is all well and good - but again, for Chicago or anywhere - if people don't buy, the places who sell these animals go out of business. I am continuing to follow this locally and nationally on my blog (at ChicagoNow), radio shows, newspaper columns - etc. I am baffled why government hasn't put a stop to puppy mills long ago - but again, it's as simple as people stop buying - then they go out of business. Thanks for this post

jennkloc said:

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Steve, thanks so much for your comment! You certainly are an authority when it comes to Chicago pet culture. Thanks so much for sharing your insights :)

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Very true Steve, this is what we can hope for, that people stop buying and they either go humane (sell products not animals) or go out of business.

Good breeders never use the term "teacup" there is no such thing! It is a sickly runt usually.

Roman said:

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They're selling PREMATURE puppies.

"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "TEACUP" PUPPY".

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 21 canine Toy breeds, or breeds of diminutive stature. The term “teacup dog” is not a breed, but slang for an undersized dog. Good breeders never use this term!

One commonly found medical problem among teacup dogs is hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.” Fluids build in the brain, causing pressure against the skull. Often a teacup dog suffering from this condition will have bulging eyes and a stressed appearance. It might also be “wobbly,” having difficulty walking or holding its head steady, though these symptoms aren’t always present. There is no cure for this condition, but when it occurs in humans, a shunt is placed in the brain to drain the fluids into another point in the body where it can be flushed by natural processes.

A teacup dog might also have thin, weak bones, blood sugar disorders and other medical problems arising from unfavorable genetic factors.

One reason for the problems associated with these tiny dogs is that many are the result of mating two runts to produce very small offspring. Runts, while deserving of a good life, often have medical issues that, when bred with another runt (or even a healthy dog), weaken the offspring and breed rather than strengthen it.

A “teacup dog” can sell for upwards of $1,000 US Dollars (USD), providing a strong financial incentive to "backyard breeders" and puppy mills to purposely breed dogs that are not genetically fit. By placing a demand on this market, consumers unwittingly encourage this practice of turning out compromised dogs, many of which live their lives with numerous problems that ultimately lead to exorbitant vet bills and shortened life spans.

If a teacup dog is desired, perhaps the best thing to do for the breed and your wallet is to contact a local reputable breeder and request a very small puppy from one of their litters. Ask for and verify pedigree or champion lines, though if you want actual papers this will cost extra and isn't required unless you plan to show the dog. Even acquiring the "runt" from such a litter should have far fewer genetic risks and, providing it is healthy at birth, should fare better in the long run with a higher chance of living a long, healthy life than the average "teacup dog" found elsewhere.

It seems as though there is a plethora of people who are insistent on buying tiny puppies in the 2 to 4 pound range. Also commonly referred to as a "Teacup puppy".

The word "Teacup" has been used to merely describe the size of a puppy, meaning it is very small and will probably be under the standard size which is 4 to 7 pounds for the Toy Group, Yorkshire Terrier breed. We cannot imagine anyone wanting anything smaller than that! Their bones are VERY fragile and can be broken by jumping off of a couch, falling off of a bed, being stepped on or worse.

Many breeders, while tacking a whooping price on a puppy, "claim" to breed so called "teacups" as if they were a breed all their own. Don't be fooled! They are NOT a breed of their own. Don't buy mixed breeds! They are not "designer" they are made to fool you into paying for a mutt you can find at a shelter.

If a pet store or breeder says they specialize in "teacups" RUN, RUN, RUN for the hills! Most "TEACUP" puppies are in reality, a premature puppy, or an unhealthy breeding from runts.

Most females are bred on the ninth through the fifteenth day of their heat cycles. Eggs can be fertilized for up to 72 hours after any of these breeding's. Therefore, it is possible to have puppies conceived up to a week or so younger than the puppies first conceived in a litter. However, when the first puppies conceived are mature and ready to be born, labor starts and all the puppies will be born, no matter when they were fertilized.

Some of the problems that may be encountered are both genetic and congenital in these tiny babies and the list is a long one.

