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“The public should be taught to demand a sound, healthy dog, bred and raised in sanitary environment…” Captain Wm. Lewis Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher

Far too often, people continue to support the puppy mill system with their purchases of dogs at retail outlets. To protect the buyer, and to put a stop to the secretive abhorrent practices of the puppy milling business, laws are created and passed, however, the enforcement of these laws  must occur to bring about positive change. We can end all this if we choose to adopt our pets, or to work with breeders who truly love and care about the dogs they bring into the world, even after the sale is complete. If you truly love all dogs, you understand.

Thank you Janice Patterson Fisher for this update found below and your work on behalf of our dogs.

As some of you know, a new consumer protection law became effective on June 1, 2015 enhancing the Puppy Lemon Law for all customers buying a puppy from a pet store in the state of New Jersey. This law is the Pet Store Disclosure Act that specifically requires pet stores to provide specific breeder information on each cage cards, including two years’ worth of USDA inspection reports for the breeder/broker of any puppy offered for sale in a pet store. Cage cards must now include: breeder name, address, e-mail address, if available, USDA-license number. Most importantly, no New Jersey pet store may buy puppies from a breeder unless he possesses a USDA license and a state license, if a state license is required.

For many years, New Jersey pet stores refused to divulge breeder information to customers until the sale of a puppy was complete. The only logical reason for this is that they shuttered to think what a customer would feel should they know the truth…that these puppies are mass bred in commercial facilities known as puppy mills. According to the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs (a premium club consisting of over 80 breed-specific clubs), no responsible breeder would sell to a pet store. Therefore, New Jersey pet stores had but one source: puppy mills.

Even with this law in effect, the majority of New Jersey pet stores have not fully complied. Despite visits and warnings from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and assistance from New Jersey animal advocates, these stores appeared to hedge their bets that the state would not truly enforce the penalties. But they were wrong; in December, these stores received an early Christmas present in the “package” of Notices of Violation – Fines – from the state for failure to adhere to the law.

Some stores have complained that their errors were clerical. Not so. Each and every store was visited by state investigators. A copy of the law was provided. Time was provided to them to come into compliance.

The law is simple to read. Provide specific breeder information on the cage cards and conspicuously post USDA inspection reports on or near the cage. Not hard to follow. These stores obviously chose not to follow the law and continue to hide the fact that the puppies they sell come from despicable brokers and breeders.

Let’s hope that these fines teach the puppy-milling industry a lesson….they are not above the law and all consumers have a right to know how a product is manufactured. In this case, and unfortunately, the product is a living being – a puppy and it is “manufactured” in the most inhumane way.

http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases16/Pet-Shop-Violations-CHART-01042016.pdf

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A Puppy Miller and his

A Puppy Miller and his “merchandise”

“…for the dog is a living breathing thing rather than a piece of fixed merchandise…the breeder has an attachment for his dogs which prevents him from considering them as merchandise on the shelf…”

Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week

As a kid, in the early 1970s, I was an avid-animal lover and a huge fan of a local family-run pet shop on the other side of my hometown (still standing today). My friends and I loved to look at the fish and turtles (you could buy them then), mice and other assorted creatures. This place fueled my passion for animals and I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, or the owner of a pet shop just like this one. On the occasions when we overstayed our welcome in that shop, we were kindly asked to hang elsewhere. We obeyed, but from outside the shop we looked in the window where we were sometimes thrilled by the vision of puppies for sale.

On occasion, a litter of pups, or kittens, were offered for sale, “donated” to the shop by a local family who needed help finding homes for them. While I did not acquire one of these pups, when I was ten, I asked (pleaded) for a chocolate toy poodle, as I had fallen in love with one that belonged to a family friend. My parents succumbed to pressure, and in the winter of 1969, I became the happy caretaker of a tiny brown pup we named Princess Sheri Cocoa Puff, or “Cokie” for short. I remember going to the breeders home and carrying out this little fluffy bundle of sweetness and love. It was a great learning experience.

