Doesn't Like Pet Business

RECEIVED Thu., April 10, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I was completely appalled to learn that Petland was opening its doors in our city [“Pet Sterilization Dogs City and Retailer,” News, April 11]. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been a pet store selling puppies and kittens in Austin for many years. This is a huge step backward for our city, and once the truth is known, I find it hard to believe the people of Austin will tolerate such a store here.
    There are groups of concerned citizens all over the country working to educate the public about the problems associated with selling puppies and kittens in stores. This issue does not just concern individuals active in the animal-rights community. People everywhere are speaking out and taking a stand. You may have seen the recently aired Oprah Winfrey Show about puppy mills, which has gotten a very positive response from the public. And, at one of the recent Petland protests in Austin, a group of people on their way to the store stopped to hear what the protesters had to say and came back to join the protest.
    While that cute puppy from the pet store may go to a loving home, the breeding dogs at the puppy mills endure lives of misery, cramped in small cages their entire lives and receiving only enough care to keep them alive so they can make more puppies. If they don't die in the puppy mill, when they are worn out, they are killed or sold at auction, where a lucky few may have the good fortune to be rescued. Despite the best efforts of their rescuers, however, many of these dogs are never able to overcome the physical and emotional trauma of their pasts. Before you purchase a puppy or kitten from a pet store, please do the research and decide for yourself. Shelters and rescue groups always have plenty of loving and well-behaved dogs and cats available for adoption. There is a wealth of information available online about puppy mills and also pet adoptions.
    The many thousands of adoptable dogs being euthanized in shelters every year and the untold numbers suffering in puppy mills all over the country don't have a choice. We do.
Jeanne O'Neil
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