The risk of open fontanels (soft spot from the cranial bone not forming), portosystemic shunts (PSS- abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver. As a result the blood is not cleansed by one of the bodies filters: the liver.), hypoglycemia, cardiac problems, collapsing trachea, luxating patellas, Leggs Calves Perthes disease, seizures, hydroencephaly, blindness and digestive problems can be increased in these tiny babies.

Problems such as respiratory problems can remain or worsen throughout their lives. These babies frequently are so fragile that they do not live more than a few years. There have been several tiny Yorkies as adults who still had open fontanels and their owners had to carry nourishment with them all the time. Their vets have felt it unsafe to give a full dose of vaccine so the puppies had to get several injections to be on the safe side.

There is no such thing as a "tea cup" Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Poodle, or any other breed for that matter. They simply do not exist. "Tea-cup" is just a marketing ploy given by unethical and unscrupulous breeders to drive up the price of their puppies!


So called "Teacups" fetch anything from $1000 to $10,000! This is ridiculous and shameful! There are a lot of chronically, unhealthy puppies because unscrupulous breeders and puppy mills are inbreeding. Some poor darlings only live for a very, very short time!

They take the little teeny, tiny Yorkies and they breed 2 1/2 pounders with 3 pounders ... well, they’re playing with genetics. You should NEVER breed a female of any breed less than 5 pounds.

PLEASE educate yourselves before buying a tiny puppy whether it is a Yorkie or any other breed. You could be in for months or years of heartbreak not to mention staggering veterinarian bills!

If you want a healthy puppy, never fall for the "teacup" act. Teacup puppies are also very bad choice for children, they are too delicate.

pawshpuppies said:

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Pawsh Puppies was born because we wanted to change the image of pet stores. Buying puppies from reputable breeders is very important to us. Taking care of our puppies while they are at our store is something we take great pride in. Our customers believe in us. We do a very nice job and our success has been met with rage from ridiculous radicals. Radicals who are supported by organizations like Best Friends. An organization that wants laws to criminalize dog breeding (http://www.bestfriendsinfo.com/History.html) and which was originally incorporated as a doomsday cult (http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/12/goldwag-cranks-curio.html) We thank all our wonderful customers for their support. This is America and consumers will not tolerate these protestors insisting that people only adopt puppies from shelters. It's not for everyone. Everyone has the right to choose!

offended1 said:

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According to AWA federal law, you must provide the name and number of the breeder if asked - are you willing to do this?
If the USDA number is traced, will it come back to a puppy mill?
USDA "licenses" commercial operations. Commercial = puppy mills in most cases.

Everyone can say that they don't get from puppy mills, but are you willing to prove it to the client in cooperation with the law?

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Pawsh Puppies owner keeps saying they don't deal with puppy mills. Yet claims to have all USDA licensed sources- these licenses are for commercial breeders, wholesalers.

I think the owner of Pawsh doesn't understand that any commercial breeding operation IS a puppy mill. Stop denying it. Here...

According to Dictionary.com:
Main Entry: puppy farm
Definition: a place where puppies are bred for profit; also called puppy mill

defendpetstores said:

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Commercial kennels are law biding and have a license to raise and sell the puppies they raise. Just because some think that that you cannot take care of more than one dog is just insane. 99 out of 100 kennel operators give great care of the dogs. These dogs have better living than some people living right here in the good ole USA. There will always be radical people trying to push there beliefs on others. Also lets talk about the money that is given to these rescue groups, How many big fat salarys are given each year. Check it out people. >>>>>

Roman said:

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This pet store buys from breeders who have multiple dogs, as if they were farm animals or something.

