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Animal Advocates Demonstrate in Aquebogue

Seek to raise awareness about puppy mills.

Crusaders hoping to raise public awareness about puppy mills demonstated on Saturday in front of on Route 25 in Aquebogue.

Barbara Dennihy of the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) said her organization has been working to expose pet shops that use puppy mills to supply their stores.

"Many, many New York State stores use these mills or brokers who use puppy mills to stock their stores," she said. "Logic tells you that puppies don't fall out of the sky--they have to come from somewhere."

Although Scott Kaphan, owner of The Puppy Experience, was not available for immediate comment, a manager at the store, John, who asked that his last name not be given, said CAPS demonstrators make stops outside many area pet stores.

"They didn't ask where our dogs come from," he said. "Our dogs come from breeders. I'd be glad to provide them with information if they would just come in and ask."

The protestors, he added, carried "horrible signs" and did not bother to give the store a chance to respond to their allegations. "They just lumped us in with everyone else -- that's what they do," he said. "We don't do anything wrong or illegal -- we just do business. I sleep at night because I get my dogs from a good place."

He added that the demonstation outside his store was just one of many scheduled stops.

Dennihy said often, consumers are told the puppies they are buying are from local, professional breeders when "the puppy's health certificate tells a different story. Education of consumers is an important way to help make changes and expose the cruelty behind the puppy in the window."

Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, Kansas, and Iowa are the leading puppy distributors to New York State pet shops, Dennihy said.

Recently, the Kent Animal Shelter in Riverhead participated in a

Kent Animal Shelter Executive Director Pam Green said puppy mill dogs have social problems because they have been living in cages. Other problems puppy mill rescue dogs face include dental issues and difficulty becoming accustomed to life outside of a cage. 

Some dogs, she said, have genetic issues including heart murmurs due to close breeding.

Green agreed public education is important. Often, breeder dogs are used to create new "designer" mixed breeds, such as "morkies." The pups, Green said, are sold on the internet and in pet shops. Once the breeder dogs outlive their usefulness, many are sent to auction or euthanized. 

"People should be aware that if they buy a puppy in a pet shop, they're getting a puppy bred in a puppy mill," Green said.

Over three million dogs are bred in the United States each year, Dennihy said. But, she added, shelters across the country euthanize another three million adoptable dogs due to lack of space. "What is wrong with this picture?" she asked. "Our New York State politicians need to take a hard look at the rules governing pet dealers to help put an end to this atrocity."

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Jan McClellan July 01, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Go, Kerrie, give 'em hell.
Benja Schwartz July 02, 2012 at 12:05 AM
In my experience Suffolk County SPCA worked with Southold Town Police to illegally cover up the crime when my neighbor killed some guinea hens. The law is clear and the law enforcement officials are breaking it rather than enforcing it.
Diane Fitzgerald July 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Just Google "Kathy Bauck" and "Puppy Experience". Kathy Bauck ran/runs a vile puppy mill in MInnesota, and Puppy Experience received numerous shipments of puppies from her over the course of several years, until the time came when MN pulled her license. THAT'S WHERE THEIR PUPPIES CAME FROM!!!! Although, that did nothing--allegedly,she is still breeding, but sells the dogs online. One look at the video taken by CAPS at her mill, and the thought that your wonderful, fluffy, sweet, innocent puppy came from a place like that is enough to make anyone sick. Puppy Experience wants you to think their puppies are from great breeders---come on, a good breeder would never allow their pups to be sold in a store, not to mention it wouldn't be financially sound to pay $500 for a puppy when the puppy store can pay $50 for one. Stores that sell puppies are disgusting, and the owner & employees are no more than pond scum. I rescued a brood bitch from a puppy mill, & the thought of what her life was like before I brought her into my home makes me shudder. From now on, she'll never be cold, never be hungry, & won't know what's it's like not to be loved. She'll never have another litter, only to have those pups taken away from her. Never purchase a dog---rescue/adopt the millions that are homeless.
Charles P O'Brien July 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM
@ Tammy, please email me that "breeders"info, I will do the research for you,and email the info back to you,you may be shocked when you find out what kind of place that dog actually came from.!
Amy September 05, 2012 at 09:51 PM
When I worked at these puppy stores, A 1600.00 bulldog cost the store 250.00. A mixed breed was sold as whatever the consumer was lloking for. So a yorkiepoo would sell as a yorkie because the consumer didn't know the difference. The puppy clearly came in as a yorkiepoo with no papers but went out as a pure yorkie with bogus some made up kennel club papers someone I know made up. That mixed breed puppy sold for 900.00 and they paid 50.00

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