Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Pet Stores Should Not Be Illegal

It is true that some -- maybe 'many' -- (hobby) dog breeders feel that dogs should not be sold at pet stores but while that freedom thing gives them the right to believe this, it doesn't make the view correct.

The great majority of hobbyists would not allow one of their own to go to a pet store. Of course that is not only a personal right but makes sense for us: we hobbyists don't have to be sure the public can find our puppies because the fact that it's a
hobby means we can limit our breeding to what we can sell through non-commercial channels.

But going beyond the view that "We would never sell one of
ours through a pet store" to "Nobody should sell dogs through pet stores is a really bad idea, because it supports laws against pet store sales and commercial breeding. Where such laws pass, they create shortages, leading to a gray and/or black market in which (because it is mostly hidden from view) there can be abuses of all sorts, from poor care, to fraud and the selling of known unhealthy animals, to tax evasion. Bad for breeders, bad for the public, and very bad for dogs.

And when small scale (have to be small to hide) commercial breeders are found to be the source of problems, guess who is about to get regulated?
All breeders, that's who -- including those "Pet stores shouldn't sell animals" hobbyists.

A substantial number of hobby breeders
do get it, that all forms of breeding and all visible and open sales venues must remain legal both for our own survival and the welfare of the dogs.

It's like Prohibition: The demand is so strong that there
will be supply. All that repressive laws can do is eliminate the visible suppliers but that leads directly to lower standards.