You don't think having 82 dogs, most of them breeding females, and 32 puppies is like a mill? Those poor 82 dogs probably spend their whole life in cages,

Its hard to give adequate attention and exercise to just one dog for most people. You see dogs given up all the time because the owner can't provide the attention and time they need, meanwhile, some people own 82 dogs. Hmm, I bet they have a great life.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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If they tell people the suppliers, they will just go straight to them. Pawsh Puppies suppliers (breeders) will sell puppies for a LOT less than the retail store does, and many of them do sell to the public via the internet. It's a bad decision either way.

defendpetstores said:

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My prayers are with you. yOU WILL WIN THIS . You are so right. Commercial kennels are not puppy mills. These radical animal people have nothing better to do. They want to see all pet stores with pets closed along with the kennel operator . This is what they want and try to do. Why do they not push to save the children that are in need or abused. Would there not be a reward in heaven for this deed. Also pets should not be abused I agree but come on people you are not at every kennel and see how good these dogs have for their living. Another thing , I see videos on the internet that I have been seeing for 20 years . The same ones over and over. Even some from other countrys. Shame on you out there for not being honest about how old a video is before you air it again and again. Things have changed in kennels for the better and so they cannot get new videos . So they have to use videos from 20 years ago. If people did not want pets there would not be a market to raise them. People will get have their pets. These radicals said it themselves. There is HOW many puppies raised and sold in the usa in a year?
How much tax revenue would the gov loose to close down these legal businesses... Yes legal . Pet stores, airlines, vets, registrys, dog food dealers, dog supplys, trucking companys moving supplys, pet hair salons, vaccine makers, inspectors, the list goes on and on. Yes the gov taxes the kennel operators too. Heck it would even put these rescue groups out of business. NO puppys NO rescue. If you are out there and a gov offical please make note. PETS ARE A BUSINESS THAT IS LEGAL AND IS TAXED.

offended1 said:

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It's also funny how many people seem to be able to write novels on your great business practices.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/pawsh-puppies-chicago

MHarrison said:

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That site is a joke and so are you

offended1 said:

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Pissed off because it's right???

MHarrison said:

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Nope because I know you low life's sit on there and write fake reviews. Then for every good one you report it. Just can't handle that there are a lot of happy customers out there hey?

offended1 said:

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Funny thing is that there aren't even happy ones posting, it's not like Yelp only keeps the bad ones around.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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The manager called rescue dogs "Other people's problems", that was inflammatory to anyone involved in rescue, here is an article about it, http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7848-Chicago-Dog-Training-Examiner~y2009m11d28-Manager-of-Pawsh-Puppies-calls-shelter-dogs-other-peoples-problems

The owner of Pawsh, Lawrence, also called the protesters "crazy", wow how unprofessional can one get? Do you realize, Lawrence, that people like me from the neighborhood LOVE the other businesses, we love Dogaholics, Barker and Meowski, Krisers... they all do well, they don't peddle puppies. Take a clue from them. Yes, I live only blocks away from your store, I've lived here all my life, and I can tell you we don't want you here. PAWS is Lincoln Park's source for dogs, and when you try to compete with them, you piss off a lot of people, hence the protesters, DEAL WITH IT. They have the right to express their opinions without YOU allegedly flicking a lit cigarette but at them. Every puppy you peddle to ignorant consumers takes up a home, one less home for a dog in need. Let me point out I am not strictly for adoption, I also own a purebred dog purchased from a reputable breeder. I often refer my clients to ACTUAL top breeders, too. They have quality your genetically unsound dogs will never come close to. So your "radical" or "adoption only" does not apply to all! Nor does "jealous of success" as I'm sure you won't be successful for long.

Pawsh Puppies owner keeps saying they don't deal with puppy mills. As I explain in the above article, the term "puppy mill" is subjective, not hard-set definition. For some, a puppy mill means squalor or cruelty, and for others it may simply mean a commercial breeder who has multiple breeding females and doesn't breed for betterment of the breed. So indeed they DO buy from puppy mills, at least per MY definition- as I state in the article USDA licensed facilities are for wholesalers, mass-producers... if that ain't a puppy mill I don't know what is!!!! To the owner of Pawsh, do you understand that a large-scale commercial breeding operation can be referred to as a puppy mill? Are you trying to lie to people and say you are selecting breeders who only have one or two pedigreed and titled females and breed them inside their loving homes, and only breed them every OTHER heat cycle? Because we all know that is not the reality. Lawrence, did you know that good breeders require a spay/neuter contract for any pet-quality puppies? Do you do that? So in fact, you are adding to the problem in more ways than just selling puppies, you are propagating their further breeding.

