|Billy - July 2003|
PJ’s Pets announced yesterday that effective September 1, 2011 it will cease selling Puppies at its stores. Currently in Canada, six of their 41 stores sell Puppies. I applaud their decision as no Puppy should have to spend its formative stage in a box sitting in its own excrements as Shoppers come in to poke and prod them, or just gawk at them through the glass.
Director of Marketing Stacey Halliday tells The Toronto Star, “Depending on breed and age, puppies range in price from $500 to $1,500, with an average price tag of $1,000”. I am aware though as a Consumer who was on the search for a Puppy eight years ago that they offered high-interest financing options also on Puppies, cashing-in on the Impulse Shopper. $1,500 already is a high price to pay for a Puppy, let alone the interest that accumulate over an instalment plan.
The problem is, many of these Impulse Shoppers might not have thoroughly thought-out the idea of becoming a Pet Owner beforehand and all the added expenses and responsibilities which come, especially in the Puppy’s first year. I was mortified at the sight of that poor Puppy who was marked on-sale because he/she couldn’t sell like his/her litter mates. My question always has been, “What happens to that Puppy if it doesn’t sell?”.
The defining moment of my PJ’s Pets experience came when I asked to see an adorable white Bichon Frise I had my eye on. The Sales Clerk brought the little Puppy out, a male, to see me and the little Guy was trembling and crying, smelling of both Feces and Urine. Its breath was not any better. I felt like a complete Asshole about wanting to buy him and couldn’t go any further with it, leaving the Store.
Although PJ’s Pets claim not to acquire their stock through Puppy Mills, I didn’t really see their treatment of Puppies as being any more ethical. I’m sure some may disagree. Nonetheless, I am happy to hear this decision and also about their new focus on promoting Animal Adoption at their stores. Whether this be simply a PR move or just a cost-cutting measure, the end result is positive for Humans and Dogs alike.
I’m not passionate about many things, but will gladly be vocal when it comes to the ethical treatment of Animals. Besides that, I’m sure many Pet Owners now realize it’s actually both more cost-efficient and trustworthy to buy through a reputable Breeder. I did and I don’t regret it.
I am the proud owner of a happy, healthy and well-adjusted 8 year-old Shih Tzu.