April 22, 2011


Courage     Integrity     Tenacity

The Animal Defense Team refuses to be intimidated . After encountering this (see photo below) at the March 26 protest at California Pets Escondido, the ADT doubled its numbers and returned April 16 to protest at California Pets Escondido.  
There was a great amount of support from mall customers and the public. Many thanked us for being there and many told stories of sick puppies who had been purchased in puppy stores. We were able to distribute hundreds of flyers with information about puppy brokers, including the Hunte Corp., used by California Pets and the USDA. That information also appears elsewhere on this website. Thanks to the great group who joined the Animal Defense Team, standing in compassion for those who have no voice!

Important information from petshoppuppies.org about the transportation of puppies from the Midwest to pet stores like California pets:

Most pet shop puppies originate in the Midwest; however, most pet stores are located on the East and West coast. Have you ever wondered how tiny eight week old puppies, just weaned from their mother, are transported 1000-2000 miles to fill the pet stores where they will become a hot commodity for families looking to add the love of a puppy to their home?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses and inspects wholesale dog breeders and brokers, as well as those that make it part of their business to transport puppies in the wholesale market.

Pet store puppies usually originate at USDA puppy farms where the pups will be booked with a broker shortly after their birth. The breeder calls the broker and tells them what breed, color and size of puppies they have. The puppies are then sold to brokers (middle men) when they are 8 weeks old. Broker vans, cars, trucks and SUVs book an appointment with the breeders, usually meeting them in one centralized location in their area, such as a truck port alongside the interstate. The broker vehicle then moves on to the next stop, usually another truck port 20 miles or so down the road. The broker vehicle spends the day picking up puppies, and then transport them to the broker's facility.

After the broker books the puppies, shortly after their birth, they begin contacting pet stores they are contracted with and faxing them a list of puppies they will have available in the near future. The pet store places their order, and when the broker's pick-up vehicle arrives, packed full of puppies, the pups are settled in, checked by a vet, and held for a minimum of 24 hours, as required by USDA. The broker arranges the transport of the pups ordered by pet stores, and the puppies are then shipped to the pet stores that ordered them.

Broker facilities, like pet stores, range from small "mom and pop" type companies to very large corporations that deal in 800-1000 puppies each week. Smaller brokers normally work with just a few select pet stores, and often have a transport van that drives the puppies to the pet stores. The puppies are often in crates and on the road for several days before arriving at their destination. Some brokers use only the airlines (which are also regulated by USDA) and the pet stores have someone that drives to the airport to pick up puppies -- usually weekly. The larger brokers have their own transportation, such as large tractor trailer units that hold hundreds of puppies. Because these semi-trucks stop at dozens of locations along the way, puppies are often caged for 2-3 days, depending on their destination.

Once the puppies arrive at the pet store, they are either put on display almost immediately, or in some states, they are required to be quarantined for a short time before being offered for sale. For most puppies in pet stores, they have been shuffled around between dozens of hands and travel thousands of miles, exposed to hundreds of other puppies -- many sick with various diseases. All of this occurs between their 8th and 9th week of life. This stressful time, and exposure to diseases, often leaves pet store puppies with virtually no natural antibodies against viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

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