Please keep in mind Pawsh Puppies are not the only ones. Pocket Puppies, and others, are in the same category. I have clients who purchased from Pocket Puppies, several, one is an almost HAIRLESS Yorkie who is so small he's hypoglycemic, which causes the hair-loss. Another is a dog with luxating patella (genetic) and may need surgery soon on her kneecaps. How would you like a tiny Chihuahua with an open fontanel on their skull (soft spot) that NEVER closes? Real smart to sell to a 18-year old girl to carry in her purse. Uuugh, and Pawsh also sells English Bulldogs, that is truly scary, as they are difficult for even the BEST show breeders to breed healthy.

All of these pet stores will be dealt with, one by one. Just as every consumer has the right to choose, we have the right to educate them.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Oh turns out there IS a definition, according to Dictionary.com

Main Entry: puppy farm

Definition: a place where puppies are bred for profit; also called puppy mill

defendpetstores said:

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By the way . the quote below noted as puppy mill is NOT in the dictionary. Everyone knows the meaning when the radical groups use this SLANG word

" According to Dictionary.com:
Main Entry: puppy farm
Definition: a place where puppies are bred for profit; also called puppy mill"

In canada a breeder just won a law suite against a women whom was calling them a "puppy mill " the judge stated that the kennel was not a puppy mill according to what the radical groups are saying is a puppy mill. wow what a great win. Now you should know more stores than this one are filing suite. Hey I even heard that in one state they have joined forces . May the force be with them. Down with the evil ones. Yahoo.

MHarrison said:

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Watch out Chicago, we have a TERRORIST on out hands! She's coming for you, one by one!

offended1 said:

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Careful about calling someone a terrorist that could be libelous.

MHarrison said:

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Shaking in my boots.

offended1 said:

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Should also check out the "pawperazzi" page on their site of all of the dogs they have sold in the (7?) months they have been open. A conservative guesstimate based on the number is about $100,000, based on true fact prices. I know there is a lease and utilities to pay and such, but that doesn't include all of the purse and jewlery crap.
So who is suffering now?

And I am still waiting for the answer as to where the puppies come from. As a consumer, I am entitled to this information BY LAW...

ChicagoShowDog said:

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I would be SO embarrassed to have my photo on that customer page. To have a mixed breed mutt from some commercial breeding farm out of state, that I paid over $1,000 for, how humiliating and what a poor choice.

They should take those poor people's photos off there, it's embarrassing. Most are probably 21 year old girls who think their sickly little runt is cute, deformities and all. Hey, as long as it fits into a bedazzled dog purse!

MHarrison said:

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They want them on there smart one. You would be embarrassed because you're not normal in the head. People who have just bought a puppy to join their family happen to be very happy and want their picture up.

Roman said:

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Not all pet store puppies even live till their 1st birthday. If you don't care how the puppy's parents are kept (how could you not?) at least think about the potential health issues your puppy could have. The parents in commercial kennels have not been through appropriate health tests or screenings and you could end up with a puppy who seems healthy but with congenital defects that show up later in life - many of which are extremely costly to you, the puppy buyer. Other people end up with puppies who are sick right off the bat and have to spend hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars to make their new puppy well. Sadly, some puppies don't even make it and it is utterly heartbreaking for their families.

Here is a newer video, from FEBRUARY 2009, of a puppy mill raid, all these guys were rescued and some came to Chicago, too!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77zuPj3FLzA&feature=player_embedded

offended1 said:

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Hahaha - you mean a genetic accident that people capitalize on? Yes.
At least they take good pictures because they are lethargic and probably hypoglycemic so they just sit there.

offended1 said:

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Interesting that there's no response yet, "Our breeders are wonderful and our puppies are healthy and adorable" - so adorable because on your website they are so young and sick they barely move, so they take great pictures. So easy for them to travel hundreds of miles by unheated truck after they were yanked from their mothers over a month premature and shipped to your plexiglass show cases. Do you throw in a 20% discount for buying a pink bedazzled bag so they can keep their genetically defected new puppy in it? Or do you just tell people that the puppy's have a hair ball when they really have pneumonia. Gotta keep those baby wipes on hand so you can clean the eye crust and snot off their nose 3 times a day huh? I guess people overlook that when the smooth talking sales guy throws a pink bow on it's head and and tells the customer "it's normal" with his fingers crossed that the dog won't come back for a "warranty issue" because this might incur a $45 euthanasia fee if there is a problem, and out money on a new non-lemon dog.