However, as an adult, I recall just ten years ago, travelling with my husband in northern Florida and stopping at a large Flea Market where you could buy almost anything…including puppies. Now, at the time, I was ignorant as to the source of these cuddly canines. Like most people, I thought these dogs came from good homes or kennels where humans lovingly raised and cared for them as if they were family members (like Cocoa’s breeder). I did not know the harsh truth behind how these pups came to be both captive and captivating, sitting in their crates in these retail outlets sold to anyone who was charmed and could pay the right price, unceremoniously discounted or discarded if they grew “too old”.

But now I do know, and as someone one who was once so “blissfully” unaware, perhaps I am a good messenger because I do understand how most people really don’t  know the ugly truth behind the origins and lives of these “Rovers of Retail”. Most (some say over 99 percent) of the puppies in these retail outlets are the products of places known as Puppy Mills or Commercial Breeding facilities.

Earlier this year, a “Puppy Lemon Law” was passed in New Jersey requiring pet retailers to present full disclosure regarding the source of their puppies. Today, on June 6th, this law will take on wider scope. To learn more about the history of this legislation, please see these links. http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news_briefs/2014/12/nj-legislature-pm-bill-121914.html  https://www.facebook.com/pwnj.org/posts/820314178038218?fref=nf&pnref=story

I’ve been informed that this new legislation amends the Puppy Lemon Law by giving consumers more rights.   Pet stores must now be more transparent by adhering to the following:   posting breeder information on each cage card for every puppy offered for sale; posting two years of USDA inspection reports on the breeders; they must buy ONLY from USDA-licensed breeders and those breeders cannot have certain violations that affect the health and well-being of the animals.  This law was necessary because pet stores, generally, withheld breeder information from customers until after the sale was complete making it impossible for customers to make an informed purchase rather than an impulse purchase.

Bottom line, even some USDA-licensed breeders don’t provide living conditions for these animals that any pet-lover would approve of.  The USDA only sets forth a “minimum standard of care” so, effectively; a dog can sit in a cage FOR LIFE as long as the cage is six inches taller, six inches longer and six inches wider than the dog.  These pathetic animals not only lack proper housing but they lack socialization and mental stimulation which is why, when you see photos of them, their eyes are lifeless.  They have simply given up.  Once they can no longer breed, they are sold at auction for a couple of dollars and another puppy farmer will squeeze one more litter out of them – and then destroy them.  Would any of you do that to your own pet?  Doubtful….which is why it is so important to STILL not support this industry by purchasing a pet store puppy.

Some people tell me how they “rescued” or “saved” an animal’s life by purchasing a puppy from a pet store. While I applaud their good intentions, I have to relay that in doing so, they helped to perpetuate the cycle of puppy milling by putting money in the hands of these corrupt individuals. Some may say I am anti-commerce…that it isn’t anyone’s business how they make a living as long as it is legal. For the record, in my township, puppy retailers are no longer welcome and we wait the day when the one that remains in operation closes its doors forever.

The world seems to have changed considerably since my innocent days of youthful pet shop visits, but has it really? Back in the 1930s, Will Judy warned about the growth of “puppy factories” and the ensuing adverse effects on canine welfare. The internet and our nation’s throw away mentality and shortening attention spans have not made it a better place, unfortunately. However, we do have the opportunity to educate a new generation of animal lovers and those who choose to be guardians of our Companion Animals.

For the record, in my lifetime, I have acquired pets as gifts, through breeders (mice, dogs, and birds), a duffle bag discarded at my feet (five adorable kittens), a classified ad (best cat ever), a “loan” (beautiful horse), as street strays and through fostering. Aside from fish and those now forbidden turtles, I have never purchased a dog or cat from a pet shop. The laws mentioned above are designed to help the welfare of the nation’s dogs, and to strengthen the human-canine bond. So now that you know…please share this good news from the Garden State and perhaps inspire some of our other states to get progressive, too. And let me know the results!

