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Help! Speech! Pet shops...

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19 replies to this topic

#1 CallMeFeral

Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:38 AM

So somehow my 10yo ended up choosing as her persuasive speech topic why people should not buy animals from petshops.

She's had a go at researching it, but it's a bit of a mess and not enough to fill 3 minutes.

Basically we've got

- cramped conditions

- probable sourcing from puppy mills (but I'm a bit fuzzy on how registered breeders differ - are they subject to regulations that the puppy mills are not?)

- encourage impulse purchasing

Partly I worry about making broad generalisations - probably SOME petshops look after their animals, and probably some puppy mills are nice and some breeders are crap - I feel weird painting them all with one brush unless there are actually regulations around one and not the other.

I know there are lots of people well versed in the reasons on here, so if you could point me to a good website or tell me what we've missed!

Edited by CallMeFeral, 03 April 2019 - 09:38 AM.

#2 seayork2002

Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:49 AM

I can't help specifically on this topic but what I try and get DS to do is remember a few main points and speak naturally I doubt very much he will get to the time limit but atleast this way he will be able to say something!

and not forget it all.

So if my son was doing the above I would stick with what you have an embellish it

just my thoughts! not saying what is right or wrong

#3 hills mum bec

Posted 03 April 2019 - 09:54 AM

I think it's about getting people who want to buy a puppy/kitten make a more ethical choice.  I don't think there would be many ethical, registered breeders who would sell their animals through a pet store, so it stands to reason that a pet store would be sourcing their stock from back yard breeders and puppy mills.  There are likely registered breeders out there who aren't breeding ethically but at least by buying directly from a registered breeder you can get more of an idea if this is the case.  An ethical breeder will not sell their puppies/kittens to just anyone who wants one and is prepared to pay for one, they should know what type of home/family their animals are suitable for.

I think the biggest thing for pet stores is that they are capitalising on that impulse purchase.  Puppies and kittens are so cute but also a big responsibility.  Often that responsibility is not much thought out when seeing those cute puppies/kittens and thinking "I need one of them now!".  Usually a purchase through a registered breeder is quite a long process.  You will often pay a deposit for a puppy/kitten long before they are actually ready to go home with you and quite often you may even have to go on a waiting list for one, plenty of time to reconsider what you are getting into before actually having to commit means less regret down the track.


Posted 03 April 2019 - 10:00 AM

What about, along with confined conditions, people tapping on glass or trying to poke animals to try and get a reaction from them?  People walking past annoying them with no intention of purchasing them.

Purchasing from a specialised breeder is better as they can give you detailed information on health, feeding and maintenance.


#5 born.a.girl

Posted 03 April 2019 - 10:17 AM

I think with the puppy mills/breeders issue, you could get her to use language such as 'chances of' and 'risk of', given professional feedback about such places.

You're right that it's hard to say that one is always 100% preferable*, but there's plenty of evidence for 'high risk of' (puppy farms) and 'much better chance of ..' (breeder).


The RSPCA article should help her.

She could even end it with the urging to sign the RSPCA's petition to close puppy farms.

* I there will be those who say you absolutely can say that.  I'm talking about how to present it to an audience, so that you don't have the smart ass who pipes up and claims they know a bad breeder, and their puppy farm dog is perfectly healthy.

ETA: She probably should also include the fact that some pet shop groups are now only selling rescue animals from their nearest shelter.

Edited by born.a.girl, 03 April 2019 - 10:20 AM.

#6 Minka1313

Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:05 AM

What about the fact that they are very expensive. Overheads, staff costs.

I once saw a Lab puppy with no papers for over $1200 and I knew I could get a pup with papers (who had a show dog dad) for $800 because my cousin had just got one form a breeder.

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:26 AM

Just be aware Pet Stock has cats, rabbits and sometimes dogs from the RSPCA in their stores for sale/adoption, so not always from a puppy mill. They however always have a sign explaining that is where they are from.

#8 seayork2002

Posted 03 April 2019 - 11:30 AM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 03 April 2019 - 11:26 AM, said:

Just be aware Pet Stock has cats, rabbits and sometimes dogs from the RSPCA in their stores for sale/adoption, so not always from a puppy mill. They however always have a sign explaining that is where they are from.

I just remembered our local pet shop has cats from shelters for sale

#9 Luci

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:02 PM

FWIW I'm not a fan of pet shops. However there is one at the shopping centre near me and they re-home quite a significant number of rescue pets. They also offer a cooling off period and a lifetime re-homing guarantee.

If you are still looking for more information for the speech then perhaps you might be able to incorporate a little of both sides of the argument. Although if it is supposed to be a persuasive speech that might not be entirely what you are after, but a little "balance" in a speech can be a good thing as well.

#10 quartz85

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:19 PM

In a pet shop you can't view the parent/parents of the animal. Hopefully at a registered breeder you can.

They are for profit, so often more expensive.

As a registered breeder I was always very selective about who we sold our pups to. We have working dogs so not suitable for situations.  

Our dogs had generations of health checks. Hips, elbows, eyes, DNA tests. We have desexed dogs that were not suitable for breeding because of minor issues.

#11 chicken_bits

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:21 PM

Another point that hasn't been mentioned is that there are a lot of rescue animals that need homes.