I am still waiting for you to set us straight on the validity of your breeders. Are you afraid we'll see your mark up if you send us the site? Or are you afraid that someone will visit the breeder and have the state shut them down for violations? Darn, that would mean you would have to find another source - maybe with a new source, you will only get one dead puppy a month shipped to you rather than 2.
People just want answers - it's only fair AND mandated by law, right?

jennkloc said:

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Thank you for all your comments on this blog! It's clear you are really passionate about animal welfare.

I don't think your requests are too outrageous--maybe if you persist, you'll get the answers you're looking for.

Thanks for reading!

Antipawsh said:

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These people disgust me. Especially the girl who works there. She walks around like a little princess.
They are greedy people who are just trying to make a profit of puppies from puppy mills.
I hope they lose their pet store.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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If you are talking about the scant blonde lady who was making ugly faces at the protesters, her name is Alysha Merrin. She is the one who held up the sign that said "Honk if you think the protesters are crazy" while working inside the store. How rude and low class was that!

MHarrison said:

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Low class? You are a protester for god sake. How low class are you? Jealousy is a horrible thing. It's funny that you expect them to sit in side and not laugh at you. You people are in the cold with hilarious signs begging for people to side with you. You sit here and call them rude? HAHAHA Look at your disgusting comments on these blogs. You think you aren't rude? People please read this woman's comments so you realize just how mentally insane she really is.

offended1 said:

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You mean the fake and bake brod (as you tastefully put the word) inside? The only thing I am jealous of is sitting in an empty store and getting paid.

MHarrison said:

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Jealousy is a sickness, get well soon. You look like you haven't seen the sun in years, hence why you are hating on a tan lol So mature. Is it all the late nights commenting on blogs? What a life! Keep marching that chunky butt outside of stores. They sold 3 dogs while you were outside then 2 after you left. What empty store are you talking about? Doesn't that tell you something? People think you are ridiculous. They don't want to be told what to do. When will you realize people have a choice?

offended1 said:

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Hahaha you have no idea who I am, and that's hilarious.
People do have a choice - a GOOD breeder or adopting. Until there is a third option presented, these are the only two.

MHarrison said:

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Oh really? Says who? You? HA. Clearly pet stores ARE an option. Who the heck are you to say there are only two options? Obviously there are more options or you wouldn't waste your weekends on the streets.
And I don't need to know exactly who you are. I've seen the people who protest and if I was allowed to calls names to describe your appearance it'd be a lot worse then "fake and bake" and "scant" lol. I'll leave the name calling to you mature individuals.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Yes, you are an angry person with no class, I am not surprised you would use name calling. The "people who protest" are varied, everything from lawyers, students, business owners, volunteers, and many are attractive, most are pet owners, some are even dog experts. By the way, scant is a reference to a persons stature and can mean skinny or short. Steve Dale, a radio personality and animal behaviorist supports our cause, and Oprah, one of the most powerful women in the USA supports our cause, Oprah would never buy from a pet store! She said it on her show Exposing Puppy Mills.

We prefer to stay on topic, we are here standing up for the voiceless animals and educating the pet owners!

MHarrison said:

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While everyone supports the humane treatment of animals, nobody supports the way you protesters plot, conspire and deceive.

offended1 said:

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So calling people terrorists, ridiculous, and low-lifes is mature? That is just from this article and your comments.
You keep calling us immature but you too are privy to falling under the same category apparently.

offended1 said:

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There are other options - two of them are good though - sorry I didn't outline that. Like I said before, you are pretty good at name calling too. And I wasn't there, so:
A - you DON'T know me
B - I still think you are wrong, or your defense is wrong rather.
C - Stop trying to look like the intelligent, mature individual because clearly you are not.

offended1 said:

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PS - I love how one user name bombards with pro-puppy store comments, then 30 minutes later another username bombards with similar comments.
Way to go.