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CompassionThe Dogs of New Jersey, and beyond, need your help NOW! Please Call 609-292-6000 ASAP and ask Governor Christie to sign s. 1870! It’s not just a Jersey Problem.

Hello to all of our National Dog Week friends. No doubt, everyone is concerned with the health and welfare of the nation’s dogs and those who love and care for them. Many express genuine concern for the issues that adversely affect their quality of life, and while most sincerely talk about change, a few go further and actually write legislation to bring about real change.

This is the case in New Jersey right now. Governor Chris Christie has been asked to sign a bill (S.1870/A.3306), that if passed into law, will make those retailers who offer pets for sale in their stores accountable for the dogs they sell. While it isn’t perfect, it is a step in the right direction, as they will have to provide full disclosure on the origins of those puppies for sale in the window. This is important because many of these dogs are products of objectionable puppy mills and are sold to misinformed customers who soon find out their new pup has some serious health issues and experience emotional and financial distress, to say the least.

Many decades ago, Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week warned that dogs should not be sold like grocery items in stores and was concerned about the rise of what he called “puppy factories”. In a perfect world, dogs will no longer be sold like toys, and other inanimate objects. Until then, bills like S-1870 can lead the way to the more humane treatment of the Nation’s dogs.

Below is an e-mail I received today. I have also spoken to the author’s of the bill and they are imploring everyone to call the Governor’s office to ask him to sign this bill and support the cause for the paws.

Dear Lisa Kruysman:
Thank you for your recent email to our office regarding S-1870/A-3306,
legislation which establishes additional requirements under the “Pet
Purchase Protection Act” to provide breeder information to the consumer
about each cat or dog being offered for sale in a pet shop. We certainly
appreciate your input.

As you are aware, we are the prime sponsors of this bill and this issue
is extremely important to us. As you may be aware, this legislation has
passed both houses of the legislature.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our
Chief-of-Staff, Glen Feldman at 732-840-9028.

Sincerely,

Senator, Jim Holzapfel
Assemblyman, Greg McGuckin
Assemblyman, Dave Wolfe

10th Legislative District Office
852 Highway 70
Brick, N.J. 08724
Phone: 732-840-9028
Fax: 732-840-9757

Teddy and I pose with Elizabeth Ackerman, Chairperson for Brick Township's 2013 DogFest

Teddy and I pose with Elizabeth Ackerman, Chairperson for Brick Township’s 2013 DogFest

I would like to take a moment to thank the over 400 fire-fighters, and first-responders who rushed to battle an eight-alam fire in Seaside Park, New Jersey, last week in an effort to save the Boardwalks. In the end, despite their best efforts, the equivalent of four city blocks, over thirty businesses, and countless memories were consumed by flames. Portions of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, so severely decimated by Superstorm Sandy were also destroyed by last week’s fire.

It was a massive event that made national news, and it seems we at the Jersey Shore have asked the world for a lot of help in the past year. On that note, I would also like to acknowldedge those who came to the aid of Brick Township’s American Legion Post, which continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy. On August 24th, a terrific fundraiser was held at the Brick Township VFW Post to raise funds to rebuild and restore Post #348. With combined efforts of the Post membership, Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, Legion Riders and our Junior Auxiliary, a significant success was achieved and our inside canteen should be up and running, better than ever, in the very near future. As part of the fundraiser, Susan Barros, President of the Ladies Auxiliary, and her dedicated committee, gathered nearly one-hundred amazing baskets that were raffled at the event. High-end items included golf outings, fishing trips and great Destination packages!

