How Low Can You Go?

A tiny black lab puppy learns to sit on cue
Not a pet-store pup!

Puppy laundering. Really. Some people will stop at nothing to make a few dollars.

Kudos to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which is suing a pet store and a group that claims to be a rescue for puppy laundering.

What, you ask, is puppy laundering?

California has a law that aims to put puppy mills out of business by drying up their markets. It’s illegal in California for pet stores to sell cats, dogs, or rabbits unless they are sourced from a rescue organization or shelter. This new law is in addition to a federal law that bans most online sale of dogs and puppies.

Yet, the lawsuit alleges, Animal Kingdom pet stores was purchasing puppies from “Bark Adoptions, an organization that purports to be a rescue but is allegedly engaging in ‘puppy laundering’ on behalf of commercial breeders, and then providing those puppies to Animal Kingdom.”

Commercial breeders — puppy mills — often keep dogs and puppies in cruel, unsanitary conditions; breed unhealthy dogs; fail to socialize puppies; fail to provide sufficient food and clean water; and generally are about profit, not healthy dogs.

Puppy laundering is apparently a national scourge.

So, it cannot be said often enough: Do not buy a puppy from a pet store. Do not shop at pet stores that sell puppies, kittens, or live animals of any kind (other than maybe some species of fish). Just don’t. Ugh.

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