MHarrison said:

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It's sad that you have a hard time believing that there are A LOT of people fighting back for what they believe in. Breeders, stores, customers ect. No one has multiple usernames, they are fighting for their rights.

offended1 said:

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Funny you can claim that without actually knowing.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Alysha Merrin, yes I do think it was low class behavior to scowl at people, say rude things to them, and call them names on a sign. I never made any disgusting comments, in fact, I referred to her as a lady so how bad is that. I didn't call HER names like she called the protesters, I simply described her low-class behavior.

MHarrison said:

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I was standing out there the entire day and never heard her say one word to you people. You run around telling customers that they are a puppy mill and that they are spending blood money. How are you not rude and low class? You hold signs and that is ok, they hold signs and they are low class? Pretty one sided if you ask me.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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The signs the protesters had did not say:
1. The name of the store or store owner
2. Anything insulting, rude, or vulgar.

Her sign, on the other hand, had rude insults, "...the protesters are CRAZY" it said.

And who are you, why were you standing out there the entire day? So you are saying you are either affiliated with Pawsh Puppies, or you are an employee of the store. Are you the sister of the employee who came outside and said "I support puppy mills, my sister works at this store!" Class act. Now stop detracting from the issues at hand, which is the welfare of the dogs.

MHarrison said:

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Oh Cari, Cari, Cari, are you really going to lie to the public and your volunteers? Alysha's sister lives in Canada and the only other girl working that day was Asian. So what one of your followers did you get to run out and say that? Or are you telling one big fat lie? You seem to forget that there were ears standing out there all day long watching you guys. The fact that you can sit here and lie when police officers were listening to everything is not very smart on your part. The customers know what you said and were very quick to tell people.

offended1 said:

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By customers do you mean the people inside hanging out for hours not buying anything?
Police must be juiced in because otherwise they are just security and stay out of things. Or did you mean the guy that was in the tan highlander?

ChicagoShowDog said:

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Obviously she was in town visiting, but her statement was heard by many, the protest was recorded- She was a brunette, young (maybe 20?), not the Asian girl, and identified herself as the sister of an employee, she said "I support puppy mills..." Multiple people heard her and it may also be on video. Security officers off-duty PD who are standing in a doorway, cannot hear (and do not care) what is going on 30 feet away.

MHarrison is clearly an affiliate of Pawsh Puppies, so it's a waste of time to even read their comments, as they have other vested interests than the humane treatment of animals. Dogs and the customers who are duped into purchasing them are the #1 priority, education is at your fingertips in this internet age. Google "puppy mill" or "how to find a reputable breeder" is the start of a journey to finding a quality animal and supporting people who are bettering the breed.

MHarrison said:

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Wow, you are truly a piece of work. Her sister was not in town and you staged the entire thing. It is disgusting how you need to cheat and lie to get your point across. This is why so many people will fight you to the end.

P.S. Cari, you said in an email to all of your people that the employees sister came out of the store and said "I support puppy mills and this is my sister's store" while you were being filmed. You just said you were 30 feet away from the doorway where the officers were standing therefore they could not hear anything. Get your lies straight and don't make me post your email to prove you are lying. What'd you do? Look her sister up on facebook to figure out she has dark hair? lol I mean really?!

People choose to buy their dogs from where they feel comfortable buying them from. You can educate all you want but that does not mean you will have everyone wanting what you want.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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There were about 20 people there, and I was one of the people who saw, firsthand, what that girl said. Confront her yourself! Stop harassing me, you are trolling & I will no longer respond to you.

offended1 said:

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For whatever reason you have a persons personal email concerns me. I just hope that it wasn't acquired illegally.