On a personal note, I would like to thank the following who generously donated to a pet-themed basket that was raffled: Dr. Adam Christman and the staff of Brick Township Veterinary Hospital, Elsa Mikus and Barbara Ryan of Tempest and a Teapot (for a sweet piece of doggy artwork), Harbour Pet Supplies in Pt. Pleasant, and A Dog House dog grooming salon, in Brick. Your contribution went to a good cause. If you would like to make a donation to our American Legion Post to further help in their recovery please go to: http://www.brickpost348.org/

Recently, the Township of Brick held their Fourth Annual Dog Fest, sponsored by our local Rotary Club. Teddy and I enjoyed the day, and as a blogger, I am happy to say this was my fourth visit to this event. At its first observance, I asked Mayor Stephen Acropolis to proclaim Brick Township a National Dog Week Community. He did so gladly, and I am happy to see that tradition continues at each Opening Ceremony of Dog Fests in the manner that the late Captain Arthur Haggerty, (aka the Grandfather of American Dog Obedience), and Will Judy intended!

Perhaps we can view this Proclamation as, “just words.” However when those words are incorporated into a event that honors dogs, the spirit of National Dog Week continues, even 85 years after its founding. Those words celebrate and embrace America’s rich canine history, and our love for dogs, while reminding us all that there is still much work to be done to protect their welfare. On that note, I am happy to report that last year, Brick Township banned any new retail sellers of dogs of ever opening in the township, the first city in the Northeast Region of the nation to do so. So a big thanks to Brick Township for making our community one that respects or canines, and provides inspiration for others. I am very proud.

Book News: My book, Dog’s Best Friend:Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher is in production and will be available I am told by the summer of next year (McFarland & Co.). I would like to thank all of my supporters and those who voted me as “Happening Ocean County AUthor,” in a contest sponsored by Ocean Happening On-line magazine. It is an honor to be singled out among a crowd of very talented people! Please stay on the alert for some special NDW posts in the coming days!

Brick Township, NJ, is a true National Dog Week Community

HELP NEEDED: The Manasquan Borough (Monmouth Co. New Jersey) has agreed to introduce an ordinance banning the retail sale of puppies in that township. You can support this effort by e-mailing the Mayor of Manasquan before AUGUST 6th. gdempsey@manasquan-nj.com. SAMPLE LETTER: Please support a ban of retail puppy sales in pet stores in the town of Manasquan. This would make the community members very proud, aid helpless animals and protect consumers. (You do not have to include your town in the e-mail, but if you live in Manasquan, please be sure to).

At the Municipal Building of Brick Township, NJ, The sun set on another day at the Jersey Shore…but it really wasn’t just another day. On this early Tuesday evening, July 10th, the Brick Township Council was ready to vote on a proposal that would ban retail establishments from selling puppies.

Earlier in the year, a shop that was selling sick and neglected puppies had been successfully shut down. Coincidentally, the man who co-owned that establishment, Nat Sladkin, was due in court the following day facing several counts of animal abuse.

Sitting behind me at the council meeting was Janice Fisher, her daughter Courtney, and others who had worked so hard to make this ban a reality (maybe).  As the meeting drew on, Janice leaned forward and apologized that I had to sit through the discussion of so many unrelated issues. I told her I found the meeting interesting. But I thought, here I am in an air-conditioned room, just sitting and listening in comfort, a far cry from all the hours these dedicated animal-lovers spent in the cold, snow, wind and summer heat carrying signs to bring attention to their cause. And I thought about all the poor dogs and pups that were at that very moment languishing in discomfort and neglect in so many puppy mills across the country. I was just sitting there taking notes.

And then the big moment came. It was time to vote. I could sense the anticipation and nerves of all who had worked so hard on this.  The public was invited to speak on the issue just before the vote took place. A man and a woman spoke with Service Dogs in tow followed by a representative from the local chapter of the Humane Society.  Although I am not a fan of public speaking, I even got up and said a few words. I could tell by the expressions on the council member’s faces that they were on the side of the dogs.

Then Janice Fisher addressed the Council. She spoke of how members of our state senate were considering measures that would ban the retail sale of puppies in all cities and towns of New Jersey She also acknowledged that the neighboring Borough of Point Pleasant had successfully voted to ban puppy shops only a week earlier. Would Brick Township be next?

