It's a scary thought isn't it. And, it's far from true. However, it's the cornerstone of PIJAC's latest campaign of fear as the group fights to protect puppy mills and the stores that sell their product. PIJAC - the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council - is watching the dominoes fall around the United States and Canada as more communities pass ordinances banning the sale of puppy mill dogs in stores.
As the movement has grown and spread across the country, PIJAC has become more and more vocal. With each ordinance, they get more and more twitchy and have started to resort to fear tactics to sway the court of public opinion their way. Just this week, PIJAC's CEO Edwin Sayres was interviewed by the Pet Product News and he resorted to more BS and scare tactics to try to win in the court of public opinion.
They've used tactics like claiming those trying to stop the pet store sale of cats and dogs want to live in a world without pets. They have also claimed that the ban will limit the right to choose a pet...like Sayres comment in the Pet Product News Post.
"We want to be able to preserve the consumer’s right to have pets and to be engaged in this conversation in a very strong advocacy way … [Pets are] good for us. And the goodness is based on the right fit, the right pet, for the right person, which means consumer choice.”
Here's the deal. The bans like the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection ordinances passed in Chicago and Cook County aren't aimed at limiting choice. You still have the option to adopt a cat or dog from shelters or rescues. You also have the option to purchase you favorite breed...you'll just need to track down your own breeder and put more thought in the purchase of a pet.
What the law does do is protect consumers from the fraud associated with the sale of pets in pet stores. If you shop in a pet store, you'll hear about the great breeders that the dogs are "hand selected" from. The USDA Licensed breeders. When you follow the paper trail, it will lead you back to the puppy mills that produce the dogs sold in pet stores.
Why does PIJAC keep backing animal cruelty? Because two of it's twelve directors are part of that industry. One is Ryan Boyle of the Hunte Corporation, the nation's larger broker of puppy mill dogs. The other is Joe Watson of Petland, the largest seller of puppy mill dogs.
The sad thing is that these two are driving the policy of the pet industries lobbying group. It's members range from pet products manufactures to small pet boutiques - many of which hate puppy mills and back the growing ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores. Nearly 70 percent of pet stores don't sell pets...just products.
Meanwhile, PIJAC's campaign of fear claims that the new ordinances are aimed at closing all the pet stores and they claim the whole industry is in peril. Its funny because the pet industry is a $58 billion dollar industry and the commercial sale of pets is just $2.2 million of that.
So will a ban put pet stores out of business?
Only if pets are the main product that they sell. Many boutiques are thriving and growing because most of the revenue in the pet industry comes from the sale of pet food at $22.6 billion and over the counter medications another $13.7 million.
Yes, PIJAC's campaign of fear talks about shutting down businesses and limiting choice...but so many businesses have made the choice not to sell dogs and cats and their business is thriving. Privately owned chains like Kriser's and Bentley's Corner Barkery are growing leaps and bounds.
And then there is Dog Patch Pet and Feed in Naperville. Just over three years ago, Dog Patch moved to an all adoption model after selling puppies for years. Since then, Dog Patch's business has been thriving. Greg Gordon's business model is to adopt out rescue dogs then build a life long relationship with those that come to his store.
There goes that argument. So, what about limiting choice? The only choice that will go away is the purchase of puppy mill dogs and kitten mill cats in pet stores. You can still adopt a rescue or shelter pet. Or, do your own research and really truly look into a breeder before you purchase a dog or cat.
On March 5th, Chicago's pet store ban goes into effect. Cook County's is in limbo while a judges weighs the merit of the ordinance. And, more and more communities continue to consider bans of their own. Yes, the war has just began and PIJAC's campaign of fear will just get worse. And, the pet industry will continue to thrive and grow beyond the ban.
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Filed under: Puppy Mills