Not everyone wants to stop puppy mills but there are plenty who want to learn.

offended1 said:

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Funny how most of his posts are within business hours too. Let's see if there is a post after 7pm on Sunday. Maybe though since business is booming, he may be too busy during business hours on the weekend.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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@defendpetstores, nobody has said Pawsh Puppies is doing anything illegal! Animal welfare advocates have the right to protest. Wearing fur coats is not illegal either, but people protest fur stores!

Just because it's LEGAL to do something doesn't mean its moral. Laws are not ethical laws.

It may be perfectly legal for me to have a licensed facility, 500 cages with 500 skinny, miserable breeding bitches in them, wire grate floors, 50 degrees, no human contact. So what? I can sell puppies, legally, that have all sorts of genetic defects, I can breed mothers to sons or brothers to sister, or mix breeds like a mad scientist. There are no puppy lemon laws in IL, so what if they are bad structure, bad hips, luxating patellas, missing hair, and/or incorrect colors. Does that make it right?

That case in Canada was in CANADA, that is a DIFFERENT COUNTRY, we are in the USA. That case was an absolute shame, that kennel had all sorts of violations and problems, treated the dogs terrible per a vets statement, and sold 1000 puppies a year!

This is America, where citizens have every right to peacefully protest what they believe is unethical. Suck it up.

kra said:

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I will just follow this post above with a thought.First of all moral is not something you can legislate. Second, I am not sure where the "500 cages with 500 skinny miserable breeding bitches" came from but if there is a problem with a breeding kennel the IDA or the USDA should be called. We have laws to protect the animals and any facility that has that many dogs has to be licensed by one organization or the other. If there is a complaint made the organization will be out there to investigate and if necessary file charges. Third: Yes a person or group can sell puppies legally. As for lemon laws...if a person does their homework and goes to a reputable breeder that does all the health clearances on the sire and dam and you are presented with that information , you make an informed decision as to buy or not to buy. But people have to remember that an animal can have problems develop because of the type of upbringing the animal gets in the home, not just congenital. And if you decide on a type of breed , look on the internet to see what is typically a malady for that breed (ie: subluxating patellas,extrahepatic liver shunts,white spots on dogs that should not have them etc) Fourth: A good breeder or pet store sells an animal with recourse. MORE GOOD would be done if the general public was EDUCATED to those facts. Knowing what to ask for and what health clearances should be done on each breeding animal is more important. People who do not give you that information should raise a red flag and the buyer should walk. And lastly: Not letting a store conduct business is illegal, blocking people from entering that store is also illegal. Period, no 'sucking up' involved.

offended1 said:

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Morals are not on trial, technically, being a qualified breeder is, and at LEAST following the USDA minimums, which is frequently not adhered to. Morals, or morality, is what the protesters have, versus the pet stores. IMmorality, or being immoral, is what pet store owners suffer from, not to be confused with immorTality which is something no one possesses, especially mill dogs.

Also, it is more like 200 cages with 500 breeders and puppies in them.
See, I just educated the general public.

ChicagoShowDog said:

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@kra- The protesters never blocked anyone from entering a store! That is hilarious. Yeah right. Like they are football players they just body slammed anyone coming through the doors? LOL. They did not even stand close to the doors, they were walking on the public sidewalk their tax $ pay for, and on the public way you can protest 24/hours a day if you so choose. A lot of people stopped on the sidewalk to chat and everyone was very friendly. In fact, the only rude people during the whole time were the employees of Pawsh Puppies. Some people shared stories of unhealthy dogs they had either rescued or purchased from different pet stores. There are ENDLESS stories of unhealthy dogs from pet shops. Guarantees don't really mean much, I would not even care to get one for a dog.

No reputable breeder sells to pet stores, this has been said over and over. It is a key point. The commercial puppy suppliers are not doing OFA joint testing, thyroid panels, cardiograms, etc on all their breeding dogs, it cuts too much into their profit margins. They are also not starting with the best breeding stock, because why would someone with a show-quality Champion titled dog want it to live in a commercial kennel? I have seen so many dogs from pet stores and they almost never adhere to the breed standard. Basically it's got the name "Maltese" or "Yorkshire Terrier" but it looks nothing like it. It's a rip off, but to people who don't know what the standard for what a certain breed is, they may not know until later, when they actually run into that breed and say "Ooooh THAT'S how they are supposed to look." ... And ACT, because temperament (personality: aggression, fear, friendliness) is based mostly on GENETICS. Do you think a puppy miller would stop breeding a Chihuahua that is aggressive? Or would they simply not care, or never really notice, since the dogs don't live in their homes.