Before the vote was taken, each council member spoke. They shared how much they had learned through this process, and how people throughout the nation had contacted them. One had actually prosecuted cases involving dog abuse and many spoke about how important dogs were to them personally.

And then the vote was delivered… Seven “Ayes” rang out and Brick Township became  the second township on the east coast (excluding Florida) to make it official; while the existing puppy retailer would be grandfathered in, no new shop of its kind would be allowed to open in Brick, NJ.

Congratulations to the Fisher family, the army of volunteers and professionals that helped bring this about, the members of the Brick Township Council and the state of New Jersey. Two years ago, Brick Township began their annual tradition of Dog Fest each September and was declared a National Dog Week Community by Brick’s  Mayor Acropolis during its first observance.

Can Brick Township (NJ), home to Dog Fest held during NDW, ban puppy shops?

“That the people have the power to redeem the work of fools…” Patti Smith

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM, the Brick Township council will vote on an ordinance to ban the sale of puppies in pet stores in their community.  It is up to us to attend that meeting to show our support for adopting this ordinance.  (details at bottom of post)

Early this year, I posted about the Community of Brick Township’s (NJ) efforts to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats. Since then, the neighboring town of Pt. Pleasant has successfully accomplished this so now let’s see if Brick (where I have resided for 15 years) can join them. I hope that by the time Brick’s Third Annual Dog Fest occurs in late September, we can join the list of American cities and towns that have also done so! I just want to say that I do know many who have purchased their dogs at these shops, but I know that many really did not understand the reality of how that purchase affected the welfare of other dogs…and their humans. When I write on this topic, I do not mean to diminish their dogs or their love for their pets. But now they know better…

One of the many individuals who has worked so hard to see this happen is Janice Fisher. I asked Janice why this is so important and her answer follows.

But first, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new National Dog Week Pet Health Consultant, Dr. Adam Christman who is a native of this community and practices at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital. He is also the staff veterinarian for the Jersey Shore Animal Center (JSAC). As NDW 2012 nears, you will learn more about Dr. Christman. But for now you should know that he was very instrumental in the rescue of those thirty-nine sick and neglected puppies rescued from a retail establishment in Brick Township earlier this year (it has since been closed)…and even became the caring owner of one those little puppies. As you recall, last year, this honor went to Los Angeles Veterinarian and TeddyHilton Blogger, Dr. Patrick Mahaney who has remained a great friend to National Dog Week. Welcome Adam!

Here is the very intelligent and thoughtful post from Janice Fisher…

Almost everyone loves a puppy.   Who doesn’t delight in the thought of big brown eyes, a wagging tail, wet kisses and soft snuggles?  A puppy brings joy, laughter and the ability to bond with a furry living being that is not human.

There is, however, a problem with how we obtain a puppy.  We can rescue/adopt or purchase a quality puppy from a reputable, vetted breeder.  Either option is preferable to purchasing a puppy from a pet store.  Do you know about the pet store/puppy mill connection?  Research has established that 98% of the puppies sold in pet stores were raised in puppy mills (a term used for mass commercial breeding facilities that mass produce puppies with little regard for the dog’s welfare but plenty of concern for profit).

The majority of puppy mills are located in seven states:  Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  In depth research into sales contracts from local pet stores reveals that the majority of their puppy supply comes from these states.  Further research into the United States Dept. of Agriculture records shows that these breeding dogs and puppies live in conditions that no responsible pet owner would ever approve of.

Let’s test your tolerance.  The following is a sample list of violations regularly cited on inspection reports of mass breeding facilities by the United States Dept. of Agriculture.  These reports are from breeding facilities supplying local pet stores:

Emaciated dogs on premises.

Dogs coats matted and coated with feces.

Dogs living in temperatures below 23.8 degrees F with no ability to stay warm.

(Water buckets are frozen).

Heat index 99 degrees F with no fan or monitoring of temperature.

No shelter from sun, wind or rain.