#12 molinero

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:32 PM

Other potential points include making sure you get the right type of pet for you and your family regarding pet's energy levels, need for training, and future costs of health matters (with some breeds being known for certain health issues). If you go into a petshop you could be more inclined to impulse buy a breed that isn't suited to you.

FWIW another argument against pet shops would be the double trauma some of the animals go through - first being taken from their mum, and then being taken from the petshop once they have started getting used to that. If you take a puppy straight home from the breeder, at least you can give it some extra attention, do the hot water bottle or ticking clock in its bed, etc. to ease the pain of separation.

#13 Oriental lily

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:39 PM

Also remember r it's not just kittens and puppies . Bird mills a d the illegal breeding and keeping of aquarium fish is also a big problem . Not to mention the inexperienced plain wrong advice given with fish and bird keeping .So many times fish and tanks are sold on the same day . When a tank should be set up and be made ready for fish weeks before purchasing the fish . But lpet shops just dont care . Even though they know they are sending the fish home to a death sentence . Overall pet shops dont have expert advice on their animals . They want the sale at all costs . Passionate breeders and keepers have the full package .

#14 JoanJett

Posted 03 April 2019 - 01:44 PM

Definitely read the RSPCA info.

As a family, we purchased our pet from a breeder, not a pet store.  

Some of the many reasons:
- we met our dog's parents, so we had information about their health and their temperament
- as registered breeders of "full paper" dogs, we had access to information about how many litters the mum had already had, so we could be reassured about concerns about her welfare
- we visited where our dog was bred/raised for the first 12 weeks on three separate occasions, so we could see the conditions met our concerns about the care of the both the parents and the puppies
- we had well documented information about testing of our dog's parents for well known genetic conditions associated with the breed
- we were provided with full records of all health/vet checks, records of vaccinations, microchipping
- we had breeder phone/email support for any issues related to puppy training, which was very helpful when I was about to return her!
- we had time to research and read up all we could about the breed and training
- probably most importantly, WE were screened by the breeder.  We had to provide information about our home/property, working hours, activity levels etc.  We had to demonstrate our commitment by travelling a long distance to meet them and our puppy before we could make a deposit to secure our family member.  As breeders, they love their dogs, and they want to make sure they go to good homes.

It took us almost 2 years to buy our dog, as we were waitlisted with the breeder.  It was plenty of time to be sure that we really wanted a dog.

One of the other important points is that for dogs in particular, the first few months of life are really important for socialisation - with people, other dogs and the general environment.  If they spend lengthy time in the artificial environment of pet stores, they are often over-handled (or miss out on contact altogether), they are less adapted to a home environment and they are less likely to develop into well-adjusted pets.  Often that results in anxiety driven behaviour that becomes problematic for the new owners, and results in higher rates of rehoming/abandoning.

#15 Chicken Pie

Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:21 PM

Add what other ethical choices they are and why they are better - eg rescues as a lot of people give up pets when they not little anymore etc

#16 CallMeFeral

Posted 03 April 2019 - 04:23 PM

View Postquartz85, on 03 April 2019 - 01:19 PM, said:

They are for profit, so often more expensive.

Aren't breeders for profit too?

Thanks folks, this has been really helpful!

#17 Oriental lily

Posted 03 April 2019 - 04:51 PM

My sister has been breeding dogs for about 10  years . The idea that she would be in front monetary wise if you saw her breeding  hobby as a business model would make her roll on the floor laughing . Her vet and feed bills far exceed the money she has made from the price of puppies ( over all about 6 or 7 litters which are small litters due to  it being a small breed)over the 10 years . Thats wby puppy farms are so atrocious because to make money they need to sacrifice the dogs welfare , vet bills and good feed and grooming cost money . Not something a puppy farm wants go spend .

#18 aprilrainatxmas

Posted 03 April 2019 - 05:08 PM

Not getting a good example of the breed you are paying for.

My mum's neighbour bought a lab puppy from the pet shop and it is very timid when in it's yard. Not friendly with anyone other than it's owners. Anxious and barking if i turn up at Mum's.

My sister's Labs from two different breeders; Very friendly and want you to burgle their house. Happened twice actually!

#19 quartz85

Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:16 PM

Nope, not for profit. A hobby and one to improve upon the breed. To breed the best dogs possible.

Our last litter, drove for 3 days in total to the stud dog. Paid a huge fee for him. Ended up with one pup via cesearian. Thousands out of pocket. You'd need to get lucky with huge litters, no problems, consistently to break even, let alone make a profit. And the responsible breeders won't do that to their girls multiple times over just to make money. The most we've ever bred from one dog was three times.

#20 ipsee

Posted 03 April 2019 - 08:03 PM

I think you have enough points - just elaborate on what your have. And say 'often' or 'in general' about pet shops, as some may be better than others.

Cramped conditions in pet shops - eg - puppies are in glass boxes with no safe space to hide/relax, can be poked at by kids all day, loud noises around, confusing for them, the last one left will be very lonely, random different staff watching them, lights on overnight in malls.

Encourage impulse purchases - leads to the Xmas pet that is unwanted by Easter, families have no idea how hard puppies can be, buyers may forget to immunise/desex, some may become dumped or stray animals if they don't suit the family etc etc

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