@kra, you don't seem to understand that USDA has minimum standards of care. There is no complaint as to miserable dogs, you cannot call and say "They are not giving the dogs human attention, socialization, training, petting, stimulation, a walk..." That is not required. They can keep the dogs on wire grate bottom cages, and if the cage is big enough, they never have to let it out! Not even for exercise (if the cage meets the size requirements). No laws against a dog being unhappy, thin, "cage crazy", or being used constantly as a breeding machine, having continual C-sections until the uterus ruptures and the bitch is put down. Additionally, many of the USDA facilities DO have violations of the basic rules! They were surprise inspected and things were found wrong- It doesn't mean they are shut down!

People who care about animal welfare will continue to protest and they should if they want to, it is their right. They love animals, that is for sure.

Oprah's episode exposing puppy mills was just a year ago, so the poster (defendpetstores) is wrong, it's not 20 years old. Go watch it on youtube if you missed it when it aired, you know they got tons of great feedback and thanks for doing that episode.

Oprah would NEVER shop at Pawsh Puppies, she would probably protest. Oprah said she would never buy from a pet shop.

Roman said:

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Just want to point out Pawsh Puppies is not the only ones being protested, it's going on all over the country, citizens don't want puppy mills and they don't want puppy stores. Even Oprah is on board, you know it's mainstream. It will continue, more info online "puppy mill protests" Google. Keep it up!

jennkloc said:

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Hi everyone,

I'm so glad that you are using this post as a discussion forum. It's really exciting for me to see everyone so impassioned about a topic that is clearly really important to the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

That said, I would really appreciate it if you all did your best to keep it civil. There's no need for name-calling or bashing--that only subtracts from your arguments.

Thanks!

Roman said:

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Mothers of these dogs are used as breeders, used up then thrown away... If you don't care how the puppy's parents are kept (how could you not?) at least think about the potential health issues your puppy could have. The parents in commercial kennels have not been through appropriate health tests or screenings and you could end up with a puppy who seems healthy but with congenital defects that show up later in life - many of which are extremely costly to you, the puppy buyer. This was recently on CBS news regarding "Pocket Puppies" and a sick dog purchased. You can search for it on the CBS Chicago news website under "Pocket Puppies" it was a Boston Terrier, small and sickly. They are a similar store to Pawsh Puppies. Some puppies don't even make it and it is heartbreaking for families.

Adopt from your local shelter, www.petfinder.com, or find a reputable breeder. If you need more help or advice about finding a reputable breeder, send us a message or visit www.nopuppymills.com.

Caveat Emptor said:

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People are going to make you guys feel wrong for supporting humane, don't let them.
Check out this article, many people are banding together and protesting, and celebrities back humane, not pet stores:
http://http//www.examiner.com/examiner/x-7848-Chicago-Dog-Training-Examiner~y2009m12d12-Many-celebrities-speak-out-against-puppy-stores-a-mainstream-cause

Brooklyn said:

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Good thing I did little research when looking for a puppy and I didn't buy one of these sickly little ones from either Pawsh Puppies or Pocket Puppies on Clark. I think they are shady.

I found out they did sell a sick puppy and they do use mills. There they were sales oriented but I knew better. Alysha Merrin the supervisor of the store promised they were not from mills but she lied. She is not even from the US so I'm not sure how she works legally here. The other managers said the same things that were not all truth. We are still looking for a small dog but not from a shady pet store. Hopefully everyones opinions will matter and they will stop selling puppies.

furrypeanut said:

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Pawsh is being sued for $22,550. Cook county court case 2010-M3-001158. Suit names Gershbeyn, Portnoy, Pawsh and "unknown occupants".

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