Medical issues noted:  feet swelling, lacerations, scabs, ulcerations, tartar buildup, tooth loss, masses, nasal congestion, coughing, crusty eyes, diarrhea, underweight and malnutrition, protruding eyes, loss of eyes, overgrown toenails

Foul odors attracting swarms of flies.

Severely rusted metal frames on enclosures posing risk of injury.

Feet and legs of puppies falling through expanded metal flooring causing injury to legs or puppy’s inability to get back to mother to nurse.

Excessive fecal material: hair, debris, insect debris in the whelping buildings where puppies are housed.

Self feeding receptacles have an accumulation of grime on them contaminating the food.

Cages in the “barn” that are hutch style and hang from the ceiling.  The dogs are rocking and swinging in the enclosures.

Read enough?  Is this tolerable?  Might it appear to you that these animals that were meant to provide companionship for humans are  treated like a cash crop?  This is the sad truth.

The legislation that regulates this business, the Animal Welfare Act, is lax and provides only minimal standards of care for the animals.  When groups such as the Humane Society of theUnited Statesor the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lobby for stronger legislation, there is opposition from many organizations that profit from this business and, more often than not, the law does not get passed.

Therefore, the USDA with approximately 70 inspectors nationwide and approximately 4,500 facilities nationwide to inspect, are expected to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.  An audit in May 2010 by the Office of Inspector General reveals that the USDA is not meeting its obligations and thousands of animals are suffering because of it.

CAN WE HELP ON A LOCAL LEVEL?   YES!!!!

  • We can decrease the demand for these puppies. Just say “NO” to pet store purchases.
  • We can encourage local legislators to adopt ordinances that will prohibit the sale of puppies in their community.
  • We can educate others and encourage them to do the same.

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM, theBrickTownship council will vote on an ordinance to ban the sale of puppies in pet stores in their community.  It is up to us to attend that meeting to show our support for adopting this ordinance.

Will you commit to a couple of hours that night to attend the meeting and support the ordinance?   If so, this ordinance will be passed andBrickTownship and will be the second municipality in the State ofNew Jersey to demonstrate that it is “animal-friendly.”  Hope to see you there.

We can.

Update – February 17 – I am on the road and my internet access will be limited until March, but I wanted to follow-up on the Hearing of the Brick Township Council on February 14th, regarding ,”Puppies Galore.”  According to Courtney Fisher Keys, the business license for Puppies Galore has been permanently revoked in the Township.  Furthermore, the Brick Township Council is looking into an ordinance that would ban all retail pet stores in Brick Township.  Courtney, and her group of Peaceful Protestors, are planning another demonstration outside PUPPIES in Brick on Rte. 70 (in the strip mall next to Target) on Saturday, March 3rd at noon.

I would also like my readers to familiarize themselves with the case of Little Brown Dog (LBD) and the ongoing fight for him to receive true justice.  You can read and join in the effort by going to: http://askwilliewonka.blogspot.com/2012/02/justice-for-lbd-little-brown-dog.html?spref=fb

In late January, thirty-nine very unhealthy puppies were removed from Puppies Galore in Brick Township, NJ.  http://brick.patch.com/articles/officials-remove-sick-puppies-from-brick-pet-store Daniel Nee, of the Brick Patch on-line news service, broke the story that after an ongoing collaborative effort, the shop owned by Nat Sladkin and Maria DeSantis, had been raided and closed. http://brick.patch.com/articles/pet-store-operators-charged-with-42-counts-of-animal-cruelty?ncid=following_comment

Puppies Galore had opened in late fall, sandwiched between a diner and a bakery in a strip mall on Route 70.  Sladkin, as many locals might recall, is the former owner of the now defunct Puppy Depot in Point Pleasant Beach, just a short drive from his recently shut-down operation in Brick.

Among the responders on the Patch article comment thread was Janice Fisher, a woman who with her family and friends has been arranging Peaceful Demonstrations outside of these establishments in Ocean and Monmouth Counties.  Janice explained that there was a demonstration planned for outside another puppy retailer just about a mile down the road (owned by another party) also located in a strip mall next to Target on Route 70.  As I had wanted to attend one of these events, I said I would be there.

The day was damp and cold, but it didn’t squelch the enthusiasm of Janice and her crew.  When I arrived, they told me where to park (part of the police ordinance calls for the participants not to take up parking spaces needed for customers of all the shops) and what line not to cross (a spindly tree which we were not to step beyond).  Janice commented on the low turnout noting some members of their group were protesting a similar establishment up in the next county.

Last December, I had interviewed another protest organizer, Jacki Flanigan,https://nationaldogweekbook.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/be-aware-of-where-you-get-your-dog/  I had been told that there was a certain protocol to follow; sign holders could not use abusive or threatening language toward customers visiting the Puppy Shop and must maintain a designated distance from the store’s entrance. Janice also offered participants ready-made signs that read, “Google Puppymills” and others that announced, “Meet the parents of your Puppy.”  They also handed out literature and presented photos of what really goes on at the mills across the country.

As Janice, husband Dave, daughter Courtney and her husband, held signs with about four other protestors, near the busy road, many cars honked in support as they passed. Before long, I noticed a young man sitting in a small gray car directly in front of the information table.  He sat quietly in a knit cap, cigarette in one hand, camcorder in the other. Janice explained he was working for the store, recording every move and action of the protestors.

Despite this, in my two hours there, I saw two pups being carried out of the store.  Families averted their eyes from the protestors, but some of the young children peered over their shoulder, curious to know what was wrong. Hopefully, their puppy will be healthy, but perhaps they may at a later time investigate for themselves. Still other groups of people came up on the hill to talk to Janice and Courtney, genuinely interested and some appearing shocked.

“What does the staff tell their customers about you?” I asked Janice. “They tell them we are just crazy or we are protesting fur,” she replied.

I spoke to a number of people who had acquired their puppies from this shop owned by Lorin Kisland, a man associated with a couple named Bauck who are well-known “players” in the mill trade with a long. (Google away here).They spoke of health issues, ever-growing vet bills and the indifference and lack of responsibility on the part of the shop’s management.  The stories I heard and the revolting photos I saw were enough to make anyone who claims to be an animal-lover get up and do something.

It is estimated that 90 percent of all of these pups come from puppy mills.  According to Janice, people often learn their dog is a mill pup only after having signed the purchase contract. To those who claim their purchased pup has a certificate of pedigree (making all legit), yes, it may, but the AKC only requires that the parents of the pup are purebreds, (that is the only “standard” requirement), and make $25.00 for each certified pup.

BUT…and this is very important.  There is something called the Pet Purchase Protection Law also called the “Puppy Lemon Law.” If you have bought a pet and then obtained an “unfit for sale” certificate from your vet, or have another complaint that has not been satisfied or remedied by these local stores, you can:

–        Contact the NJ Dept of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6200

–        You MUST contact the ocean County Board of Health – (732) 341-9700.

You can report your case to Pet Watch NJ by going to www.pwnj.org (they keep records of all pet store complaints in the state for consumer education).

All others should inquire of similar options available in their own states.

I know this is a very brief post about a very big problem. Janice’s group will be at the same location on Saturday at noon.  There is also a scheduled hearing about the fate of these retailers in Brick Township to be held on February 14th.  If you wish to receive more information: JFDF2@optonline.net.

During National Dog Week, 2010, the Mayor of Brick, Stephen Acropolis, declared Brick Township a National Dog Week Community at the town’s First Dog Fest in front of an appreciative dog-loving crowd.  I know he is on the side of man’s best friend and I am hoping he will rid this town of these establishments. As for the thirty-nine sick puppies, they have received the proper medical treatment and are being housed at three different shelters.

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Hooper

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"Is it dog week yet?"

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Hooper in the Keys

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Me and my “Hoop”